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21 votes
Accepted

Does over- or underexposed give the most life-like post-edit results?

Overexposed areas have a sharp cut-off when the maximum pixel value is reached. You have a completely white area if this happens in all colour channels. There is nothing you can do in post to recover ...
ths's user avatar
  • 7,171
21 votes

How to know you've outgrown your equipment?

How many of Henri Cartier-Bresson's photos were taken using autofocus? How many of Ansel Adams' masterpieces were taken with a camera that had an internal light meter? How many of Walter Iooss, ...
Michael C's user avatar
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20 votes
Accepted

What's the best way to light up a subject that's far away?

The idea is I will be down below, looking up at them to take the photo, so a flash would be useless. Only if you limit yourself to a camera mounted flash. The key to such a shot is to get the ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
19 votes
Accepted

Solve unwanted white "waves" and "Pacman squares" in low-light picture - post using Google Photos

This is known as "banding". Dark parts in the picture have a small range of values (in a JPG, you only have 256 values per color), when you lighten them, you increase the gap between consecutive ...
xenoid's user avatar
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17 votes
Accepted

How do I take a photo so the moon doesn't have bright "rays"?

The "ray" effect is known as sunstar. There are 2 conditions to achieve sunstars : use a narrow aperture (like f/16). point camera to small and bright light source. You achieved that effect very ...
jihems's user avatar
  • 710
16 votes

Does over- or underexposed give the most life-like post-edit results?

Neither. Underexposure means that you did not deliver enough light and you are losing information in shadows. Overexposure means that you delivered too much light and losing information in highlights. ...
MirekE's user avatar
  • 5,205
15 votes

How to know you've outgrown your equipment?

No you're not a bad photographer for questioning your equipment But Yes you can outgrow your equipment. Granted Michael Clark's answer is correct about some of the greats not having some of the ...
Crazy Dino's user avatar
  • 4,854
13 votes

How can I take pictures of active children with a DSLR in low light?

Your exposure is a function of - The amount of light reaching the subject (with the quality and direction of the light allowing you to control the effect) The shutter speed (too long leads to ...
eftpotrm's user avatar
  • 622
13 votes

How can I salvage photos from a party in a dark room?

A great deal of what makes a professional photographer; professional - is that they are able to capture great images in a wide range of different scenarios (especially true of event photographers). ...
dpollitt's user avatar
  • 46.5k
12 votes
Accepted

What's the best technique to take brighter photos in demanding low light conditions?

Are any of these options preferred, or is there an even better option/technique out there? Photography is all about tradeoffs. You can compensate for low light by using a longer exposure, or ...
Caleb's user avatar
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11 votes

Are there add-on lens accessories which collect additional light, as a parabolic microphone can be used to gather more sound?

There's already something that has been invented to collect light for photographs. We call them lenses. In order to collect more light, the front element of the lens must be larger for the same focal ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
10 votes

How do I choose a lens for a "glow in the dark" indoor/lowlight event?

Either of the f/1.8 lenses will do. So will the EF 24-105mm f/4 IS. The 50mm will give you a little more room than the 85mm to use a slightly longer shutter times before camera movement becomes (too) ...
Michael C's user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

How can I take pictures of active children with a DSLR in low light?

The answer @eftpotrm gave is pretty comprehensive, but let me highlight the single piece of advice that is by far the most likely to give you the desired results: Get a lens with a large maximum ...
Michael Borgwardt's user avatar
9 votes

How to avoid star-trails

Shoot as wide open as possible. Get into you car and drive as far away from light polluted areas as possible. This will make a huge difference in what you & your camera can see on the sky. Try ...
Sudec's user avatar
  • 133
9 votes
Accepted

How do I capture artificial light sources better?

As you have discovered, your camera is limited with regard to the brightest and darkest details it can capture at the same time. In order to keep the lights from 'blowing out' you must limit exposure ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
9 votes

Moving Subjects in low light

If the photo you wish to take requires using 1/800 or shorter exposure times, apertures narrower than f/5.6, and ISO of no more than 400 there's only one way to take the images you want in less than ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
9 votes

One camera unable to focus in low light, different camera, same brand model, has no problem

One possibility to check - is the AF assist light turned off or failed on the problem camera? You say the settings are the same - have you checked all of them, including ones hidden in the setup ...
JerryTheC's user avatar
  • 3,023
8 votes
Accepted

What causes vertical lines on digital photos taken in low light?

The vertical lines are a type of noise called 'grid noise' or 'read noise'. It is noise caused by 'dark current' in the electronics of the sensor and the camera's electronics that amplifies the analog ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
8 votes

Why don’t low light cameras just use bigger sensors?

With a large sensor the sensor is more expensive (the production cost of a sensor grows at least as fast as its physical area). the whole device is bigger, and requires bigger lenses, that add to ...
xenoid's user avatar
  • 21.4k
8 votes

How do I take a photo so the moon doesn't have bright "rays"?

Opening your aperture fully, so the actual aperture opening is circular, will get rid of the sunstars - but can give just too much of a halo (even more with a fast prime lens than with a small zoom!). ...
rackandboneman's user avatar
7 votes

How to avoid star-trails

The obvious answer is to use a star tracker. Alternatively, you could just accept the star trails and make a virtue of them. One technique is to gradually defocus the camera during the exposure. This ...
Mick's user avatar
  • 1,047
7 votes

What's the best way to light up a subject that's far away?

In addition to what Michael has already stated, depending on the configuration, you may want to create a composite. Long exposure for the scene only and then add the lights and couple to overlay on ...
Robin's user avatar
  • 1,582
7 votes
Accepted

Are there add-on lens accessories which collect additional light, as a parabolic microphone can be used to gather more sound?

As you edited your question it gives me more room. The same as a parabolic mic, any mirror lens do the exact same thing. It takes parallel rays coming from a distance, and focus them on a smaller spot....
Rafael's user avatar
  • 24.9k
7 votes

How do I take a photo so the moon doesn't have bright "rays"?

More on the star effect...The aperture is created inside of your lens by overlapping petals, like this: The following is pulled from BH Photo Video's article on the subject (https://www.bhphotovideo....
OnBreak.'s user avatar
  • 20.5k
7 votes

Edit a dark picture

For all practical purposes: No. Photography is the recording of light. In the total absence of light there is nothing for a camera to record except the random noise generated by the camera itself. ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
6 votes
Accepted

Is Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II that much better than Canon 24-70 f/4L IS?

The question of IS vs. wider aperture depends upon your subject matter and camera stabilization. If your subjects are moving IS doesn't do anything to prevent motion blur at slow shutter speeds. The ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
6 votes
Accepted

Tactics to avoid motion blur in low light conditions

I'm going to a night event to shoot photos in low light Flash. Use the flash. Did I mention using the flash ? :-) and I want to do everything possible to reduce camera shake Shake is really not ...
StephenG - Help Ukraine's user avatar
6 votes

Moving Subjects in low light

Let's dig into some of your parameters... Shutter speed (unable to set too low, say anything below 1/800, and you've almost got 100% motion blur) How fast the shutter needs to be to reduce motion ...
OnBreak.'s user avatar
  • 20.5k
6 votes

How to know you've outgrown your equipment?

In addition to Michael Clark's answer that answers whether it is the equipment that makes good photographs or the photographer, I want to answer the question How to know you've outgrown your equipment?...
flolilo's user avatar
  • 6,468

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