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more low light post processing

35/365
35/365 by Tim Caynes

I’m often battling with low light when I’m taking photos in the home mainly because I’m not using the flash I don’t have and my home is often quite dark so I have to compensate everso slighty with post-processing to bring out the details I’ve apparently missed. I do nearly all of my photos around the house using a tripod and a remote wireless these days just because I can because I have them and because it makes a world of difference to what can be captured without camera shake. the main problem is mostly me shake. as I’m in most of the photos I’m taking at the moment (for the 365 project) it’s all very well having a tripod and remote wireless shutter release but I generally can’t stay still for more than 1.6 seconds without twitching like some dickensian oaf loitering around a london back street and more than that I also start dribbling like a goon so there’s a balance between allowing as much available light into the camera and capturing something that doesn’t look like I’ve just fallen over. which I often have.

striking the balance means using manual mode and increasing the shutter speed as much as possible before things really just fade into black. I’m still mostly using a wide aperture between 3.5 and 5 depending on what my basic kit lens will allow for the focal length which tends to be around 50mm for self portraits and omg I would love a sigma 50mm 1.4 or whatever it is but that’s not going to happen which is why I’m telling you this. even with that wide aperture, in the low light any motion is a disaster so I’m trying to get to at least 1/4 second to keep things as sharp as possible notwithstanding that fact that I’m also keeping the ISO as low as I possibly can, 100 mostly, which you have to do using a Sony because the noise is a problem at anything much higher than 400 but that’s not to say its not my fault because I still don’t really know what I’m doing but I do know I hate noise even when I put it back it on purporse with a high pass layer or something.

for this photo I was under the desk at the end of the day with partial daylight coming through the window from the right and using live view you could barely see anything at all and the autofocus couldn’t find anything to focus on which is why my foot is right in the middle of the frame because I had to put it there so the camera would lock on something so that the wireless remote would fucntion so that I could take the picture that looked like it was from the inside of a coal bunker. thinking I could probably actually keep my feet still for more than 1/4 second, I tried a few exposures using different shutter speeds and in the end had to maintain posture for 2 whole seconds before it was long enough to let enough light in to capture any details that I might extract later through the uncompromising and merciless deplyoment of the photoshop monster which as usual extracted everything it could find, chew it up and unceremoniously spat it unto a jpg which in this case turned out to be a hefty 8mb mind you the photoshop file is 350mb from an original 8mb RAW file so you take a long way round to get back where you started.

if you were really really really insterested in the post-processing you can see the photoshop history embedded in the metadata for this upload which is nice because I don’t have to tell you how I did it because I can’t remember ok I can I mean I can’t be bothered.

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