When the Light is Low….

One area of photography I need to work on–well, I need to work on all of them, but especially this one–is low-light photography. I’ve done some experimenting here and there, and my results haven’t been super-encouraging yet, at least, not until the other night, when I got several shots that were workable. Not really good, but workable. We went to dinner at Lago 210, a restaurant that is right on the Lake Erie shore in Hamburg. The views there are pretty special, but when we got there it was after 7pm, and this time of year that’s well after sunset. Visibility was surprisingly clear, given how crappy the weather lately has been around here, and I could see clearly all the way to the city of Buffalo and I could even make out the lights of the Peace Bridge crossing the water. There were blinking lights of beacons out beyond the water, either on land in Canada or perhaps on buoys out there…I’m not really sure.

One of my main problems with low-light photography will be suppressing my point-and-shoot, get-it-quick instinct. This is something I’m working on anyway, the fact that I need to stop for a moment and compose my shots, but low-light makes it even harder because then I also need to adjust settings and study what I’m doing, and this is all while I’m still…well, I’m still not quite sure how the settings work and how to set up the Exposure Triangle to get a good night-time low-light shot. Also, I need to get more accustomed to using a tripod when doing low-light work, because the long shutter speeds make stability essential.

These first two are looking north-east toward Buffalo, which from Lago 210 is about 9 miles, give or take. Both of these I took right around the same time, so obviously my settings were very different!

Larger versions here and here.

I’m not in love with either of these, but I’ll figure it out. Another factor is my zoom lens, which is harder to manage in terms of settings during zooms. This may be a limitation of my particular camera, being a fixed-lens bridge camera, albeit a very good one. We’ll see, as I move forward. I’m determined, y’all!

Then there was this, which was the first photo I took when we got there, looking out into Lake Erie toward Cleveland, about 180 miles thataway. I’m quite happy with how this turned out, even if there’s still more noise than I would like.

Larger version here.



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