24 Jun 2008

Snapping in low light

Snapping a pic in daylight is very different from snapping one during times when the overall light is very low. I've met many a beginner clicking the shutter during indoor events & enquired with them if they understood some nuances of low light photography. 6 out of 10 times the answer is "Isn't that what the flash is for ?".

During my initial days of photography, I wanted to capture low light snaps in all their glory. However I never really understood the science behind them, the camera shake factor etc and always landed up with images that were either terribly underexposed (darkened) or with flashlight shining on the faces or with too much shake effect.

Later during my tryst with digital, I got some luxury to experiment and come out with some satisfying results. Though I'm still learning, some of the snaps bear a testimony to good groundwork. This one for example is one such snap.

Dance for the deityIt was taken at the Thazhoor Bhagavathy temple in Vazhamuttom, Pathanamthitta, Kerala. Since childhood, I have been fascinated by temple rituals at my hometown & the aura of faith that prevail such events. And unlike the modernistic outlook in cities, people back home still have that unerring belief in the almighty with genuine & complete devotion.

So during the annual temple festivities, I grabbed the opportunity to snap some memories. This particular snap was challenging enough - particularly considering the situation. Light was pretty low & my digicam (Nikon 4500) suffers from pretty much of shutter lag. Also the event was the "Thullal" procession - almost an action sequence of sorts. I put my camera into shutter priority, set an ISO of 400 & waited patiently amongst the frenzied devotees. I took around 5 snaps. Later analysed them on my laptop and selected one that captured it all. The colors, the motion & more importantly the mood of the moment.

Its not the best low-light snap that I've captured but one that I appreciate for the learning experience it provided.


  1. Nice photo... Seems like a handheld take... Some motion blur is noticeable.

  2. Like you said picture has all different aspects of the traditional ritual with a perfection of camera work. Good snap.