Shoot portraits after dark
Use ambient street lights and an LED panel to light up your shots
We often think of twilight as the most atmospheric part of the day for photography. However, after dark can also be a wonderful time to head out with the camera, especially in a busy urban setting. Coloured lighting from shop windows, passing traffic and neon signage can make for interesting and unique backdrops when shooting portraits.
So in this project we’ll explore a few techniques for portraits after dark. We’ll begin by looking at how to use available lights around us, then we’ll go on to explain how to supplement the street lights with our own lighting.
The biggest hurdle to overcome on a shoot like this is the dark. It means setting up our camera for low-light photography. For a static subject we could simply use a tripod and elongate our shutter speed. But with portraits we’re always going to be restricted, as a person can only stay perfectly still for a moment. In this scenario we need high ISOs and wide apertures. It’ll also help if you have a camera that performs well at higher ISOs (most modern DSLRs will do) and a lens that offers a wide maximum aperture.