Image by sapopiro
Usually when taking photos, the more light the better. When conditions get dark, pictures can often become blurry and grainy. However, learning how to control these seemingly adverse effects can lead to unique images that can creatively express the conditions they were made in.
When it's dark, your camera will often automatically make adjustments to compensate for low light. Blurriness is often the result of a slower shutter, meaning the camera takes an extra moment to gather more light before finishing the exposure.
Tip 1 — Create movement.
Image by lapetitetouche
Intentionally moving the camera itself while taking a photo can allow you to create unique trails of light that contour as you shift the camera. To try this, find the distinct light sources in your frame, and as you capture the image, move the camera so the lights travel through the frame. Experiment with multiple frames, as the results are often spontaneous and surprising.
Tip 2 — Combine with flash.
Adding a flash to a slow shutter combines both movement and sharpness into one frame. Any ambient light movement will be recorded, while the flash will freeze action closer to the camera. Try this when you want to experiment with light trails, but still want a recognizable subject.
Tip 3 — Hold steady.
Trying to keep a steady shot can be tough in low light, but in the right situation, a little bit of handheld shake can produce an almost painterly effect. Finding a way to support your camera can be helpful in low light, such as bracing your camera against a car or train window as you look out. This can create a reverse panning effect where objects are blurred in the foreground, but elements in the background maintain sharpness, like in the image below.