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Just because the sun sets doesn’t mean that your photography party has to end! There is so much ambient light around us that if you learn how to harness it, you can get some seemingly magical results. Depending on the type of light surrounding you, your images may take on a sepia tone or have really rich, jewel tones. You may notice starbursts from streetlights. I’m always surprised with what I get, at any rate.

When I was photographing at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens’ GardenFest of Lights last year, so many people who saw me photographing without a flash took it upon themselves to stop by to tell me that what I was doing wasn’t going to work (ha! what did they know?!).

Here is a series of recent work shot in low light or at night:

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  • Start before it’s pitch black outside. The ambient light fills in the background nicely.
  • Tripod: makes a world of difference – if not making these images a possibility
  • ISO 100: dial it waaaaaay down
  • Aperture: open it waaaaaay up (most of these were f/18)
  • Use the self-timer button or a cable release to avoid shaking the heck out of everything
All images © Cheryl Shanahan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photographic images, without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Copy excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lucky Ginger Studio blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.