Photographing in low light: Speedlight vs high ISO / by Andrew Stripp

So this Friday just gone I had an assignment to cover a Phd graduation party in Amsterdam. The party took place in a the catacombs under a church, with a low, arched ceiling. Normally bouncing light around uniform spaces is fairly straightforward, but throw in weird angles and you get all sorts of results. So how to manage this.

Well first off with an external flash. I use the Nikon Speedlight SB-600 which works great on the TTL function, so you don't need to constantly adjust. Shooting in RAW allows me to really edit the photos in Lightroom and compensate for over-exposure etc. 

With Speedlight

With Speedlight

I also shoot without a flash, using a high ISO, which gives a lot of grain but also gives great atmosphere and colour to the photos. I much prefer this option but it's not always viable in super low light situations if you want to capture people in sharp focus. 

Without Speedlight. ISO5000

Without Speedlight. ISO5000

Either way, both styles of photography work for me and each have their place. Ultimately i'm happy with the package of photos I was able to deliver to the client. Looking forward to more events.

If you want to book me for Parties / Events and the such then please get in touch.

Andrew