Low Light / Night Photography

Low Light / Night Photography


Low light photography can be a challenging technique that requires skill, patience, and planning. With a strong skill base and creative approach, Low Light photography can open a whole new world of photographic experimentation.


Oh the possibilities. Be sure to take the time necessary to explore options and develop a plan.



This quest will require real research and investigation as a major element of your process. There is much more to low light photography than simply slowing your shutter speed. Soft light, light painting, motion blur, ambience, tone and unpredictable occurrences will all impact the qualities of you image. Its your task to both understand and EXPLORE these as you develop your plan.

Project Requirements

  • Complete Process documented on a Project Page
  • Final images with Artist Statement at top of page
  • 2 finished Photographic Prints (minimum size 1800px x 2700px)
  • Suggested (not required)
    • One staged or created composition
    • One found composed image
  • Print and mount or matte one


Utilize the resources below but also do some investigation of your own, as low light photography can be as inventive and inspiring as you choose to pursue.


Low Light and Long Exposure Galleries


Web Resources Course Options (lengthy but detailed)

Access individual Chapters and individual video with link below the videos. Use this link to log into your DCL account.

Individual Videos rather than the Courses are all embedded on this extra CC Low light page.



Apply the design process while clearly and thoroughly documenting your process on a Project Page. Read the entire Quest and understand the expectation and requirements before beginning. It's part of the first stage of the design process.



  • March 10 Friday – Test Shots Practice uploaded
  • March 17 Friday – Uploads and Proofsheet due
  • March 27 Monday – Reshoots or secondary shots due
  • March 29 Wednesday – WIP Critique
  • April 5 Wednesday – Critique


Use these to guide your Design Process

Understand the Problem

  • Statement of Intent (what do you need to do for this project?):
  • Define and Clarify the Assignment and Goals (in detail):
  • State what needs to researched

Research and Investigate 

  • Resources: Use and list at least three resources
  • Document NOTES on what you NEW INFORMATION learned in your research.
  • Techniques you should consider researching:
    • High vs. Low ISO
    • Long Exposures
    • Low amounts of Ambient Light
    • Soft light sources (flames, small lights, flashlights)
    • Unique settings (concerts)
    • Astrophotography
    • Photographing lightsource vs. having lightsource become ambient light
    • Small Strobe/flash
  • PRACTICE!!! (show sample experimentation shots or a proofsheet from your practice of new skills)

Generate Ideas 

  • Inspiration: Find and document at least three images/ Three photographers that inspire your potential projects
    • Resources: Links to their sites
  • What light sources could you use? Actually list lights you might try to use
  • Brainstorm composition/subject ideas (document at least 8 different idea or subjects you could shoot for this project):
    • Use inspiration and research to drive your ideas
    • What is your source of light: found or created
    • How will you use the light
    • How could you compose the light?

Select and Develop a Solution

  • Show at least 3 sketches w/ notes of you best ideas with detailed notes
    • When
    • Where
    • What light: source, direction,intensity
    • Exposure use: Shutter speed and ISO
    • Composition: Layout, Angles
    • Who will assist you

Create your Artwork

  • Shoot and develop your images
  • Create and Upload your Proof sheets
  • Reflect on your shoot and images created:
    • State what worked and what didn’t work for the images you shot
  • Reshoot if necessary? Why or why not:

Evaluate and Reflect

  • Artist Statement:
  • Describe your composition
  • How did you create it?
  • Why did you make it the way you did?


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