Don't be afraid of (taking pictures in) the dark!

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

True or false: Today's cameras don't need to capture much light to take a good low-light photo.

Photography is, by definition, capturing light to record an image onto some medium, whether it's film or digital media. While modern cameras may have better lenses and sensors than their predecessors, they still need to capture a sufficient amount of light when taking a good low-light photo.

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Which of the following challenges in digital photography is associated with using a high ISO?

In digital photography, noise is the term used to describe tiny bright and dark color variations which can make parts of the photo look dusty or grainy. Photographers can fix noise with software during post-processing, though they might lose some intricate details. You should balance the higher ISO needed for low lighting conditions with your need for a clean, detailed photo.

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Which of these is an inexpensive way to diffuse the light from a camera flash?

Flash can create hard edges and shadows. To diffuse the flash and create more dimension, you can have the flash bounce off the opposite wall or the ceiling, or you can cover the flash with a couple of layers of facial tissue.

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In which situation should you find a light source for your photos other than the camera flash?

Use tact with your camera flash. People can be annoyed or distracted by the sound and brightness of flash photography. Find other alternatives to using flash, particularly when it could potentially irritate other people.

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True or false: Even in digital photography, colors will turn out different based on the lighting source.

The color of the light your camera captures changes based on the source of that light. Cloudy skies and fluorescent bulbs produce cooler bluish tints, for example, while candlelight and incandescent bulbs create a warm red-orange glow. Camera features like white balance and color correct can help you capture truer colors in spite of the lighting conditions.

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Which of the following lens f-stop values works best for low-light photography?

The lower the f number in the f-stop value, the higher the aperture, or focal length. This means that the lens opens wider to let in more light.

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Which of the following is sacrified when using a lens with a high aperture?

Depth of field (DOF) refers to how much of the photo will be in focus. When using a high aperture in low-light photography, less of the photo will be in focus, resulting in a lower DOF.

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True or false: Manual white balance for cameras requires you to teach the camera what color is white.

If you decide to adjust your camera's white balance manually (so that it can correct to true colors while capturing the light), you have to follow the camera's instructions for photographing a white object and telling the camera "this is white."

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What advantage does a monopod have over a tripod?

Both a monopod and tripod can stabilize your camera for a single shot. The monopod allows freedom to move quickly to a new position between shots, though, while the tripod offers a consistent position for multiple shots.

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What's the primary job of digital stabilization in cameras?

Stabilization gives a small amount of correction to counter normal shakiness in your hands when holding the camera.

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True or false: In film cameras, choose the lowest ISO number possible for taking low-light photos.

Film ISO values of 100 and 200 are better than 800 and 1600 for low-light photos. This is the opposite of digital ISO values, which refer to the sensitivity of the sensor. In digital cameras, the higher ISO, the better in low lighting conditions.

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If you decide to use presets for adjusting colors in low light, what's the typical way these presets are labeled?

Presets for color correct usually involve selecting the lighting source in the photograph. This might include tungsten (incandescent) light, fluorescent light and clouded daylight.

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What's one reason you might not want to adjust the white balance for a photo?

In some cases, you might prefer the artistic effect of the colors that the camera captures, like the red-orange glow of candlelight on a person's face or the bluish hues of a shaded park bench.

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When taking low-light photographs with a high aperture, which of the following scenarios presents the greatest challenge?

The higher aperture means a lower depth of field (DOF). This means less of the photo can be in focus. If you have a single object at a fixed distance from the camera, the low DOF may not be an issue. On the other hand, you're challenged to select which object to focus on when you have different objects at different distances from the camera all within the same photo.

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How do photographers correct noise in digital photos?

Post-processing photos can be a time-consuming task. Photographers should practice with their equipment to get a good sense of which ISO settings to use in which situations in order to keep noise to a minimum.

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If you're planning to do a lot of low-light photography, which of the following purchases should you consider?

A wide aperture means that the lens can open wide and let in a lot of light. This is ideal for low-light photography.

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Which of the following is an inexpensive way to avoid using a flash and still get great low-light photos?

Sometimes the simplest solution is just adjusting the lighting you already have. Turn on or move lamps in a room, for example, to light faces or objects you want to photograph. While the tripod and remote control can help steady the camera for low-light shots, they'll cost you extra.

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True or false: Burst mode is a great way to get steady shots in low light.

Burst mode is a popular term describing a continuous shooting mode for a camera. This means you can hold down the shutter button to take several photos in succession rather than a single shot. The camera will likely pause after four or five to save what you've taken. Though this mode is more typically used in high-speed photography, it can also produce stable shots in low light. Part of the shaking of your hand comes from pressing the shutter button, which will only reveal itself in one or two of the successive shots. The remaining shots will be more steady and, thus, come out clearer than the single shot taken on its own.

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True or false: You can never capture too much light when it comes to low-light photography.

Photography is all about capturing light. At some point, it IS possible to capture too much light in a photo, even in low-light conditions. Experience with your camera will help you determine when you risk underexposing or overexposing a shot.

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Which of the following is a correct list of camera and lense settings for low-light digital photography?

If you decide to make manual adjustments on your camera to perfect your low-light digital photography, start by selecting a high ISO, and ensure you select the highest aperture (lowest f number in the f-stop value) for your lens.

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Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

When the lights are down, are your camera skills up to the task? Test your knowledge of low light photography with our quiz.

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