Advantages of working with available light:
- You work with what you’ve got for a greater sense of realism.
- You don’t have to carry heavy lighting equipment and stands, only a monopod or tripod.
- You can shoot quickly.
- You can move freely.
- You’ll be more unobtrusive or completely hidden / This is more relaxing for the subject if he or she knows you are there.
Disadvantages of working with available light:
- You won’t get the “perfection” of studio images / you sacrifice technical “perfection”.
- You’re usually working with lower light than usual.
- Sacrifice the highlight and shadows.
- Your eyes see more than the photo will.
What you need to work with available light:
- Use a fast lens (2.8 or better)
- Use fast film or digital capture / ISO 1600 or 3200.
- Equipment can make a difference.
- Manual focus may be required.
- Get in freakin’ shape. Exercise. Use weights to build up arm strength.
- Brace yourself and/or camera. Use a wall to brace yourself, a tripod or monopod for camera.
Fast lenses – those lenses that capture a great deal of light and, therefore, allow you to shoot at as fast a shutter speed as possible.
- A “fast” lens has a larger-than-average maximum aperture (f/2.8 and greater).
- It allows you to use faster shutter speeds.
- This is why professional sports photographers use them.
- But, you’re going to pay a premium price; these things are not cheap.
- You can get away with a monopod/tripod in low light (but for action, that fast lens is a must).
Which film/digital capture speed to use?
- This depends where you are.
- If you’re shooting outdoor sports, 100 ISO is quite common.
- Indoors, don’t be afraid of ISO 1600 – it can give you a huge amount of “speed”
- Indoor theatre, 400 – 1600
- Better to have a 3200 ISO grainy image than a completely blurred ISO 400 image