Top 3 Tips – Low Light Photography

Delkin Learning Lab- Low Light Photography- Stephen Weiss


Stephen Weiss is the President and Owner of Creve Coeur Camera (CCC), a chain of 5 camera stores in the mid-west. He not only runs the company but is one of the instructors in their School of Imaging. CCC teaches everything from basic photography to advanced Lightroom and much more. Additionally CCC and Stephen take several trips across the globe annually for extensive photographic teaching experiences. In the last few year trips have included Iceland, Costa Rica, New York, New Orleans and currently a trip is planned to Cuba.

Also Stephen has been a commercial photographer for many years and has clients such as Gateway Motorsports Park, The St. Louis Hazmat Team, Charter Communications and many local restaurants and companies.

Shooting at night, dawn and other times with low light always requires several special settings or “tools” in order to obtain the best shot.

One of my favorite shots is the sunrise and moon still in the sky over Monument Valley. This shot was taken in 2014 during a planned trip. Knowing just when the sun starts to appear and the moon is still in the sky was pivotal. It also includes lots of stars due to the proper exposures. This shot was at 4:00 in the morning and is a 3 shot composite. Shot one was long and at a high ISO to get the sunrise and pick up the light that was not visible to the naked eye. Shot two was short and metered on the moon and shot three was a small aperture f 14 to get the mountains in focus and have the silhouette effect. Then all three were layered in Photoshop for the composite.

1. Understanding aperture, shutter and ISO (the photographic triangle) is necessary to get the right exposure without blurring, light trails and making sure everything from the foreground to background is in focus.

2. Most important is timing! As a photographer getting to the exact spot at the right time is necessary.

3. The last tip is to use a tripod. The camera must be still for each shot. The moon shot was at f18 at 1/200 of a second ISO 200. The sunrise was ISO 800 f 4 for 20 seconds and the silhouette was f14 for 18 seconds ISO 200.

The camera was a Nikon D3 with the 24-120 f4.0 Nikon lens.

Having the right equipment and knowledge is always necessary to get the finest images.

Visit or call Creve Coeur Camera (314-567-3456) for more information on Stephen Weiss.



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