Skip to main content

Taking the Fear Out Of Low Light Photography

Lesson 17 of 31

Car Garage Shoot: Under the Hood


Taking the Fear Out Of Low Light Photography

Lesson 17 of 31

Car Garage Shoot: Under the Hood


Lesson Info

Car Garage Shoot: Under the Hood

Now we're going to see another appreciate just tell folks about it, yeah, way wanted to a garage and this was a tough situation because there was just small windows up top, we kept the garage doors closed, and what we started to shoot off with was one of the hardest things you could think of. I just want you to have one light hanging on the top of the car inside the car, and then we're going to figure out what to do from there. We went through with the d for us a little bit, but we spent a lot of time with the d thirty three hundred and trying to make that work on. We did make it work. I mean, this is really a low light situation. Everything that we've done has been low light, but this is let's turn off the lights in the garage and deal with just one cfl hanging underneath the hood to try to get great images, and I love it. I was just looking at some of the images on jared's computer, you are in for a treat, so we got to play the video. Well, I have a treat I'm meeting some eminem's ri...

ght now, not actually while we're speaking, but I gave myself a treat of a couple of eminem's, but here. Keep in mind we're going to come back and critique some of the images after I may edit tweak some if possible I know people like seeing that but again it's not about the editing it's more about getting the settings right and getting that type of thing but I want you guys to have questions get them in there so ruskin have it so that after it bring him back will rapid fire them so that we can get some more knowledge out into the world love it all right take it away let's play the video another location now we're in a garage our goal is to have a grease monkey jason he's been so gracious to allow us to come into his garage and what we have in here are a ton of different cars including an edsal which he's leaning up against right now that is kind of a cool looking car but we won't get into talking too much about I don't know much about cars but I do know there's a lot of details to capture so my mindset and coming into this low life situation is what we've got these garage doors which we have closed because we don't want to let in too much bright light because we want to play with it we want to play with this game we don't play the low light game we've got overhead four forty twenty four footers air in each one of those or those just reflectors their reflectors? Well, six, two, six, four foot fluorescents! Unbelievable. So we'll be using those tunes will turn them off. We'll leave them on. Of course, that will play with the lighting in terms of the white balance, but I'm not going to worry about that too much. We've got to go under the hood of a car. We have seat one cfl that's going to be on just what we call those lights drop lights, we have a drop light that will put under the hood, so we'll kill all the lights in this area, just focusing on one light when jason's underneath the hood and maybe we'll roll ourselves underneath the car just to get underneath the car. I mean, why not? So that's what we're thinking a couple different scenarios, I'm starting with the d six ten right now I will switch over to the d thirty three hundred and I'm probably going to break out the deforest this time because I have a lot of different ideas that I want to get through and again, all of the settings end up being the same whether to d four as to a d thirty three hundred two a d six tend to a cannon to it to a pen text on olympus the fundamentals are the fundamentals, so you'll hear me talk about that here but then showing what we're doing is the most important thing I like to get those settings locked in like we talked about when we were over at the crossfit gym and just get to shooting so it's a couple of different ideas we're going to hear, and I guess now it's time to figure out what the heck we're going to do because I still don't have any idea, so we actually do it. You get jason so just looking around this area, we've got all of these license plates up here, a lot of different license plates that tells a story, there's details stuff to look at, we've got this pickle, which I hear is really important on annette sel there's only eighty eight of these cars left and they go do they go eighty eight miles an hour, eighty eight miles an hour that's right where we're going, we don't need roads, so there's a lot of detail stuff here, getting in the car, I didn't bring a macro lens, not everybody has a macro lens, so how are we going to accomplish shots that are kind of close, focusing? We're going to see how to do that, and I'm thinking the d thirty three hundred with a thirty five one point eight is a good way to go for that we've got the underneath the car figure out what we do when we get down there we've got over the car we've got portrait of jason, but just because we're here doesn't mean we always need to use jason in the photo but he's standing here in a section of these like hey let's, take a picture of me and I see all the stuff on the background I mean, this is a functioning garage he fixes these cars so having things in the background they all seem to belong it's not like there's a barbie in the bed is there barbie in the background? There's no barbie in the background to be distracting from what we're doing eso let's just think let's just think I want I want to start with the drop light underneath. I do let's kill the lights. All right, so we dropped the lights off and obviously the camera people have to change their lighting to to get the low light situation ready. I want to start here because I think it's gonna be cool to get pictures of jason underneath here with one drop light. This is extreme low light situations. We only have a little bit of daylight coming in through these frosted pieces of glass that air up here in the garage and it's going to make for us to figure out what the heck we need to do first things first we gotta figure out I s so is we got to figure out all the settings where the lights going to be in conjunction the jason I'm just saying, do you have any wrenches? Do you have any tools that you would use in here? Whatever tools you have that you normally do, so my focus is going to be jason here, because if the backgrounds going to be all dark and this is going to be brighter, this is just the light we're going to probably have to expose for ah and that's not going to allow for a lot of stuff going on in the background, is it? Is it when you alligator clips? Is it red to black or black to red? Exactly, yeah, you don't want to mess that up, so what I'm gonna have you do is probably gonna have you leaning in like you would normally lean in and do, um, you know, wherever you my whole thing, my whole thing was shooting a model, especially. I mean, this is more set up than I'm used to do, but this is an assignment that you may be sent out on to do for, say, a magazine or a local newspaper, this is something they may say, hey, go to the go to this garage and get these shots for an article I like to let the subjects do what they normally do I don't like to set things up too much I just more of the photo journalistic style which is just roll with the punches see what it looks like and just go with it that's that's it uh so that's gonna light up there and I gotta concentrate on what the face is going to do no all right so why don't we focus in on this area right around here is there even anything the wrench up there so I don't know where I'm going to start with settings but I sa wise I mean that lights pretty bright I may need to play around with it a little bit started say thirty two hundred s o f three five and I'm just going to guess settings I don't know even gonna look at my meter should I look at my meter now that I say it I should look at my meter and I even close probably not because it's reading for this bright light again it's going to read for this light I don't kind of wanted to read for that light so that's why I'm going to look for it can you lean down a little more we got that cable and let's see can I move this it's just a matter of figuring it out I'm going to try and bounce the light a little bit yeah that could work that could work just saying it could doesn't mean it will. You're right, it doesn't want to stay where you want it to stand. There we go, stay all right, good. So I'm just trying to get some bounce of this light. We're going to bounce it off of here, so that fills in his face because before it was pointing this way, which wasn't going to give us anything good. Um ah, that looks cool, actually, just just hold it. I'm just going to get a test shot here just to see what we have. My meter is pretty close. I don't think I think it's actually it's not bad for a first shot. I like the light that that we could work with my exposure. Somebody knew what they were doing right here. It's pretty good. The only thing I didn't have on I'm still in continuous from the less you we did. Now I'm going to the single. So, jason, what I need you to dio is that just look towards me. You see how much of that in there so let's? See, we may be a little on the bright side because he's mr brightside. Bump up my shutter speed remember when I talked about that earlier in the one shoot in this case he's a little on the bright side so I'm just changing my shutter speed by bumping that up a little bit going from two hundredth of a second we're going to four hundredth of a second one stop and that's what I'm doing on I'm deciding whether I want this light in there or I don't want the light in there so right now I'm just feeling out the chute I'll do a little wire because we get the car in there boom that's some cool lighting limit jason I'm going to show you what I've got just what you get a feel for what we're doing you see that see how we're bouncing the light off of here and it's nice soft glow but you're nice and sharp so that's what we're going for I like to show the subjects what we're doing it gives them they now see what you're what you're capturing so that they're not just saying oh well what's this guy getting does he know what he's talking about is a terrible so it's it's about the report you have with your subjects you feel it out you show them what you're doing is just so they're like oh snap I look great because jason looks great and that is and that just helps them pose and do everything better um yeah let's let's just work with this for a minute because I love the light bouncing off to there and that's great like the little reflection to the right of your eye I love the glow yeah that's it looked look eyes straight like you were just doing right over to there now graham the tool let's do the tools let's work with with something show me what you would generally be doing yeah let's do that because I got to get a feel for all right so I I am working in a tight area here I have to figure out where I need to be I may want to switch to the seventy two, two hundred to do something like this all right look right up with me for a minute while you're doing it so in here I have the detail of what he's doing I got the uh the wrench I have the light and everything let's keep going here we go boom boom I'm coming up a little higher getting my angle higher I like low angles but this is even stronger because we see what he's working on I like that the eyes that you have right there great that's really cool let me let me walk around to show you guys real quick what we're doing you see that and that was almost my original setting. The only thing ended up changing right away was my was my shutter speed because everything seemed to just work right off the bat just guessing what we were doing and you see that I'm not spending terribly too much time fidgeting with the settings were focusing on getting the report with jason here and I mean this is a low light situation with just this one light right here you get it right you can just focus on shooting because that's what it's all about shooting um all right let's ah let's keep doing that and I just I like to review the images so that I can see what I'm doing right what I'm doing wrong getting the ideas I like that I was able to stand up I'm going to show you real quick you see how we don't see much of what you're working on but then when I get a higher angle we now can show more of what we're working on and that way it shows more of it and it's more detail oriented because the point is he's working on a car you want to see the wrench you want to see the battery you want to see what he's doing that's why we're moving in on that all right um keep going uh yeah we're going to say anything I want to work on I gotta work on some portrait ce switching the lens out I got eighteen million lenses here and I don't have the uh huh I'm going to do something, and I'm going to explain why there is a fish eye and I have the fish eye in my arsenal, it's one of those lenses that you want to be very careful with when you're using aa lot of people get a fish islands and think they need to shoot everything with the fish eye that becomes really repetitive and the photos end up looking terrible but is part of a photo story. You have the tight shots, you have the wide shot you put in a couple of fish, I shots, they're going to look good and it's just going to give you a wider shot of under here with the car to make it look better and lean in a little more. There you go, actually a little further back there go the head up like that, but cheated yet cheated where you're sort of looking at me. Yeah, that's, great, actually that's really cool switch that there. You're right at me this time change my angle right now, you're focusing down because I don't want your eyes coming up too high and boom, we get that nice glow here. I'll show you see that see the difference there and what's cool about this light, you may think that it's out of place but it's it's meant to be there so there's no reason not to have it in there it's is anybody have questions? Question yeah, this is regards to composition when you talk about doing the whole photo, you know story are you are you trying to do the rule third you mixing it up you're you're pushing everything, you know, pushing the boundaries of it or when it comes to the composition wise, I'm I am very composition focused, it's one of the things that's always in the back of my mind when I'm shooting, I'm always looking like I threw him off on the side here that people could see it pop up on the screen I threw him off on to the side for the rule of thirds because it just it just felt right seeing the proper composition is obviously to take some time to do that, but you know the difference between saying let's let's show you if I was to put him right in the middle here go ahead let's do this again, all right? It can work, but I'm just gonna come over here and I'm going to show you the two differences you've got something like this right in the middle and then something like this in the rule of thirds you see just just how it works much better because here there's too much dead space on the right side we see the edsel and that's not the focus off what we're working on right now so compositionally with like the fish eyed same thing rule of thirds apply you have your leading lines you have you're out of focus areas to help you bring your focus in like we did over at the last shoot at thea the crossfit gym where we had the tire out of focus but the person and it's stuff like that that helps you drawl into the situation that answer that any others while we're here keep shooting keep shooting all right let's keep shooting um we'll get under the card some point but look we have this stuff I'm going to switch leads us to a tighter t seventy two two hundred because we have the fish I shot I'm not overdoing it I don't want to overdo that lens because it just becomes well overdone for lack of a better word so I want to focus in on getting them I don't know what I want to focus in on let's see we've got the tools right here I have an idea so what I'm going to do and this is just I'm gonna work on having the tools in focus and then jason's going to be out of focus so I'm gonna work on getting I'm going to go to two point eight because I want to get the background is out of focus is possible I'm going to shoot at the as I don't have much room to shoot here, you can see the cars don't have a lot of place to squeeze in my goal with helping the blow the background out of focus or have jason out of focus here would be to shoot at the two hundred range a little bit more because when you shoot it, the further range you're going compress the background more so I'm going to focus in on ah, good thing I'm I could squeeze between when I got the mic over there, I'll turn this way, let's see to get everything right, jason so this time I need you to lean in more like you're reaching down into the car for something more esso and then I would like your face to be up a little like that, but how much lower can you get? You can cheat it like you don't have to actually make it seem like you're doing something. There you go, you're leaning in looking close, perfect eyes right to here. I don't think that's going to work too well, it works, but it's not what I was looking for, so that happens. You have ideas of shots and think that they're gonna work if they don't work, they don't work, you have to figure out the next thing I don't always say, hey, that didn't work because the subject may be thrown off a little bit, but what I'd like to see I would like you to reach here to grab something you're going to hold, you're going to hit you and have your hand here and that's what I'm going to try to focus in on also there's less light here than there was on his face, so I'm going to have to compensate I'm going to in this case dropped my shutter speed down a little bit to compensate for the loss of light right here, but my goal now is to get his hands in detail with his face out or in there somewhere. All right, I need youto lean in as much as possible and down a little more. I know it may be a little awkward when we got that that's actually pretty cool to see that, and that works well for what we're going for. Now I'm going to focus in on just your hands right here because I'm here so you can relax your face and all, but we already have the settings for this this is where a macro lens would come in handy, but that's not what we have also keep in mind in low light situations focusing becomes much more difficult there are ways that we can cheat to focus we can use a laser pointer on his fingers if we had one just to get focused right, we could use a light from an iphone to help get the focus and lock it in but I think we should be pretty good here with what we have to move the bag and we also have to look for that court in the background do we see that cord coming out and you want to make sure that it's not too distracting from the image and I don't think it is too distracting, but I could always move this way and the court may be a little less that's a little more actually. So right here I'm focusing on the wrench as much as possible because it's dark the wrenches right here should focus should is the opportune weren those are cool with the wrench nice and and focus all right um so now I'd like to movie to the front of the car let's see you if you just lean sit can you sit on that? Is that okay? Right in the middle unless there's a big knob sticking up and you don't want to sit on that because that that may not go over too well can we get some lights on in here? How about just let's get the front lights on as much as possible and let's turn the back ones off because this could be cool we've got we've got this glow thing coming in behind him and we've got the front light coming in here so now we need to figure out settings wise what we're going to dio let's just try with settings we haven't see what happens a little too bright because now we have more light on so in this case I like being a two hundred two point eight so I'm going to drop my eyes so let's bump it down let's go to six hundred one stop right here jason boom and much better and that this this will be great in color this week pretty good in black and white you guys see what's going on here we see the extra glow around the background on the on the inside of the hood we have the composition here's what I didn't want to dio I like showing you guys a little bit of the if I was that I'm focusing right on his eyes in that photo right there I cut off the side of the car that doesn't work so that's why I'm watching my framing and making sure that on both sides I have everything in there so that you can see it I think that's a really cool portrait of him working on just this car the other cars aren't even in there even though we've got seventeen cars in this garage that still looks great, right? I'm going to show you real quick, jason, check it out. Is that something you would hang up in here? Well, from the looks of the late great think they look great lakes, especially with the knees, with all the grease on him, so we'll stay up higher, cross your arms? Yeah, and I'm just moving myself tio we'll go horizontal here, those are cool too still in the frame. Much better note no, none of the small legs, so let me let me ask you a question, maybe I'm going to ask question, I'm just going to tell you something I don't personally crop cropping is not the thing that I like to do in the camera at all. I like to do it in the camera, meaning I get closer I filled the frame, the reason I don't crop and here's the thing that people why you may be afraid of low light photography is that you may cross your exposure could be wrong, and then you go ahead and crop the image because you didn't fill the frame enough, which is going to make the pixels even larger, and it makes the noise and the grain larger and it's gonna make you think that all my camera socks it's not it's, not the camera ninety nine point nine percent of the time it's not the cameras fault it's human error I make mistakes, you make mistakes, but but really, when it comes to cropping, try to fill the frame as much as possible. In a situation like this, you have time to shoot a wide a medium and a tight and decide what works best for you. If you feel that you need to crop there's, nothing wrong with doing it, that all becomes personal preference. I personally don't do it because I don't want to get stuck in a rut of second guessing every composition that I shoot, but when you're starting out, or you're just trying to figure out the best composition, what you can do in the computer, you could sit there and you could crop it, and you can learn from the crop for the next time. Oh, I could have done this, or I should have done that. Just think of the world as if it's a frame every time you're looking at it, questions. So you mentioned in the low light situations that it makes it difficult more difficult for the camera to auto focus when you try to focus in on something that's in the low light area, is is there an exercise that you can do or one of things you could do, you could try to use the cross focus points, the ones like the center one is going to probably going to be one of the easier ones to get focus because of the cross type sensors that's where you get most of the data being read so it can it can better focus there. You can get in the manual focus if you're good at that, I'm not good in manually focused because my eyes are sharp, so I have trouble doing that, so I try to lock my focus as best as possible, and this is a low light situation. But it's, just one of those things you have to either shine some extra light in there, have somebody point a laser pointer if they can or if you can, they can hold you can literally have them hold a phone there, focus it, put their phone back in their pocket so basically they turn the phone on. You focus basically on the same plane, that's bright. So you're gonna lock your focus on that and then you're able to start taking those pictures so it's just one of those things that is going to be different, depending on how much light you have, you just have to feel it out.

Class Description

Lots of things worth shooting don’t happen under studio lights. You have to learn to use the light you have if you want to take fantastic photographs in low-light situations. Join photographer Jared Polin, the Fro from, for a review of what it takes to capture stunning images in low light.

In this course, you’ll learn how to read and work with the light in any situation and master the basics of low light photography. Jared will show you how to troubleshoot on the fly to get proper exposure and the perfect image, every time. You’ll develop the skills needed to walk into any lighting situation and know exactly what to do. Jared will take you out on location and show you just how far you can push your camera’s ISO and you’ll master techniques you can use to photograph moving bodies, tight spaces, dark halls, live concerts while managing noise and grain. You’ll also get insight on the post-production process that works best for low light photography.

This hands-on course is an essential experience for beginner photographers seeking to confidently approach any low-lighting situation. You’ll learn how to take awesome photos under low-light and in the real world.


Rusty Shinault

I'm a huge fan of Jared Polin; love his humorous and relaxed style of teaching. I love that he's passionate about photography, and that he is willing to share his experiences, opinions, and knowledge. I really enjoy Creative Live classes, and really enjoyed watching Jared teach in front of a live class. Hope to see more of Jared teaching on your platform.

user cf5d2d

Jared did not disappoint! He shared his knowledge of composition, exposure, and capturing the moment - all while engaging his audience and keeping things light and fun. I absolutely LOVE when how he sets up his equipment so that we can see each snapshot he takes, and then tells us why it's a good shot or why it's not a keeper. It's so easy to learn that way. I'm a second grade teacher (a.k.a. an educator) who, thanks to Jared can call myself a photographer. Jared is a photographer who is also a great educator!

a Creativelive Student

I've seen a few CreativeLive sessions and this was one of the best. It was very unique and engaging I liked the onsite shooting and review and critique. I have done teaching and I know how hard it is to teach WHILE you are doing and I think Jared did a great job of balancing that. I'm quite familiar with his FroKnowsPhoto podcast and website so I knew what to expect and both HE and CreativeLive EXCEEDED my expectations. Thanks much also for letting him use use studio for Raw Talk on the Road (my suggested name for it), I could see a real opportunity for CL to provide access to their facilities for others wanting to record training, etc.

Explore More Free Classes


Enjoy the free classes? Get 2000+ more Classes and watch it anytime, anywhere.

Get The Pass