Low light photography is probably one of my favorite genres or areas of photography. It has so many possibilities and you can really get something special that the eye doesn’t always notice. One easy way to try out low light photography is with the 4th of July holiday (for those here in the U.S) or on New Year’s Eve. You can of course accomplish this at any time of the year, all you really need are healthy collection of sparklers, but the opportunities during those two times of year make it quite easy.
The camera is going to record any light source you have, so the bright lights of a fireworks display or something like this sparkler above is good place to start. The only light source in the photo above is the sparkler, but notice it also is enough to light up the subject as well. You will of course need a camera, and some type of support (like a tripod) would help, but is not totally necessary. This shot above was taken hand held and the exposure was placed on the sparker itself.
If you want to try something other than the program mode or automatic settings, place your camera on the “bulb” shutter speed setting, and hold the exposure open for different amounts of time depending on what effect you want to see. The concept is very similar to photographing lightning. For a full and detailed explanation on how lightning photography is done, see How to Successfully and Safely Photograph Lightning. If you can place the camera on a sold surface or tripod it will greatly help the sharpness of the image.
Since most of us now use a digital camera, just shoot away and experiment with different settings until you get the desired results. I have created several posts on low light photography, you can also see these on my low light gallery. Any questions at all just ask.