Spring time is the perfect time for photography; that’s why it’s essential for new and even experienced photographers to know how to set up a composition.

Shooting in low light situations can be a challenge, but, rest assured, with a little practice your shots will turn out great.

In the last issue, I covered the basics of using a DSLR camera in manual mode. This issue we are going to cover setting up a proper composition and how to get the right lighting for a low light image.

When considering composition, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What kind of setting/ location am I going to shoot?
  2. What time of day is best for the image I want to take?
  3. What is the first thing that goes through my head when deciding what is the best way to set up a shot?
  4. How far away is the subject?
  5. Do I need to adjust the depth of field closer to or farthest away?


Things to consider:

Location: Your location can be one of the most critical things to consider; this can either make or break your image.

  Light / Darkness: In low light situations, you want to use a separate light source to get the best composition for the best results. In some situations, where this is not possible, you can turn up the ISO setting but stay within 800 to 1600, otherwise your image will look grainy.

The best time of day to shoot is early in the mourning just right before dawn or right before the sun goes down at the end of the day.

Shutter Speed: If you’re shooting a concert, the shutter speed needs to be within a 1/30 to 1/60 stop. This allows you to snap the shot where it freezes the frame. Experiment with this technique. It also really depends on the style of the photographer; some like to have those over-exposed shots with some movement to show the viewer a new perspective.

    Landscape / Portrait: This is the orientation of the image. Portrait is often used when taking close up shots of a subject. Landscape is often used when the subject is farther away. It’s up to the photographers to decide which technique best suits their needs.

Rule of Thirds: The rule of thirds allows the photographer to evenly distribute the length of the frame to get a proportional image without compromising image quality. Mentally divide the viewfinder into horizontal and vertical thirds, and put the focal point of what you’re photographing on any point where the lines intersect.  If you’re photographing a person or animal, leave space for the person or animal to gaze out.