Sunday, January 22, 2006

Low Light Digital Photography

Photograph Stephenie Hollyman, Copyright 2006, All Rights Reserved

With the 8-11 and higher megapixel cameras such as Canon's D-20 and the even better D-5 available light photography without a tripod is now possible in some of the lowest light situations. Stabilizers on the lens allow exposures as long as 1/20 of a second. The larger CMOS CCD's allow shots to be taken at 1600 with less noise, such as this other photo taken in Tanzania.

This was taken while I traveled for two months last Spring with WHO assistance to document malaria for my multimedia project called " Fever Zone." In Ward One in the National Hospital in Dar es Salaamm Tanzania, beds were crammed with children of malaria along with their mothers. The last thing nurses tending IV drips needed was a photographer equipped with a video camera who was also taking photographs.

I took this shot at perhaps 1/20 second, handheld, using a stabilized lens. So I pushed the ASA to 1600 and began shooting, trying to find whatever available light available to help frame my shots. The shots aren't artful but they do tell the story. WHO is using them even as we speak.

You can read more about these remarkable lenses NY Times Article on Stabilized Lenses here.

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