While artificial lighting is a huge part of photography, I continually strive to use natural light whenever possible. I enjoy the challenge of shooting in low-light conditions, which are especially present during the evening. It requires a keen understanding of lighting and your surroundings, as well as long exposures to produce a successful image. I feel when people view my results from low-light situations, they realize that what they are seeing is not just a snapshot. Photography is referred to as painting with light, and shooting during the evening, without a flash, is true to the statement.
Freezing motion, however, is much more difficult than capturing the right lighting at night. The slow shutter speeds, needed for proper exposure, blur moving subjects. While blur can make for interesting results in some cases, a sharp still image taken at night presents a greater challenge.
I found Farmers’ Market, which takes place every Thursday night, to be a great time to practice working in low-light conditions. People by the hundreds fill the streets of downtown San Luis Obispo as the sun makes way for neon. The smell of fresh, cooked barbecue and the sound of live music fill the air while people of all ages scramble to purchase locally-grown produce. The event, because of its lasting tradition, has gained San Luis Obispo national recognition and has been regarded as one of the Golden State’s great success stories.
Whether you’re after great photographs, food or music, Farmers Market has something for everybody.