This month we gave our Lowepro Storytellers the mission “Low Light” and looked forward to learning what that phrase meant to them.  We were not disappointed!  Below are some beautiful “Low Light” photos from some of our favorite photographers.  Enjoy! 

Photo by Luke Pearsall

“The absence of light oftentimes yields the most interesting way to accent the light that is available to an image. This image was shot in St. Peter’s Basilica, in the Vatican. I had high hopes of getting inside the church and being able to photograph all the many historic wonders that are housed there. When I entered, it was surprisingly low light. There were very few lights on and the only daylight that was coming through were the enormous windows that you see here. The lack of light allowed for those streams of light shining through to become the focus of my image and provided just enough light to enhance the textures of all the incredible artwork on the walls and ceilings. Low light is my favorite light!”

Luke Pearsall

Photo by Matthew Clark

“Early morning light over the Ironman Whistler swim course.”

Canon 5DSR
f/8, 30 second exposure, ISO 200, 20mm lens

Matthew Clark

Photo by Michael Teague

“This is an image that actually inspired an event with my son that has been long overdue. Over the weekend I took Junior out with me to hit multiple compositions. I know he was a little reluctant to go with, but he wanted to chill with pop and hit our favorite Ramen joint in DTLA so it ended up a win-win. I had wanted to roll over to The Last Book Store in downtown for the longest time and this mission was the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. I have to thank the folks at Lowepro for bringing my son and I together for an excursion that ended up time very well spent…Low Light.”

Nikon D810
Sigma ART 24 mm
ISO 1250

Michael Teague

Photo by Scott A. Woodward

“The Buddhist nuns of Ani Tsankhung in Lhasa, Tibet gather in the scripture hall for morning prayers. Located in the bustling back alleys of Lhasa’s Barkhor neighbourhood, Ani Tsankhung – Ani meaning nun and tshamkhang meaning a place for spiritual retreat – is an intimate hermitage that has occupied these sacred grounds since the 15th century. The monastery is home to around one hundred nuns who subsist on alms (money or food given as a charitable act) and revenue from selling small handicrafts they make on the premises. I made this photograph with my Nikon D810 and the ultra wide-angle 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. The light was extremely low, and the nuns were rocking back and forth ever so slightly. Since I did not have a tripod with me, I set the camera to shutter priority at 1/40 sec – which I felt comfortable hand-holding and believed would freeze the subtle movement of the women – and quietly moved around the cramped hall, documenting the divine scene as it transpired that early September morning.”

Camera = Nikon D810
Lens = Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
Shutter = 1/40 sec
Aperture = f/3.2
ISO = 800

Scott A. Woodward

Photo by Mitchel Wu

“Ant-Man vs. me!  Never one for a standard cell phone selfie, I thought I’d try to put myself into one of my images.  This time playing the bad guy going against our diminutive super hero.

This image was created in my garage.  Dimly lit garages, including parking garages, have been the scene of countless fights and mayhem on TV and in the movies (ranking just behind dark alleyways and just ahead of kitchens!).  I had the idea for this image, and an idea on how to execute it, but it was my first time trying anything like it so I was curious to see if I could nail the results.  In the end, I feel like image matched the idea in my head almost exactly.

How I shot it: My garage door has a bank of windows at the top of it, which provided the rim lighting on the top edge of my body and knife blade.  I used an off camera flash with MagMod Snoot very low to the ground and aimed at Ant-Man, which gave him his own light source and made him pop more in the image.  The snoot focuses the light in a very tight, controlled manner – without it the light would have spread all over the garage and not onto anything in particular.  The challenge with this image was the scaling between Ant-Man and myself and the surroundings.  It would be very easy to lose Ant-Man in this scene without the right lighting.  The image of me flying backwards, as if just punched hard by Ant-Man, was created by taking two shots – one with me lying on a step stool, and then one of the exact same scene minus me and the step stool.  Then it was a case of layering the two and erasing the step stool from under me.  There was a lot of trial and error in getting a pose I thought looked realistic, my neck and back didn’t appreciate it haha!”

Canon 5D Mark III
ISO 800
Canon 24-70L at f/2.8
1/100 sec
Canon 580 EXII Flash with MagMod Snoot
Shutter triggered with wireless IR shutter release

Mitchel Wu

Photo by Ryan Struck

“Shooting in low light leads to some really special moments.  I find that when the sun goes down the soft and muted hues reveal themselves quite nicely.  After driving through a blizzard to get to Maine, we arrived at an empty wave with just us out.  The sun disappeared and I reveled in sharing the stoke with my best friends.”

Canon 5d mk3
Canon 24-70mm II
ISO 800

Ryan Struck

Photo by Rachid Dahnoun

“Shooting in low light or at night is my favorite time to shoot.  It provides an opportunity to really craft the light around your scene highlighting the most important elements of your image.  In this case I did some lightpainting on Elephant Rock in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.  I visited the location earlier in the day to scout possible compositions and determine what time the Milky Way would be in a prime spot to shoot.  I returned at 3am that evening to create the final image.”

Nikon D800E
Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8
30 seconds
ISO 1600

Rachid Dahnoun

Photo by Sarah Dawson

“End of the day and I was finishing up a set of natural light headshots for a group of artists while in Paris.  The stormy sky and city lights turning on were irresistible for my last few snaps.”

iso 4000
shutter 1/30 sec
F/ 5.0

Sarah Dawson

Photo by Shawn Talbot

“I captured this photograph a couple of weeks ago in northern Norway. One of the best things about Norway in February is that there are only about seven hours of daylight. This provides for an almost full day of low sunrise/sunset light. And my favorite times to shoot, dawn and dusk, last for almost an hour.”

Shawn Talbot

Photo by Tara Shupe

“When I think of Low Light, I think of some of my favorite moments. The moments that are lit only by the blaze of a fire, a dim house light, or a night sky full of stars. I find myself pushing not only my creativity, but knowledge and camera equipment to capture my surroundings. Making low light situations not only a challenge, but the most creative!

This photo made me think of low light because when I saw this scene it was about 30 minutes after sunset and the sky was almost completely black. It was so dark under the roof where they were cooking that, even with the dim light behind them and the small cooking fire, I had somebody shine my iPhone light on their faces. I wouldn’t normally do that, but I wanted to quickly capture the scene before it changed, and in these low light situations we find resources wherever we can. Plus, I think it’s what got the cow to look at the camera!”

ISO: 320

Tara Shupe

Photo by Viktoria Haack

“I deliberately chose to shoot this image after sunset to capture the beautiful atmosphere of blue hour. The yellow of the lights contrasts with the blue of the ambient light and illuminates Ava’s face.”

Nikon D4
Nikkor 50mm 1.4 lens
ISO 640
1/200 sec

Viktoria Haack

Photo by Willow McDonough

“Low light. Just enough to reveal what’s there, but still some mystery left to keep you interested. Photo taken in a one of the many natural thermal pools in Iceland.”

Willow McDonough

Photo by Annette White

“Just the mention of Indonesia’s white-sand beaches and luminous turquoise waters triggers thoughts of the well-known hotspot, Bali. At least it did for me! But, you’ll have to venture way beyond Bali in order to explore the very remote Raja Ampat, who can definitely give Indonesia’s most popular island a serious run for its money. It took two planes, a boat, a bus and thirty hours of travel time to get this jewel, but this sunset was worth every minute of it.”

Canon EOS 6D
f4.0 ISO 125

Annette White

Photo by Arthur Ward

“I shoot a lot of sports portraits, or Sportraits as I like to call them, and a key component is manipulating the light to create tension and drama in the photograph. One simple way to do this is to put the subject’s face into shadow. Naturally our brain is hardwired to recognize faces in shapes or patterns however, if we know where a face should be but can’t distinguish it clearly we get a feeling of uneasiness and even fear, both being great components for a Sportrait!”

Lens (mm): 50
ISO: 100
Aperture: 10
Shutter: 1/250

Arthur Ward

Photo by Daisy Gilardini

“Happy Feet! Can’t stop smiling when looking at this one!

Gentoo penguin – The Neck – Saunders Island – Falkland has been shot in very low light conditions waiting for the subject to be back lit by the last beams of sunshine and under exposing in order to get rid of al the details in the shadows.”

Daisy Gilardini

Photo by Erika Skogg

“Provided with only the light from a glowing fire and a few ambient bulbs strung throughout our Moroccan camp in the Sahara, I slowed my

shutter speed down to 1/10 of a second to work with low light and let the subtle blur bring movement to the Gnawa musicians under the Saharan night sky.”

f 2.8
ISO 2000

Erika Skogg

Photo by Frank Lopez

“Low light photography is my personal favorite; it is as if you are the paintbrush of light and the world before you is your canvas. I get to choose what to bring to life with my light and my camera captures it all. ”

Camera: D810
Lens: 14mm Prime
Apeture: f/2.8
Shutter Speed: 30 Seconds

Frank Lopez

Photo by Glenn Bartley

“For many nature photographers, the game is over once the sun goes down. But I actually love heading out at night searching for nocturnal birds. Finding an owl in the middle of the jungle is always a fantastic thrill!

Here we have a Stygian Owl that I found one night in Brazil hunting for its next meal.”

If you’d like to see more owls CLICK HERE

Camera Model: Canon EOS 7D
Shutter speed: 1/60 sec
Aperture: 4
Flash: On
ISO: 800
Lens: EF600mm f/4L IS II USM

Glenn Bartley

Photo by Jeff Hinman

“Low light… everyone is going have a different view on this phrase. The way I perceive it is golden hour with those warm, soft tones layered across the earth one hour before the sun drops below the horizon. The excitement always builds as you get closer to sunset. Watching to see if that sky is going to explode with color.”

Jeff Hinman

“Where I live summer can be quite short. I built a canoe a few years ago that is pretty much just big enough for my dog and me and I try to get out in it as much as possible during the short summer season. Sometimes this means late evening missions, and this was one of the most beautiful ones of last year. It was so nice, in fact that I stayed out until I had to navigate by moonlight only. Turning my headlamp on only made my surroundings seem darker. I shot this using my headlamp for a fill light in one hand and holding my camera in the other. I don’t know how the light came out so soft but I can only assume I wasn’t actually pointing the headlamp at my dog at all.”

fuji x100s

Jordie Lepage, Topo Films

Photo by Joseph Roybal

“As a landscape photographer, low-light generally makes us think of challenging lighting conditions or opportunities lost. With today’s cameras so much is possible in these challenging and hard to shoot conditions. ISO capabilities have gone through the roof, allowing us to shoot at insanely high levels while still retaining high levels of detail. Combine this with exposure blending and working to create a natural looking scene and you have opened up an entirely new “environment” to capture gorgeous images from landscapes to portraits to events. The camera is simply our tool, and we are the artist. It is our vision that gives our images a voice.”

Nikon D800
Lens: Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8
Focal length: 32mm
Foreground: 400
Sky: 4,000
Foreground: f/6.3
Sky: f/2.8

Joseph Roybal

Photo by Karl

“I was in New York at One World Observatory enjoying the cityscape after sunset. They don’t allow tripods so I shot this hand held. Thankfully, I had my Sony A7Rii which does fantastic in low light with the SteadyShot and CMOS mirrorless sensor.”


Photo by Kathy Dyer

“Just after the sun had set behind the mountains at Donner Lake, California.”

Sony A7rii | 16-35mm | f4 | 1/400sec | ISO100

Kathy Dyer

Jessica Medina

About Jessica Medina

Jessica Medina is the WW Marketing Communications Manager for Lowepro. You can reach her at

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