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Night and Low-Light Photography Photo Workshop Paperback – December 27, 2011

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Editorial Reviews Review

From the Author: Sample Photos

Fireworks (Click on image to zoom)
Most of the time when shooting fireworks, the subject is the fireworks themselves but for this photo I tried to concentrate on the boats in the bay that were there to see the fireworks. To time the photographs, I had the camera locked into a tripod and used a cable release with the camera set to bulb mode so that the shutter stayed open as long as I held the button on the release. Taken at 2.7 seconds, f/16 and ISO 400
Ferris Wheel (Click on photo to zoom)
This photograph is of a ferris wheel in motion and the pattern is actually made up of the light trails as the wheel turns. This was taken using a 3 second shutter speed to give the wheel time to move enough to get a good pattern. I zoomed in very close so that the image was more abstract, and to me, more interesting. Taken at 3 seconds, f/22 and ISO 200
Dave Navarro (Click on photo to zoom)
Photographing concerts can be really tough. To freeze the action in the low light, a shutter speed of 1/160 second was used along with a wide aperture of f/2.8 and the ISO was pushed all the way to ISO 2500. I waited until the light was at it’s brightest, then took a quick series of shots with this frame being the best of the three. Taken at 1/160 second, f/2.8 and ISO 2500

From the Back Cover

Minimal light. Maximum magic. Master low-light photography

Star trails. City lights. Fireworks. The winning touchdown under the lights. To preserve these images, you must learn to manage light and exposure. This book explores lighting basics, exposure settings, and useful accessories,helping you take advantage of various low-light situations. Experiment with low-light portraits, freezing the action at an outdoor event, capturing the moon and stars, or creating artistic images with moving lights, then get feedback on your work at

  • Photograph people in low-light situations, create unique cityscapes, and explore light painting

  • Understand white balance and the color of light

  • Capture the magic and mystery of a nighttime landscape

  • Preserve the beauty of the night sky

  • Use image editing software to reduce digital noise and get the most from your images


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118138228
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118138229
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alan Hess is a San Diego-based commercial photographer specializing in concert and live-event photography. He has photographed hundreds of concerts three songs at a time. From small club shows to big arenas, Alan enjoys the fast pace of shooting on the fly, the rush of the house lights going down, and the drive to capture the "show" in the images of first three songs. 

The wide variety of bands that Alan has shot include: Billy Idol, Black Eyed Peas, Bob Weir and RatDog, Bruce Hornsby, Bullet for my Valentine, Citizen Cope, The Dead, Death Cab for Cutie, Derek Trucks Band, The Grateful Dead, Jackie Greene, John Legend, Marilyn Manson, Mickey Hart Band, Robin Williams, Slayer, The Smashing Pumpkins, Steel Pulse, Widespread Panic, and Willie Nelson.

Alan's work has been published online and in print in the following,,,,,,, Poughkeepsie Journal, Mill Valley Herald,,,, Photoshop User, Ranch & Coast Magazine,,, Relix Magazine and Vintage Guitar Magazine. His images have been used for various CDs and other promotional work.

Alan is currently the house photographer for a large concert venue in Southern California and when he isn't out shooting concerts, he is writing photography books.

He is the author of the best selling "Exposure Digital Field Guide" and "Composition Digital Field Guide", and has written two books on Sony DSLRs the "Sony Alpha A700 Digital Field Guide," and the "Sony Alpha A200 Digital Field Guide." Alan is also the Author of the iPad Fully Loaded series and theNight an dLow Light Photography Photo Workshop all for Wiley Publishing. Alan has contributed to Photoshop User magazine and is a key contributor to the website.

Alan a regular blog at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Blaise J. Jackson on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is jam packed with information for every experience level photographer. The beginner information regarding ISO, shutter speed and aperture is concisely explained and easy to understand, yet not boring to read. The advanced information is detailed and practical, it includes suggestions for gear. lens choices, light temperature and gel coverings for light.
The book is also packed with example images on every page. In many cases right and wrong examples are shown side by side. ISO, shutter speed and aperture are listed for every image. Lighting details are included where applicable. I learned a lot just from examining the examples. I also got a lot of ideas of places and things to photograph.
This book is really for any photographer looking to improve their skills, not just those of us who love to shoot in low light situations. The truth is, that the challenges of low light photography are present in almost every photographic scenario. This book helps you understand how your camera sees light. Understanding this and knowing what your photographic goals are before you start shooting will greatly improve your photography in every instance, not just the night and low light settings.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are many books available dealing with night and low light photography, but not a lot of them are available in Kindle format. As a hobby photographer now inching up the learning curve, I prefer to keep my photo guides close at hand, so this Kindle edition was the obvious choice. Unfortunately, I have the original Kindle, so the big drawback is that the numerous photographic examples can only be viewed in color if I use the Kindle app for the iPad2. Fortunately, I can do this quite easily, and once I've seen the example in color and grasped the context, it no longer is a problem.

I like the way the information is presented in very simple language, and the workshop format encourages you to practice the techniques learned in each section. You then have the option of uploading your best efforts to a website where it is shared with a community of photographers for comments and feedback.

The first chapter provides an overview of the basics of night and low light photography, and the different scenarios for finding subjects to photograph. The second deals with light and exposure, the third with gear, and then you get to the fun stuff, as the author guides you step by step through your options for capturing people and places; weddings, concerts and events; sports; night skies, star trails and fireworks; city lights; light painting and landscapes. Finally, he includes a section on digital post production to help you fix some of the stuff you messed up in the field.

This is a most helpful and informative book for anyone looking to improve their photography techniques in low light situations.

Amanda Richards, December 13, 2011
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By 512Photoz on December 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the first photography book that I have actually read start to finish without putting it down for a few weeks. The instruction and level of detail to learn low light photography is amazing. The assignments at the end of each chapter is an added bonus. This assignment gets the photographer to practice what they have learned during that chapter. The best way to remember something after you read it is to put it in action. From chapter to chapter this book covers the equipment, techniques and tricks to be successful with those very difficult low light photography moments. The images used in the book keep your attention from start to finish. The concert section in the book is truly a treasure for those music fans! The best part about the print edition is now i have somewhere to scribble and make notes when I am trying out my new shots.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A. Brink VINE VOICE on May 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is well put together and has much of the information you will need to do low light photography. I enjoyed the book and appreciated the assignments at the end of each chapter. You are invited to upload your assignments to a very nice site with a lot of ads and more information. I loved that the author talked about prime and zoom lenses as I rarely see that in these kinds of books. This is one of those topics that was never explained to me well in my formal training and was knowledge it that ended up being essential to me.

One thing I realized while reading it was that no matter how many books on photography I have read, none seem to talk about the basic things one wonders when first getting into photography.
Just FYI Here are things I was always wanting to know that no one ever answered directly or clearly enough before:
Do I have to spend thousands of dollars to easily take amazing photos in low light situations : the answer is Yes. In order for you to take photos of moving people and moving things in low light situations and keep it sharp, you need an expensive lens with a very fast f Stop. Often you are paying for exactly that in the price of a lens too.
Do I need to spend a lot for great quality flash photography? Yes
In order take flash photography well you need to invest in not only a good flash that has swivel abilities and some type of diffuser but also one that will accept a battery pack and a rechargeable one at that. Anyone who has done digital photography with a cheaper flash and regular batteries knows it is like feeding peanuts to an elephant. Far before you think it's possible, you have run out and need many more to make sure the task is completed well.
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