arrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upchevron-upchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upclosecomment-newemail-newgallerygridheadphones-newheart-filledheart-openmap-geolocatormap-pushpinArtboard 1Artboard 1Artboard 1minusng-borderpauseplayplusreplayscreenArtboard 1sharefacebookgithubArtboard 1Artboard 1linkedinlinkedin_inpinterestpinterest_psnapchatsnapchat_2tumblrtwittervimeovinewhatsappspeakerstar-filledstar-openzoom-in-newzoom-out-new

Low Light

  • 0

Published Dec 2, 2015 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 29 Contributors

    29 photos selected by

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    el mundo de la luz, de las llamas, del fuego, de los reflejos de todo lo que ilumina y alumbra en...

    #december #duvanchophoto #ligth #duvanchow_1 #juegosartificiales #luz #juegospiroctenicos_1

    Wow—what a hard assignment to curate! The Your Shot community pulled out all the stops for the Low Light assignment. I saw lots of really great frames, and getting the submissions down to the final pictures was very difficult. I feel like people really pushed themselves—and their cameras—to see into the night. The pictures just kept coming in and getting better and better.

    Editing this story, I learned just how many of you are venturing out after dark to make images. It also gave me an appreciation for what cameras can do. The darkness no longer presents an impenetrable barrier to photographers; it is now an opportunity!

    For me, the editing process is pretty straightforward. I work through the images and select anything that makes an emotional connection for me. From those selections, I start to narrow things down to create the story. I was trying to achieve a balance of subjects and themes. 

    This photograph was taken on Festival Day chickened Amitabha.

    #festival #relegion #buddism #ligting #pagoda #monkey

    Editor's Note

    Beautiful lighting in this night ceremony image.

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    My sonnie and me slept in shifts,so that we would not miss the arrival of Northern Lights.This pi...

    Editor's Note

    The Aurora is such a fleeting and mysterious thing. It is captured here wonderfully

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    that night i went out to photograph the northern lights with my friend when i got to the place i ...

    #man #night #star #stars #water #iceland #moon #pepole #fall

    Editor's Note

    Love how the photographer has used a long exposure at night to reveal a different view of this waterfall.

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    Lee's White Leopard Kung Fu School performed for the Crow Museum of Asian Art at the Aurora Festi...

    #liondance #kungfu #fallfestival #lightupthenight #asianculture

    Editor's Note

    The delight in the child's face is so lovely. She carries the photo

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    freediving in a school of barracudas in Malpelo Island, off the coast of Colombia!

    #barracuda #freedive #fish #malpelo #freediving #freediver #shark

    Editor's Note

    I love this image and the way that the fish seem to be flowing out of the diver. Underwater is one of the hardest places to shoot and the light falls off quickly.

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    Dubai seemingly floating in the mist rolling in from the sea. Having to shoot handheld I needed t...

    #lowlight #dubai #arab #buildings #burj_al_khalifa #uae #mist #fog

    Editor's Note

    The fog and night time make this images so mysterious. Great mood!

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    A boy feel the rain .

    Editor's Note

    This image makes me want to know so much more. Who is this, what's he doing? Is it despair or joy? the questions the image leaves me with makes the image great

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    A Monk lighting Varanasi ghat during Dev Dipawali

    #diwali #devdipawalivaranasi #people

    Editor's Note

    The candles surrounding the monk encapsulate and illuminate him. The mood of this image is just so warm and fantastic.

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    A couple releases their lantern into the night sky at the Lantern Fest on Aug. 29, 2015 in Pacifi...

    #lantern #night #couple #yellow #love #sky

    Rakher Upobash is a Hindu religious festival. It’s also known as Kartik Brati. Devotees fast day ...

    #bengal #bangladesh #hindu #kartik #ashram #dhaka #barodi #babalokenath

    baptism ceremony

    #motherandchildassignment #baptismceremony

    Editor's Note

    One of my favorite frames from this assignment! The candles illuminating the boy's face, the crying child, the loving look on the mother's face is all so perfect

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    Hiking in northern countries can be very overwhelming. During the day, which is very short in the...

    #auroraborealis #outdoor #mountain #night #norway #hiking #northernlights #travel #trekking

    You all covered the world with your photographs—from polar regions to the tropics, from night landscapes to moving religious ceremonies to the underwater realm. I wanted to create a story that would reflect that diversity, but it meant leaving a lot of images behind. For example, there were many (many!) fantastic aurora borealis photos, but I had to whittle them down to just a few.

    Shooting in low light has gotten progressively more accessible as digital cameras have advanced. I remember going to Easter Island a number of years ago and having to carry motorized tripod heads to turn the camera with Earth’s rotation in order to shoot clear images of the night sky. Now, digital cameras have become so sensitive to light that I could make the same image without that heavy, specialized equipment. 

    The Grand Prismatic Spring after sunset, Yellowstone National Park

    #grandprismaticspring #usa #yellowstone

    Editor's Note

    Most of the images of Grand Prismatic Spring that I have seen have been from the air looking down. The photographer has done a wonderful job here looking at the spring from ground level in the dim ... More

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    ...

    #city #bicycle #people

    a common scene on the streets of Kolkata

    #lowlight #dogs #superheros #kolkata

    The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is the first, and still the most outstanding example of a hill p...

    #smoke_steam_engine_darjeeling_toy_train

    Editor's Note

    The smoke and darkness make this image look like something from a 1940's movie. Wonderful frame

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    Walking in the park during a thick fog.

    #lowlight #park #fog

    Boys play football as the mumbai twilight sky sets a joyous mood.

    #silhouette #twilight #india #mumbai

    On the evening of 'All souls' day' at a burial ground in Kolkata, India, people decorated and lig...

    #all_souls_day #light #low_light #immortal #love #india #burial_ground

    Firecrackers go off as devotees carry the Emperor God statue on sedan chair for a street processi...

    #faith #takuapa #firecracker #vegetarian_festival #thailand

    Editor's Note

    There were a lot of wonderful, low light festival images entered into the Low Light competition. This is among my favorites. The concentration in the man on the rights face is wonderful and the fig... More

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    Took this photo while my little brother was celebrating DIWALI.

    #night #diwali #festival #light #red

    The Medina, in Fes is a melting pot of smells, colors and people. There I found this butcher.The ...

    #tradition #portrait #culture

    E6 is a sea mount in the middle of Bligh Waters in Fiji. We entered the area known as the cathedr...

    #diving #scuba #protecttheselands #fiji #black__and_white_photography

    Editor's Note

    It is wonderful to have underwater images entered into the lowlight assignment. I hadn't thought about it until I started editing but light falls off so quickly underwater that many underwater imag... More

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    It took a lot of planning to be able to get this shot. the first and main thing I needed for this...

    #winter #landscape #night #greatestlandscapes #lowlight #explore #adventure #sky #travel #nature

    Editor's Note

    Incredible image! Not only do we have a fantastic display of the northern lights but the light that the person in the frame is holding further separates them from the snowy background.

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    The Akamatsu fire festival in Shikoku, Japan, began over a hundred years ago. Teams hoist homemad...

    #festival #fire #japan #akamatsu #celebration #fireworks #tokushima #shikoku

    People gather beneath the Eiffel Tower on a Friday night.... out for a stroll, there to see the l...

    #paris_france #night #eiffel_tower #lovetoparis #colors #paris #yellow #remember

    A group of friends walking along Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia after sunset.

    #lowlight #bolivia #saltflat #uyuni #travel #sunset

    Editor's Note

    The reflections are so perfect. Nicely captured.

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    pedestrians passing rail line in front of train at sholosohor train station Chitttagong

    #light #chittagong #station #yellow #railway

    Editor's Note

    This is a nice moment in the darkness. The bicycle, the slight movement of the figure on the left's hand all add to the photograph.

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    Photography has always been a technically driven medium. Each advancement in cameras ushers in new capabilities and a new way of seeing. Low light is the newest frontier of imaging, and I think we owe it to ourselves as photographers to embrace what the new cameras can do. So keep heading out and shooting after dark!

    About the Editor
    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer
    Photographer and filmmaker Stephen Alvarez produces stories of global exploration, adventure, and culture. Since 1995, Alvarez has worked with National Geographic magazine to create a number of stories that call on his caving expertise and lighting capabilities, including the discovery of an Incan mummy in Peru, the exploration of the ...

    Photographers Published In the Story