Cameras

Shooting Challenge: Vote For Your Favourite Low Light Shot!

It’s time to decide who wins the Nikon D7200 DSLR And Lens in our latest shooting competition! There were so many good entries, we’ve decided to let you vote on an even bigger selection.

You can vote under all the pictures. Be sure to get your friends to vote for you as final votes will be taken into consideration as part of the judges final decision. Remember that using ‘vote farming’ sites including (but not limited to) GetOnlineVotes will get you disqualified.

The Prize

Entrants are playing for the fantastic Nikon D7200 DSLR with an AF-S DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens. Together, these two are worth a whopping $1,750!

As we’ve said previously, the Nikon D7200 is the best non-professional DSLR on the market. It boasts a 24.2 Megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor, combined with a 51 focus points to deliver incredibly sharp low-light images. Once you’ve taken your pictures, enjoy them on the crystal clear 1229k-dot 3.2in LCD screen, or share them with Wifi and NFC.

The AF-S DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens is a perfect companion for the D7200. The 18-140mm focus range allows for incredible creativity, from wide angle landscape shots, through portraiture and telephoto snaps, all in a compact lens size. Even better, the built-in Vibration Reduction will allow you to shoot handheld at shutter speeds up to four stops lower than other lenses — this is especially useful in the low-light conditions the D7200 loves.


The Challenge: Low Light Photos

To score the perfect low-light camera, the challenge was to produce an awesome low-light shot. It could have been a darkened room, a twinkling city skyline, or even just the stars. Don’t despair if your gear isn’t the most flash, composition is incredibly important in low-light photography and can’t be faked.

Low light offers a different perspective on what we see every day, the colours and shadows bathing our subjects are altered, artificial light illuminates what we otherwise might not notice. What is banal during the day could be special at night, or disappear completely.

Note: Some images were removed from consideration due to being taken outside of the competition timeframe, others lacked EXIF info, and some also unfortunately hit our inbox corrupted.

The Entries

Bill Algeyer

Wife and I were celebrating a late Valentine’s Day together at a winery in Napa Valley. Due to the image stabilization of the Sony series, I was able to shoot this low light scene handheld at 1/15 of a second and still get a sharp shot.
Camera: Sony A7
Lens: Sony FE 24-70 f4
Settings: 1/15, f4, iso 3200, 24mm
taken handheld with available light

Kevin Lazarus

I was asked by a young lady if I had ever shot a led hoop performance and was challenged to try. We did the shot last night. Using my Nikon 7000 with a Tamron 23-75 lens. ISO was set at 640. I was able to set a flash at her feet and set it off at the beginning of her movements and set the timer on the camera for four seconds, f16 to f20 depending on the shots, to capture the movement of the hoop. Being my first time to attempt this I was pleased with the first time attempt.

Alex Royds

Having seen many professional low light shots, I had always dismissed the idea of me being able to take good low light shots. This competition got me thinking though, what if it wasn’t so hard. A phone call to a fellow car enthusiast and it was decided! Meet in an old industrial area in one hour and we would give it a shot (pun intended). But wait, neither of us had any idea about taking low light photos. With quick google search and 5 minutes of low light photography youtube under my belt, I borrowed my mums DSLR and set off to the meeting point. The first shots were certainly nothing special.. But I tinkered and played with the settings, moved the cars to different locations, and eventually the low light magic started to happen. This shot is definitely my favourite of the lot! I love how the colour of the car pops in comparison to its surroundings.

Jamie Phommalysack

Sony NEX-5R, 1/80, f/1.4, ISO1600 using an adapted 1970s Pentax 50mm (Microsoft ICE eats most of the EXIF so you’ll just have to trust me – and hopefully you’re okay with panoramas). 48 shots merged into one.
Used my furry friend Alto on the tuesday in Brisbane as one of my first attempts at a Brenizer. Night time means large apertures so I like to bokeh away. It’s a fair bit darker than it looks in the picture – one of the blessings of a large aperture. A lot of sitting still was required so as to not have things chopped off in merging.
If for some reason there’s a double submission. I blame the system. It spat out maximum file size 1MB even though it said 1.4MB was the max

Erik Krake

“Midnight Snack”
I love images that can elicit more than one emotion, which are quite often captured by accident rather than planned to a T. I snapped this cute and slightly creepy portrait of my daughter with her new nightlight just before bedtime.
Camera: Nikon D5100
Lens: AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1:1.8G
Settings: 1/30, f/10, ISO-3200
Hand held

Marie-Annie VO

Equipment: Canon EOS 1100D with the lens EF-S10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM, tripod and manual focus
Settings:
Exposure Mode Manual
Focal length 10.0 mm
Metering Mode Evaluative
Shutter speed 1/6
Aperture f5.6
ISO 800
No flash
Straight out of camera, no photoshop

I set myself the timer on the camera and jumped into the water with only 10 seconds to get ready and stay still for the photo. The water was so cold but I didn’t really have time to acknowledge that. What you see on this photo: the warmth orange of my swimsuit (enhanced by the pool light and the water) contrasting with the cold blue water represents exactly the feeling I had when I took the photo.
My body and heart were filled with such warmth as I was so excited to participate to my very first photo contest, but I could feel at the same time the cold water on my skin. Nevertheless, the body seems to be relaxed, letting go all the pressure, in reality, hiding all the excitement. Like a lot of things in life, we shall not judge a book by its cover.

Cyril Carmien

Equipment: Canon EOS 1100D with the lens EF-S10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM, tripod and manual focus
Settings:
Exposure Mode Manual
Focal length 10.0 mm
Metering Mode Evaluative
Shutter speed 0”6
Aperture f8.0
ISO 800
No flash
No Photoshop

View from home. I live in the busy and noisy CBD. But siting on my balcony, all I can see is our beautiful and bright bridge, listening to the far sound of the cars passing on the bridge, yet so calm at the same time. The City, the Bridge and the River, all are so busy at day but so quiet and relaxed at night, as I am.

Beau

Camera: Canon EOS 1100D
Lens: EFS 18-55mm
ISO: 3200
Exposure Time: 1/1=250 sec.
So the night before was the first opportunity I could get to take a photo.
I wandered down to Camberwell Station @ approx 8:00pm. I wanted to make sure I was there early so I could test some photos. After choosing a couple of angles I wanted, I stood back and waited for the right timing ( sun below horizon, but not too dark). Apparently standing on a rail bridge taking photos of a station with a newly installed police office while wearing a hoody, attracts attention from the police. I explained the Gizmodo competition to them, next thing they started to give me pointers and recommendations of other locations in the area. I have forgotten their names and I apologise if they are reading this. They were both really nice and helpful and wished me luck. Another 15-20mins of waiting and the lighting was what I wanted. I tried to capture the station atmosphere around this time, including the people and the trains and the beautiful view of Melbourne city in the background. Fingers crossed I achieved that.

YC Lo

Nikon D610, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
Shot on a tripod – 13 seconds, f/8, iso 100

I noticed it waiting for the bus at this particular bus stop, something unusual. The few sections of nature overgrowth on the concrete overpass reminded me of scenes that you would only see in post apocalyptic movies.

From underneath the overpass, I composed my image to show as much of the growth as possible and light painted a small section with a torch. With the background still showing glimpses of a still populated, modern city.

Anthony Hayes

I wanted to test out my low light skills so my wife and I took a drive out to Manly Heads so I could photograph the city at night. Driving through the national park we spotted some possums walking across the empty road, so we got out to see if we could snap them. Unfortunately e missed them but I did manage to capture my wife.

Trong Nguyen

This image was taken while Urbexing with a friend for the first time .
This is a 11 million dollar mansion in the process of being demolished as the owner died without leaving a living will. I had no tripod with me so i placed my camera on a pillar off the swimming pool and set up a 25 second exposure and iso 400.
Having never done light painting before, i just ran around like an idiot with my torch and hoped for the best and the theory reseach did pay off :)
I managed to this shot and i edited in lightroom, playing aroung with the saturation and hues of my green and orange channels to come up with this final image

Josh D

Shot with Olympus OM-D E-M10
Aperture 1.8
Focal Length 25.0 mm
ISO Speed 200
Manual Focus.

We sat by candle light at the dining table, trying to think of interesting low light compositions. This shot was the first and ultimately the best. Thanks Lisa!

Raffy Halim

Having only moved to Perth a couple of weeks ago, I took this challenge as an opportunity to explore my new city.

I happened to stumble onto South Perth by accident and was blown away by the skyline (also blew the highlights on my long exposure!)While the skyline itself was quite dazzling, I wanted to contrast it with the dark and moody park bench in the foreground.

I wanted to take a few more shots with slightly different compositions, but there were a lot of diners nearby at the Food trucks and I didn’t want to look like too much of a creep.

Also, I just wanted some of the tasty smelling treats from the Food truck myself!

Anthony Casarotto

Shot with a Fujifilm X-T10 with a 50-230mm lens and an exposure time of 30 seconds.
This is the view of the Freeway South from Kings Park in Perth. I took a few normal shots, then whilst I was looking for a full manual mode, in the dark I stumbled across Adv2 which was configured as tilt shift. Seeing the live preview on the LCD I thought it was pretty cool and took the shot. I didn’t even know my camera had a tilt shift mode.

Eduardo

Photography Equipment
Camera-Nikon D810
Lens NIKOR 24-120 – f4
Tripod
shooting settings
ISO 100 Time 4 s obturation f/11 focal62 mm

Technique
Long exposition

Localization
Yarra River, Near to Flinders Station
Story
Walking along the Yarra River I saw a young guy doing tricks with fire. It caught my attention and I decided to make a long exposure photography. To see who drew the fire in my photography. Often magical and spectacular ways.

Name of Photo
Burning Boy

Yvan Medina

I went to Docklands to try to take some pictures at sunset on the Webb Bridge. It wasn’t very transited so I didn’t have too many interesting subjects and the sun was setting very quick. So I decided to go around the harbour and see if I could find some more shots. I was focusing on some fishermen when this guy appears and goes straight to the edge, I though he was going to jump, but he just stood there for a couple of seconds and then continued walking on the edge. He looked like he was daydreaming, absorbed in his own world. So I decided to follow him for a little while. Then I saw he turned left and started walking towards the sun on this wonderful reflection of the orange sky. That’s when I took this shot.

Technique: Street Photography (?)

Equipment:
Camera: Canon 5D MIII
Lens: 24-70mm f2.8 L II
Aperture: 2.8
Shutter Speed:1/1600
ISO: 250

Hope you guys consider this low light. :)

Cooper

Taken using my Fujifilm X-M1, Using 16-50mm lens at ISO 400, f/5, with shutter speed at 1/20

Sadly I didn’t see the competition until tonight (its last night running), after I had already hopped into bed. Safe to say my subject options were quite limited. Thumbs up to my beautiful girlfriend who didn’t even complain about being abruptly woken and having a bed side lamp shined into her face.

Dylan Browne

My wife and I decided to take a spontaneous trip to the beach on Tuesday evening for some fish and chips plus some night sky photography. The sun set just as a large bank of clouds was coming towards us which made for some beautiful sky and was great fun to watch. This long exposure shot was almost the end of my camera as it finished taking the shot just as a wave was about 5cm away from the camera.
Equipment: Canon 100D with Sigma 17-70 Macro f/2.8 Lens & Gorillapod.
Shutter Speed: 4 Seconds
ISO: 200
Aperture: 18
Focal Length: 17mm

Lawrence Bang

The pictures I have submitted are close to what I see during a drive home. Every time I wish I could capture the moment.

I am a beginner photographer and used this competition as a chance to capture that moment.

I played around with the shutter settings and managed to get a few of what I think are nice photos.

My setup is a Sony a5100 shot with a 18-50mm kit lens and then edited in Paint.NET to crop the image down to size.

Lawrence

Dave Stork

Canon 50D with Tamron 18-270mm 1.6sec f8 ISO 1600.
I only discovered the comp on the last day so rushed out to see what I could find. I spent 30 min at this lake capturing some great sunset reflections but then in applying the “keep looking” principle I noticed this eerie scene appearing in the details so I zoomed in. The photo was complicated by the flock of Correla’s in the trees above me raining gumnuts on me (those suckers hurt).

Isabella Paice-Whear

My equipment included a Nikon D5100, 18-105 lens, shutter remote and a tripod, capturing at 18mm, ISO 100 for 5 seconds at f16. The scene takes place along a very busy portion of the Gold Coast Highway behind my house. The highway is a heated mess during the day but at night, the dim lights over the putt putt golf ball alongside the street lights it seems to be a calmer surrounding…until another lot of cars flow through at obscene speeds far exceeding the 60Km limit.

Wade Selwood

On a recent cold windy night I was out with my fiance taking photos in Canberra’s Commonwealth Park, along Lake Burey Griffin.
As I was taking photos of the bridge, by chance a cruise boat passed under the bridge, creating the light effect across my photo.
Nikon d5300, sigma 18-35 art lense,manfrotto 290 tripod.
f5.6, 21 second exposure, 100iso, 35mm.

David Wild

I call this “night-time book club”. My kids love to read before bed and I wanted to show that their stuffed toys enjoy a good book at night too. I set up on a low tripod at eye-level with the big teddy (his name is Max – short for “Maximum Bear”). Max is considerate enough to use a small reading light that we got from the library so as not to wake the kids. It’s shot on a Sony Nex-3C with a kit lens at f/4, 22mm, ISO 320, 2 seconds and +0.7 exposure.

Jacob Perry

I often walk past this old corrugated shed on one of Melbournes back streets that in the day time is pretty non descript and ugly, it has broken pallets in piles out the front and one street light illuminates it at night.
shot with an iPhone and available light.
Gritty area, gritty shot

Matthew McWhinney

This photo was taken on my GoPro Session in my backyard. I propped it on the one of the linings on my fence, with an LED light on top of it. Pictured is some of the plants that have overrun the area.
GoPro Session. f2.8. 2.77mm. 1/5 second shutter speed.

Matthew Level

Decided to do some light painting and astrophotography this week at Wilson’s Prom. I was blown away at how dark the night sky was!
Equipment and setting:
– Canon 5D Mark 3
– Sigma 12-24 f4.5
– 30 second exposure
– Tripod
– Adobe to bring out the milky way
And i used blue fairy lights for the painting. Hope you guys enjoy.

Jason Weary

Shot this weird perspective outside cooking in the rain.

Camera: Sony 5D mark ii
Lens: 50mm
Settings: 1/20, f/1.8, ISO-800,
Hand held

Bryan Wicaksono

For this photo challenge, I want to capture something that couldn’t be seen in the day. The trees that usually got green leaves is turned into a yellowish gold colour because of the streetlight. Taken with a Nikon d3000 (old I know) attached to 50mm f1.8. Technique that I use to take this photo is very simple, put my camera on the tripod and use 10 second exposure ISO 100. BAM, done.

Mark Wilkinson

Time Machine Toddler Pool Vortex
Ingredients:
Inflatable toddler pool, water, Glow Sticks, red led head torch iPhone 5 electrical taped to a chair, Procam App, Wired headphones used as a remote to trigger a long exposure shot.
I recently took part in “Ride the Night” and liked the way that glow sticks, added to my bicycle’s water bottles, gave a soft glow in photos.
When this challenge came up I wanted to use the sticks I had left and I wanted there to be movement. So I dragged out the toddler pool, added water and glow sticks, gave it a swirl for a long exposure vortex effect.
The iPhone 5 was taped to a chair and the wired remote used (all to avoid shake) to release and close the bulb mode in Procam.
I light painted the edges of the pool with my red LED head torch to pick out the edges of the pool and bring some shiny interest.
Reading the comments on this challenge I knew I wanted to use the least DSLR like gear possible to see if I could win a DSLR.

Zack Reed

My name is Zack Reed. I am a transplant from Denver, Colorado. I am currently located in New York City. I have a passion for photography and I love to capture landscapes and architecture. I have been capturing time-lapse videos and long exposure photographs of night and day city scenes.
This image is a 120 second exposure of Manhattan New York City.
Thank you,
Zack Reed

Jared Sutherland

My first attempt at night photography with my camera with a borrowed tripod and stars in my eyes (not really as it was overcast and threatening to rain). Camera is a Nikon J3 which I bought second hand off ebay, using a 18.5mm f1.8 lens. ISO 320 with a 1 second exposure at f1.8. Photo is of Surfers Paradise, taken from across the water near the Gold Coast Arts Centre.

Boris Bachovski

Late night coding – The light from the monitor is the only source of light, bouncing off the blank keys, crying in pain

Andrew Vouliotis

*Equipment*
This photo was taken with an A7s and a family member’s manual Leica 21mm lens.

*Process*
Despite having a tripod with me, I decided to take this photo without it. I am also in the process of learning how to use an A7s in manual mode using the black and white setting, therefore I was experimenting with ISO. I didn’t want to push it over 1000, so I managed to take this photo with ISO800 to make it as least grainy as possible.

This photo was taken in the room that is normally dark. I experimented with lights on/lights off in the room next to it. I preferred lights on with a faster exposure (1/3 of a second).

I experimented with various angles, however I felt that “straight ahead” coveys the power that this piece of equipment is capable of.

I also wanted to take a photo that required NO post processing for this competition. The only modification that has been made is the photos size using OS X’s Preview.

*Story*
I have worked for Swinburne University of Technology for four and half years. Over this time, I have seen the university campus transform from a quiet campus to a thriving community. At night, I enjoy perusing over the equipment that lies within the university’s nooks and crannies. This photo was taken within the energy transformation lab. In my opinion, this is one of the most aesthetically pleasing pieces of equipment that I have come across!

I usually work long hours, so don’t have that much time to pursue my hobby of black and white night photography. This competition has inspired me to go and take photos of my “home away from home” and experiment with a manual 21mm lens.

Adrian Jelavic

A beautiful evening at the beach last night, while sitting and being refreshed by the cool breeze I saw this couple sitting on the pontoon. Perhaps they decided a belated Valentine’s Day rendezvous was in order. Got me thinking, what were they talking about? Was it sweet little nothings that they were whispering? Or were they discussing life’s bigger issues, such as what they were to have for dinner when they got home? Either way they made me stop and think at how lucky we are to live in a wonderful place like Australia, beautiful summer weather, freedom, and that the biggest worry was whether I should grab fish and chips on the way home.

I shot the photo using a Nikon d3100 in manual mode with the standard 18-55 lens @55mm. f16. 1/80s. iso3200.
The camera was resting on the sand as to prevent movement as I didn’t have a tripod with me. I love that the low light levels makes it more mysterious, because they are only silhouette, it leaves the identity to the imagination.
This photo has not been altered in anyway, apart from reducing the size from 6mb to 0.8mb for the purpose of this upload. Enjoy

Chris Lever

Down at Wanda Beach in Cronulla NSW. Forgot to take my Fuji XT-1 out but just purchased a new Nexus 6P.
Settings were limited to the standard google camera app.
Took a few without HDR and did not come out nearly as good , image was much to dull. Turned on HDR and got this shot which I am happy with.

Victor Loi

Camera: NIKON D90
Lens: Nikkor 18.0-200.0mm f/3.5-5.6
Image shot at: ISO200 18mm f/3.5 1/8sec
This picture was shot to capture the lights and simple life of a village on the edge of a river, a harmonious balance for traditional civilisation living off the energy of the constantly flowing natural stream.

Stuart Skene

The equipment was my Sony Z3 compact phone. I shot this photo using manual settings which allowed me to change white balance and exposure only, I under exposed the original to keep the light fall off from blowing out highlights. I couldn’t dictate the ISO, focal length or f stop due to the constraints of the phone. In lightroom I changed limited setting due to it being a jpeg and the limitations of lightroom and jpeg processing. Why did he shoot a low light challenge with a camera phone you may ask? I sold a canon mkII and ten years worth of lenses last year so I could pay for a laptop for university. Being a young family, I had a choice to prioritise my lifelong hobby or my education which could take my family to wonderful places. So I went from having equipment for a hobby that bought me complete joy since I was first shown a camera by my Mum at age 8, to having a phone camera only. I don’t regret putting education and family first. In March, for my birthday, they are pooling money to buy me a ten-year-old Nikon d200 so I can have my hobby back. They are amazing. Wouldn’t this camera be a far better present come March? If I won this camera, we could use the pooled money for a bbq and I could shoot some new memories well into the night.
Many parents of young children probably share the story that surrounds this photo. My kids will not go to bed without company. So my wife or I sit with my two boys, us propped in the middle with a bed either side. This fellow is Jack and his brother is Harry. Jack will not fall asleep unless his head is on your hand and he is hugging your arm. I took this photo after he finally fell asleep, his teddy was watching over him and the light from a crack in the curtain lit them up perfectly. This moment made the three hours of tantrum that preceded it, disappear. Every night, no matter how bad my day has been, I end my day with them by watching them sleep. I see this and know that going back to work to earn the dollars has a bigger meaning. Being a dad has bought me so much joy and this photo is my way of sharing the inner peace I feel as a dad.

Corina Dodovski

I received my first DSLR as a birthday present a few years back and it never left my side.. Until that terrible day my backpack was stolen.
Absolutely miserable without a camera, I was lucky enough to be able to borrow a Nikon D7100 from a friend while I save for a new one.
Walking out of a camera store on George Street in Sydney disheartened that my budget isn’t quite big enough yet and BOOM.. this baby appears like a bad boy from Gotham City!
On a dark and gloomy afternoon, I stood in the middle of a busy intersection until I got the shot just right.
Fingers crossed that It’s enough to help me win my very own camera.. my life just isn’t the same without a Nikon to call my own!

Tony Woodhead

Title – Light vs Gravity
Shot with a Canon EOS 60D + Canon EF 100mm F2.8 Macro lens + tripod + gravity.
1/30 sec f2.8, ISO200, Manual focus.
56 Australian scientists were involved in the discovery of Gravitational Waves so I thought I’d celebrate this with a photo. Christmas lights were used as the light source, the camera was tilted in portrait and let to slowly fall with the weight of the lens using gravity pivoting on the mount. Without seeing exactly what the final picture would be I then experimented with different shutter & fall speeds to get the effect I was after.

Luke Callaghan

I set the shot up in my closet so I could completely black out the room and only use the light from the candles to expose the shot. I had the camera (D5200) set to f2.2 ISO500 and 1/125sec, to ensure a shallow depth of field and a completely blacked out background. I enjoyed taking this photo as the soft light from the candles makes the shot look warm and evenly lit.

Joshua Zuljevic

I have taken a photo at the Weir in Albury NSW, I am on the weir wall, looking out onto the weir. I am using my Nikon D5100, with a tripod and my Sigma 12-24mm Lens. This is the first time shooting with this lens so I am really happy with the result. I enjoy the weir as I grew up here and it is so peaceful, especially at night time.

Dr_Stef

Really useful LSD.
(NikonD90, 18-55mm stock lens, ISO640, f13 at 50 mm 1/10 sec)
The fat controller had warned Thomas about the off-record cargo on the troublesome trucks. Whatever you do Thomas, do NOT sample the contents! But Thomas didn’t listen. Percy? Is that you? Why is Sodor so colorful? Is this real life? I feel kind of bloated. Fizzling fireboxes! I’m going to space now. Thomas is not here man. Mugga Booga!
I have an old D90 with just the standard stock lens. It has served me well in the past but one thing it is really terrible at is low light as you can see. I probably did the whole setup wrong but it was quite fun trying to shoot my 2 year old son’s Thomas flashlight in front of a Lah Lah’s big live band LED tambourine on a cold floor for 30 mins. I used the on-board fish eye filter to create the warping look, then had to use Photoshop to scale down the image so it would be under 3 meg for the upload
It’s not a masterpiece, but at least it has the eater of worlds center stage


Have you subscribed to Gizmodo Australia's email newsletter? You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Trending Stories Right Now