Cambodia Low Light Challenge: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace

Cambodia Low Light Challenge: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace

Hi everybody welcome to another episode of Exploring Photography right here on AdoramaTV brought to you by Adorama it’s the camera store that has everything for photographers like you and me well I’m hanging out in Phnom Penh, Cambodia at night in downtown by riverside, it’s where they this city comes to life. It has all kinds of vendors and people moving around and clubs and all kinds of really interesting things and so I’m taking a photo challenge to shoot all of this craziness at night with no flash so it’s a low light challenge now we’re going to try to see all the different people that we can talk to you and say hello and to do this I have a translator Derek come on over and so here this is Dara Rin He’s going to help talk to the people that I can’t talk to to make sure we have permission and everything, it’s all good he is also going to make sure that as we’re filming so Matt is running the camera right here nobody comes and steals the cameras from either one of us so let me just show you Matt so a lot of people wonder how are we doing this that’s Matt was up there you go just to make it clear that we do have extra sets of eyes to make sure that somebody doesn’t come around and grab our stuff we’re using camera straps so I know a lot of people ask about safety so the key is don’t go out alone if you’re going to do this all right so what we’re going to do is I’m going to increase my ISO on my camera I’m shooting with my Leica M I’m going to shoot almost everything at 1.4 or maybe 2 I’m going to shoot with different lenses 35mm, a 21mm, a 50mm and I’m going to shoot at different ISO settings 800, 1600, 3200 We’re going to see what we get. We’re going to start by walking around, talking to some vendors, shooting some of this stuff and learning some tricks of using some of the light that’s hidden inside of these carts, so let’s get started. In this setup I’m facing a few challenges. What I’ve done here, I’m using a 35mm lens because I want to show all the fried frogs and the squids and all that kind of stuff and our vendor here, she’s a very nice woman and so I’m using a 35mm. I’m manually at a 1/60th of a second, f/2 ISO 800 Make sure that’s right yeah 800 and
one of the things I’ve noticed is there’s a light, that’s right by her eyes and as she’s moving in and out of that her face is getting darker and brighter so I sort of have to wait for that light to work. The other thing if we look right down here there’s a bed of hot coals where they’re been cooking and so I almost burned myself on that and then right beside me I don’t know if you can see this but there is lots of traffic so I’m trying to avoid being smashed by a car. Why are we doing this? So it’s just a ton of fun and we’re going to shoot some more of this and see what we get one of the things that we need to do before we shoot anybody is get permission and so we’re asking is it okay if we shoot can you ask if it’s alright oh okay okay so he said it’s okay for us to shoot and so I’m going to use this light right here to illuminate in his face oh he’s giving us treats no you eat it for a second I want to shoot first. Okay you see if I can get this really quickly, we’re shooting with a really slow shutter speed here beautiful I love with the flame, I love that, wonderful! Excellent, excellent I love it. I’ll show him what we’re doing, here you are. These are snails and eggs snails and eggs do you eat the snails? Yeah sure. I’m not going to I’m just going to take a couple of pictures here and notice that this is our this is an LED light strip here and that’s going to be the only light. Hey where are you going? You have to come back Our subject just left but if he sits here this is going to illuminate him so if I shoot where Matt is right now I think we’ll get a really cool shot of the snails and the eggs in the foreground and our subject back here, so yeah have a seat so I’m going to shoot, Dara is just making sure none of these bikes hit me and we will see what we get, so I’m shooting everything in manual mode because things tend to get wonky when I get lights from the background, that kind of stuff, so this is exactly what I want this is a wide-angle lens. This is a 35mm so I’m getting close and I’m shooting a lot I don’t want my model to pose here this is real life stuff, there we go. Snails and tiny crabs. Who doesn’t like a snail in a tiny crab? Mmm, yummy once again we have this light providing all the light for our scene here. I am not brave enough to have some of this food but maybe later. I just notice behind me there is this hotel and a boat going by on the river here and that it’s going to be really awesome because all we have these reflections on the water, so if I shoot that at a really slow shutter speed we should have some really nice light leaks and I’ve got my tiny Coleman tripod to make sure that my camera doesn’t move so I’m going to set this up down here and then I’m going to get a little bit dirty. Frame everything up and see what we get, so I am shooting right now at f, I’m going to shoot at about f/5.6 I’m focusing at infinity. This is going to give me a one and a half second shutter speed. That’s close to level. Another one of the things I love to do in low-light is Pan and that that means is I’m setting my ISO to ISO 800 it’s sort of high, I have my aperture opened all the way up to f/2 to let in a lot of light but even in these lighting situations it’s really dark which means I can use a really slow shutter speed so right now I have my shutter set to 1/8th of a second. I’m shooting in manual mode and what I can do is I can find a motorcycle or tooktook or a car and I can track that and that means that my camera and my subject are moving at the same speed, but the background is going to be blurred and because across the street we have these really cool trees with all the lights on them those are going to blur it’s going to be a really colorful scene so I’m going to shoot a few of these. Panning can take a little while to get right so I’ll probably have a few blurry images but all I need is one that’s going to be spectacular so I’m going to do that right now. So we’re walking down the street and I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of people that are having their evening meal and so hopefully I can find somebody that will let me take their pictures. We’ve got some lights that are sort of hanging on some stands here and I think it’ll be a really interesting shot to show sort of what life is like and Phnom Penh at night. Is it’s okay if I take your picture? Is that good okay. Yeah you can, awesome I found a balcony here that overlooks a really busy intersection and so what I want to do is use a really slow shutter speed to get some light streaks of all these cars and tooktooks zipping around, so what I’ve done here is I have set my ISO down to ISO 200. I have cranked my aperture closed, it is at an aperture setting of f/16 and that means that my exposure here is going to be about sixty seconds, my camera is on aperture priority mode, it’s going to try to go as long as it can using a cable release and I have this on my little Coleman tripod, so I’ll take a few shots and we’re going to get some really interesting results from this balcony overlooking the intersection. Well I had a blast tonight zipping around Phnom Penh and seeing all the nightlife. Dara thank you so much for being security and helping out translating and all that kind of stuff. So you’ve been an invaluable help you know, one of the fun things about shooting at night is just experimenting you’ll notice that I shot some things with a really wide open aperture but I also shot some things with a closed aperture. I shot things at a high ISO and low ISO, so you can use any of your settings, just play with it. Get out at night, get a tripod and have a lot of fun. You’ll see that it is a total blast. Thank you so much for joining me. Don’t forget to subscribe to AdoramaTV, it’s absolutely free, so click on the link right now, Dara did it so you could do it too and we will see you again next time.

54 thoughts on “Cambodia Low Light Challenge: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace”

  1. Oh delicious – street food covered in fumes, exhaust, soot, dust and ….. more. And you have to risk getting run over when waiting for your food! How exciting is that?? And how can snails be fast food? Otherwise, of course, it's exciting photography.

  2. I love shooting at night or early morning when we are traveling. About 30-40% of my travel shots are during these times. Loved this video as it reminded me of some of my excursions plus I picked up a couple of cool ideas to try. The night markets in Taiwan and the street food vendors in Bangkok are some of my favorite night shots. Keep the videos coming 'cause I love every one of them.

  3. Great stuff. The street vendors, tuk-tuks and motorcycles remind me a lot of Bangkok, another wonderful city for night shooting. 🙂

  4. I liked that you showed where you ask for permission to shoot. But I noticed you didn't get any kind of model release – what are the best practices for releases in a street situation Mark?

  5. Handy to have a cameraperson with a big light on their rig for some side lighting 🙂 maybe the extra person you suggest at the beginning also carry a small light of some sort.

  6. great video… If you ever come to India in future then visit Kolkata… its a great city with great places for photography… If you ever visit Kolkata do contact me for sure so that I can meet you as I am a great fan of your photography and tutorials… And I can guide you to best location for photography at Kolkata… 1 more thing I cant reach the Adorama contest page through the link. Thanks for all your great tutorials…

  7. Great video, but less than 1/100 is too blurry for me, I actually do prefer to shoot with a higher ISO, might a little noise help to smooth the colors.

  8. You talk too much thats your subject run around.. And y you direct what the vendor will do.. Let them do their thing.. Thats not a stage bro..

  9. Nice vid Mark. You need to be a little more adventurous with the food though. Never turn your nose up at something you haven’t tried. It might be really good.

  10. Kinda messed up to assume right off the bat you're going to get jacked just because you're in a foreign country. That can happen anywhere. I live in Chicago and I'm shit scared to go out shooting in downtown with my Nikon gear, let alone Leica…

  11. Shouldn't dis Southeast Asia like that man!..SECURITY? are you kidding man????………you need more security walking downtown NYC at midnight…..I have been all over Central Asia and Southeast Asia, ie" Vietnam, Bangkok, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines – with the exception of Manila, you are safer in any one of those countries than you are in Rome or Amsterdam or many other parts of Europe, like Budapest, won't even bring up gun loving America – Most All South East Asian countries are super safe and you do not need translators and a fucking SECURITY GUARD all that shit!!! – the people are predominately peace-loving Buddhist, English is spoken widely enough, the people know well that their economy depends on tourism and street crime is totally not accepted by the public and cops alike – the cops come down very hard on people hassling tourists, as I said, nowhere near as rampant as most of Europe and definitely not even close to America etc,,,,,,,,,,I spent most of my 20s and my 30s in that region of the world, Japan for a number of years as well. I think you are being more that just a little ethnocentric there Adorama!!!! Making it out to be so suspect right off the bat. I'll tell ya, if I was Cambodian, I would be offended…you are only proving yourself to be stereotypical Americans talking shit like that….you owe the good people of Cambodia and apology for your small mindedness.

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