You are currently viewing Low light Photography in South Africa
Moody Ocean Photography

Low light Photography in South Africa

Low light Photography in South Africa


Low light photography is moody and unique and set the mood for your story. Using dim lighting as a photographer immediately creates atmosphere and feeling. Often low lighting images don’t have strong highlights or sharp lighting present.


In low light, you often need to set your camera ISO higher. The camera sensor in higher ISO helps you to adjust to the low light settings. 


Low light and Contrasty


My photography style is low light and contrasty. I love backlight, and I guess the light flares create a lot of contrast. In lower light settings, the contrast is even with softer tones.


When I meet with a client, their first observation is, your photography style has mood. With mood comes feeling and often a little bit darker exposures.


With darker exposures, the photo has a cinematic, atmospheric appearance.


During my twenty-seven-year photography career, I booked many clients. Clients who love my work because of my low lighting style. It is personal and not something I set out to create when I started.

Peter Lindbergh inspired me. I loved the raw and honest images. The photography he created has feeling and emotions. There is a story to every photo. I aspired to create a photographic style like that.

White wine in Moody Light


Taste Spring

A Taste of Spring

A sip of white wine.

A warm breeze,

A sunny day.

Spring Wine.


I look for streaks of light. Embracing the shadows in low light can tell a very different story than a bright photo. The tone is set and draw you into the atmosphere. Photography lighting is an extension of your personality. If my lighting is moody, then I guess I am moody. I smile a lot, but I love moody photography.


To achieve a moody low lit photo filled with feeling, you can do the following:

  • Check your aperture. Shoot on F2.8 or F 4 if you can.
  • Check exposure. Expose a little darker if you have enough light.
  • Adjust ISO. Your ISO will help you to compensate for the low light and keep detail in your photo.

Your photography develops as you become more confident. You keep learning. After all the years with a camera as a hand extension, I learn new details weekly. Light is fascinating. I embrace the small magic lighting moments that happen weekly. You can never stop learning to read light.


Mussels in the Spring Winds

What pairs with a White whine in Spring?

Mussels and West Coast winds.

Spring winds #1
West Coast Mussels
Spring Winds #2


Springtime Silver Light

Silver light photography

Low light moody photography to me is like listening to “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck.


“Take Five” was not only Dave Brubeck Quartet’s biggest hit. It is still the biggest jazz single in history. Desmond’s tune, and his sound, epitomize the ice-smooth and spicy talent. He likened his playing to a dry martini. What an incredible elegant description by a jazz musician. 


The music is exciting.


The song starts with a beat and leans into a story. You are lead into the flow with saxophone riffs and rhythmic drumming. It is a visual story unfolding with upbeat and slow grooves. 

Low light photography, to me, is the same. Dramatic but with an even flow. It is soothing to watch with a clear focal point. There is a story, loads of atmosphere, a little moody but filled with feeling.

Moody Ocean Photography
Moody ocean portrait


Photographic style and client work


I have lost many jobs due to my photographic style. You have read the cliche about being you. Be authentic. Well, I am me, and you are you. You will photograph a glass of wine in the same spot, different to me. That is your style. Every photographer has a unique style, a bit like a signature.


Embrace your process and develop your photographic personality.


I created a signature over the years. It takes time. I enjoy the way I photograph and prefer to work with clients who appreciate my photography style.

Not all clients will like your work, and not all clients will be a good pairing. Learn to accept that and do the work you enjoy.

I would do a 180 and stick to what you do. Look for inspiration but don’t be a copy. The right pairing will happen when you are confident about the work you want.

That’s it for this week from my moody lighting photography.

Moody Ocean Light
Moody and flowy
Share this

Francois Pistorius

I create visual content and write punchy words for your brand.