Low-Light Photography

Arlene Collins
Teacher : Arlene Collins
Category : Intermediate, Advance
Low-Light Photography
  • Duration : 60 days

Course Brief :

Most anyone can make well-exposed photographs by daylight.  Much more challenging are good photos made at night or when light levels are at their lowest.  But to stow your camera in less than optimum lighting conditions is to forgo a whole other world of photographic expression and creativity.  

This online photography course taught by professional photographer and photography educator, Arlene Collins, is designed for those who want to push their photographic style, gain control of image exposure in low light and create a distinctive and personal look to the photos they make.  Participants explore the use of long exposures, use of neutral density filters, HDR (High Dynamic Range) and wireless multi-strobe set-ups to create stunning low-light imagery.

For those photographers who have ever wondered how an image could possibly capture evening and all low-light scenes and subjects with such detail, sharpness, color tonality, mood and drama, this online and interactive photography workshop is for you.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Properly determine exposures when a light meter reading is not available
  • Create nighttime special effects
  •  Paint light with a flash unit and flashlights
  • Create new, innovative low-light imagery through both technical execution and new-found creative vision


What you will need:

  • Digital SLR or compact mirrorless camera (film is also fine, but you'll need to scan images for upload to the TCI website)
  • Selection of lenses if available
  • Speed light
  • Computer with photo-processing software (e.g. Photoshop)
  • Study tripod
  • Cable release or remote trigger

Instructor :

A photographer, educator, and freelance technical consultant, Arlene specializes in documenting remote cultures and changing civilizations around the world. She currently develops and leads international photography workshops, offers a master photography class and topic-specific short courses in her New York City studio, lectures in the United States and abroad, and consults privately with a number of clients.

Arlene studied with several renowned photographers, including Lisette Model. She earned her MA in Media Studies from The New School and an MFA from Hunter College in New York City. She is an Associate Professor of Photography at Parsons School of Design and teaches at the Maine Media Workshops, and for 15 years she taught in the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program at the International Center of Photography in New York City.

Arlene is a world traveler, and the list of countries she has not yet visited or worked in continues to   shrink. She has photographed in more than 60 international locations. She has lectured in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma), Havana, Cuba and Istanbul, Turkey, and she has taught workshops at the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City; ROSPHOTO, the Russian State Center of Photography in St. Petersburg, Russia; the Fototeca Center in Havana, Cuba; and at the Three Shadows Photography Center in Beijing, China. In addition, Arlene has led intensive workshops to Turkey, Morocco, Mali, Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, China, Tibet, Mongolia, Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Bhutan, Argentina, India, Cuba, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.

Closer to home, she has been a panelist on the Night Photography Seminar at New York City’s Photo Plus and has reviewed portfolios for Photo Plus, The New York Photo Festival, and the Society for Photographic Education.

Arlene has created several long-term photography essays, including Boxing photographed in New York City, Moscow, and Bangkok, and essays on the Rodeo in New Jersey and Voodoo in Western Africa. As she continues her international travels, Arlene also adds to her ongoing photographic essay on “UNESCO – designated” World Heritage Sites. In addition to her still photography, Arlene now produces video. She has created Mali: Witnessing Traditions; Ten Days in May: St. Petersburg and Moscow; The Birqash Camel Market in Cairo, Egypt; A Hamer Bull Jumping Ceremony in the Southern Omo Valley, Ethiopia, and The DPRK: aka North Korea.

In 2008, Arlene curated “From Afar: Documenting Traditions, Witnessing Transitions,” an exhibition at the International Center of Photography’s Education Gallery. She also curated “Heaven and Earth,” a 2007 group exhibition at Gallery Chateau in New York City. This exhibition featured photographs from participants of her Ladakh, India international workshop. Her work in curating “Heaven and Earth” typifies the commitment Arlene makes to all her workshop participants—not only to increase their photographic skills, but to help them grow more confident in presenting their work.

Arlene continues to travel and teach workshops around the world. Recently she returned from photographing in North Korea, and she plans to conduct upcoming international photography workshops in Lahore, Pakistan, and Kamchatka, Russia.

For more of Arlene's work, visit her website.  Also, follow Arlene on Instagram.

Currently Teaching

Reviews :

Arlene was a fantastic instructor for this course. Before signing up, I had always put my camera away when I thought it too dark to capture the scenes and subjects i wanted to. But through Arlene's insightful lessons and assignment critiques, I've discovered a whole "new world" of photography, capturing the moment when the light is low. A highly recommended course for photgraphers who think there's only one type of light for photography. I learned a lot, thanks to Arlene and her expansive photographic vision.

- By JoAnne Powless

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