Photographs taken in low light have a unique appearance and atmosphere. They are muted, less cluttered with everyday details, and their colours and tones often have a strange, almost ethereal quality. Areas of shadow can enhance their overall mood and create a sense of mystery. Low-light photography can transform an ordinary subject into something unusual and compelling.
Documentary photographer and Canon Ambassador Evgenia Arbugaeva specialises in creating magical low-light photographs that are rich in atmosphere. Darkness is a central element to her style, and she's used her techniques in diverse locations around the world, from a remote meteorological station in northern Russia to a semi-abandoned scientific research institute in Tanzania.
Evgenia has been working in low light since she first began taking photographs. Initially, it started as a necessity – she was brought up in Tiksi, a town in northern Russia that's inside the Arctic Circle – but later it became an aesthetic choice.
"In the Arctic, the polar night is a few months long, so all winter there is no light," she says. "There are so many different shadows and tones that are invisible to our eyes that the camera can pick up, and for me, the camera became a tool to capture these tones. As I continued working with low light and darkness, I realised it was shaping my work. In a strange way I feel it kind of guided my style and helped me find my own photographic language."
Here, Evgenia talks about her experiences of working in these conditions and offers her tips for great low-light photography.