Whenever the light gets low photographers reach for the flash. And in some low-light situations flash is your only option. But often turning on the flash is like using dynamite to clean out a gutter: it's a bit of an overreaction. Instead, sit quietly for a moment and "listen" to the light around you. Unless you're sitting in complete darkness, light is speaking to you, luring you to its presence--you simply have to be still and hear its call.
It's surprising, for example, how many wonderful photos you'll find just by listening to the quiet light pouring in your north windows; soft, curvaceous and very neutral, window light is the portrait light the masters' used. I found my cat sleeping in the dim but quiet light of a bay window and while I was tempted to pop on the flash, instead I let the gentleness of the north light speak and shot only with existing light. I rested the camera on the arm of a couch to steady it. Light will speak to you, it is there, just perk up your eyes and listen!
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