I have sometimes pushed the limits of my photography, often shooting well after sunset. Sometimes using public street lights as a main light source.

Shooting in very ‘low light’ is very satisfying when the results are so good.

When you’re down to the slowest shutter speed you can hand hold, with the lens ‘wide open’, you feel you’re right at the creative edge. This is the opposite to using a flash and flat lighting, thus ruining the mood and soft look of the photo.
At least with the digital format, you can try many times at little cost and see instant previews, unlike the film days.

Focussing in low light can be a challenge too. And when shooting at an aperture of f1.4 or similar, the challenge is to get the import bits-the eyes-in focus. Quite often you’ll see someone’s ears out of focus behind the eyes, but it usually doesn’t matter.

Colour balance is also interesting. Using car headlights, or a sparkler as in this case, or a little tiny torch light, can give really good results. The tungsten light look is warm and friendly.