Night photography is an exciting and challenging genre. It can often be difficult to capture night-time scenes in a way that brings the beauty of night into our lives, but itís not impossible.
Things like slow shutter speeds, which allow you to capture star trails or light trails made by moving vehicles are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to capturing your night-time shots in the right way. To get the most out of your night-time photos, you'll need to prepare ahead of time and be familiar with your camera's settings inside and out.
If you are new to night photography or want to improve your skills, here are some tips for getting better shots at night.
Your location is one of the most important factors when it comes to night photography. For a lot of night photos, you'll be looking for interesting cityscapes or landscapes that will make your shots more stunning and give viewers an idea about what kind of environment they're looking at.
If possible, find a spot away from light pollution where you can frame your shot perfectly with no obstructions between the camera and the night sky. If there are too many buildings in your way, see if there's any place nearby where you could photograph the same landscape but without all those visual obstacles getting in the way (for example: standing on top of a hill). Also, try scouting locations ahead of time by using Google Maps' "satellite" view.
Depending on your location and how dark it is, you might want to prepare for a night of long exposure shots. Bring plenty of water with you so that you don't get dehydrated (it's easy to do in the summertime) and dress appropriately depending on what time of year it is where you live.
Keep in mind that changing camera settings when your hands are cold can be tough, so bring some hand warmers or gloves with you if possible.
If you're taking night photos in an area where there is no light, bring a torch (preferably one with adjustable brightness) so that you can see what you are doing. Even if your camera has a night mode, it's easier to compose shots properly when everything around the camera is lit up.
Itís important to know exactly how night photography works before heading out into the night air unprepared. For example: if you plan on taking night photos by using slow shutter speeds, make sure there isn't heavy cloud coverage because these types of exposures require ample amounts of light from the moon or stars Ė otherwise, your images will be underexposed.
In some cases, itís best to shoot in manual mode so that you can adjust the aperture and shutter speed accordingly. On automatic mode, your camera will try and balance out these two exposures (aperture and shutter) on its own Ė which usually results in blown-out highlights or underexposed night shots.
For example: if you want a longer exposure time to capture light trails, set your aperture as low as possible (exposure is directly tied with how open the lens' aperture is). In this setting, there might not be enough light coming through for proper exposure - at least without overexposing some of those bright streetlamps! In this case, you'll need to compensate by increasing your ISO or widening your aperture even further.
Night photography does not have to be shot from behind the subject with a long lens pointed away from the light source. You should experiment with different angles including low angles pointing up at buildings or shooting standing right under streetlights for interesting effects. Another trick is to use reflections in water or wet surfaces as these will give light back onto your scene giving it warmth and character which would otherwise be lost in night shots.
When you're taking night photos, it's important to keep your camera steady Ė otherwise blurry images will result. Long exposure times (when the shutter is open for more than a few seconds) are not an exception. Using slower shutter speeds means that even the slightest bit of camera shake will be captured in your night shots Ė so use a tripod to keep everything steady if possible.
If you're working with long exposures (exceeding 30 seconds), your DSLR should be set to bulb mode. This is the best setting for light painting and other experimental techniques, but in order to keep your camera steady, you might want to invest in a remote shutter release.
Your night photos will come out better if you take the time to wait for your shot. Keep an eye on whatís happening in your surroundings and be open to taking a ton of night shots as they often don't turn out right away but give it some time and you'll find one that's perfect. Most importantly: enjoy yourself! With all these tips at hand, night photography can become just as rewarding as daytime photography Ė so good luck!
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Article Posted: 28/11/2021 08:14:32