By Amanda Padgett on | No Comments
Taking photos at night is a unique practice filled with plenty of deep colors, exciting lighting options and the perfect balance of exposure.
While night time photography may take a little longer to master than traditional photography during daylight hours or in a studio, fine-tuning your skills and taking on the never-ending quest for the perfect night shot is a mission many choose to conquer at some time in their amateur or professional photography careers.
To get you started on your way to taking dazzling night photos, I've put together my 8 favorite tips for night photography. Let's get started:
The beauty of night photography means that you can experiment with light and have a play around with the "rules of photography".
While it’s important to understand the basic rules of photography and shutter speed, it’s a great opportunity to explore your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to see what works for you.
Working in manual mode allows you to set everything yourself and have complete control over your camera - which is a huge benefit for night time shooting.
While manual mode works wonderfully when you are shooting at night if you want a shutter speed that is longer than third seconds you will need bulb mode to get the right exposure.
Bulb mode will allow you to take a photo for as long as the shutter is pressed (i.e. the camera will keep taking the photo until you take your finger off the shutter button).
In this bulb mode, the shutter stays open for longer which means you can take your exposure up to several minutes long and is absolutely fantastic for taking photos of lightning, fireworks, car traffic light trails, light painting, & star trails!
When you do venture out at night to do a photo shoot, it’s important to shoot in raw format, which means the files are 14-bit files. The higher the bits, the more color in the images which can make for a better image overall and allows you to have a wider variety of color options in your images.
A flashlight can come in handy for a number of reasons namely the ability to shine a light on your camera controls when necessary as well as being able to light areas in the foreground of your picture when needed. Either way, having a flashlight with plenty of batteries is a must for your night time photography shoot.
Before you spend too much time shooting at night, take a quick test shot at a high ISO to see if your shoot is going to work and your exposure is suitable. When you have done your test and you’re happy with it, simply decrease the ISO and increase the shutter speed to your final settings and you’re ready to get started on your night photo shoot.
When you are out shooting photos at night it can be a pain to continuously shine a light over your camera to ensure you are using the right functions. Learn and memorize your controls ahead of time so you’re totally comfortable with all your functions and you don’t have to fumble around in the dark to get them properly set.
This final tip is probably something that can be easier said than done in some cases, especially if you’re looking to photograph the Northern Lights!
If you can, visit and familiarize yourself with your shoot location in advance. On the evening you plan to shoot, it is also a great idea to arrive nice and early and get there while the sun is still out to ensure you give yourself plenty of time to set up and get photos while the light is changing during dusk.
If you’re excited to try out night photography for the first time, you might be wondering what to bring along on your shoot. Basic items to bring along would include a tripod, wide-angle lens, a lens hood to minimize lens flares, a flashlight, and a little imagination.
Taking photographs in the daytime can be one thing; but embracing night photography is a whole other ball game and a process you might need to adapt your skills to get the perfect shot. But when you do, it will be worth it!!
Do you have any questions or comments about Night Photography? Leave us a comment below - we would love to hear from you! And PLEASE SHARE this post using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!