13 July 2011

Tips for Night Photography

Susan Brannon
26 July 2011
It is difficult to take images at night and in low light, but to do so, is the fun challenge in photography!  Once, you set out and “practice” you will find your technique and afterwords there will be not a time in the day when you think, “I cannot take a photography because of the light!”

1)  For night photography, you will definitely need a tri-pod!  This will stabilize (duh) your camera and allow for longer exposures!

2)  Take if off Auto mode (you can keep the focus on Auto mode and place with the focal point)  This way you can play with your shots, reduce the brightness of the lights, and add some creativity to your images.

3)  Set your exposure to -2 or -1

4)  Avoid using flash.  This flushes out the natural light, and it may overexpose the image you are trying to shoot.  (Or flood out the background)

5)  Set your ISO to the maximum.  The higher the shutter speed the shorter the exposure you can use.  This is important for night photography.

6)  Experiment, take as many images as you can, alternate your exposure levels and doing this will increase your understanding in night time photography.

Tip:  If you are out running around in a beautiful place and decide that you really want to take some images but do not have your tri-pod.  You can always find a flat spot to place your camera that just may steady it enough to allow you to take your shot!

Remember:  Check the weather, for rain and/or clouds.  See when the sun sets and the moon rises.  Think of where you want to set up shop, and bring bug spray for the summer!

This one was not taken in the summer, but when it snowed in Florence, Italy I could not but help to run outside to capture this moment.  However, my film was black and white, so the glow from the night time light did not bounce off of the snow.

For this image I wanted to capture the glow of the buildings. The camera was set at: f/5.6; 1/6s and ISO 640

A rare moment in Florence History, The Duomo covered in Snow, with a beautiful orange sky in the background. This image was taken at f/5.6; 0.4s and ISO 640

Related lessons:
Aperture and f/16 Rule
Shutter Speed Basics

Depth of Field
Focused Bracketing or Photo Stacking 

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