If you thought the daytime is beautiful, wait till the sun sets and the night comes to life. Everything changes. Hence, you have a wide variety of shots to take. They can range from a simple overview of the city to complex night time sky. Regardless of what you chose as your subject, night photography often poses the same challenge, poor lighting conditions. This means that you should set your ISO with caution to avoid noisy pictures. Nonetheless, you will also love the perks of night photography such as a serene environment void of destructions. To find out more about the intriguing world of night photography and how to get the best shots, read some more.
Night Photography Tip #1
Scout The Area Before The Big Day
The night usually comes with a lot of surprises. Hence the more reason to come prepared for your photo session. This can be achieved by visiting the area before the actual shooting to familiarize yourself with the place. It will also help in deciding which tools to carry as well as give you a chance to take some trial shots.
Night Photography Tip # 2
Nightlife comes with unexpected occurrences both pleasant and unpleasant so, you ought to come prepared especially if you don’t have a particular subject in mind. The first thing you ought to bring is your tripod a set will grant you extra stability in case you encounter any moving objects. As usual, a shutter release goes hand in hand with a tripod so pack it up to avoid camera shakes when shooting.
You will be surprised at how easy it is to forget to carry a light source during light photography. If you don’t own a flash gun, a flashlight will do just fine when it comes to illuminating your subject when need be.
Other additional things that you might need to carry based purely on personal preference are wide-angle lenses and a lens hood which will reduce lens flares that come from light and that are coming in at angles outside those of your frames.
Night Photography Tip #3
Shoot In A Manual Mode
I know most photographers especially newbies go for auto settings when shooting. Unfortunately, for you to be in total control of your camera, you will need the manual mode since you can set the ISO, Shutter speed and aperture depending on the conditions of your shooting environment. Also, remember that in auto mode your camera is set to dim excessively bright areas using white balance. This may be problematic especially when capturing area with both light and dim sections.
Night Photography Tip #4
Shoot In Raw
Using the raw formatting allows for more space hence your camera can record more details in photos ultimately. It also enables you to be flexible in that you can change many things later as editing is done. You will also incorporate more detail in your shots in terms of color when shooting in raw.
Night Photography Tip #5
Try Out The Bulb Mode And Ensure You Are Comfortable With It
I know I insisted on manual mode earlier but there is one mode even better than manual when it comes to night photography, bulb mode. For you to get a proper exposure, you will need the bulb mode because manual mode is only limited to exposures up to 30 seconds. Generally, night exposures require long exposures because they ensure that any faint light is recorded on the sensor. Typically, using bulb mode allows you to hold the shutter open for a long period of time which basically gives the light a longer time to register on the chip. The bulb exposures are best carried out using a remote release because holding the shutter button for long can be uncomfortable hence making unwanted movements.
Night Photography Tip #6
Ensure Your Camera Has Proper Settings
When shooting at night, you need to bias your settings in a certain way that will work effectively in any situation. Some of the crucial settings to pay keen attention to are;
- ISO- as a general rule, you need to the ISO settings at night as low as you possibly can. The major reason is that at night, there will be dark areas in the pictures inevitably leading to digital noise. The ISO being low will help contain the problem.
- Aperture-since during the night the shot will be narrower and the background and sky darker, opening up your aperture will do the pictures a lot of justice. A more open aperture or a larger aperture usually allows more light to the camera which is something you really need at night.
- Shutter speed- This is not something you would stress on too much because you are shooting from a tripod. The shutter can stay open for a long time depending on what you need. A longer shutter speed will benefit your pictures especially if you have running water or a fountain in the picture. It also comes in handy when you need to capture as much light in your photo as possible. Trial shots are highly encouraged to determine this.
Night Photography Tip #7
Finding a great composition can be quite a task but with a little patience, it can be very rewarding. To get a perfect composition, it will take a while especially if the exposures are more than 30 seconds hence a bright torch will suffice to illuminate the area and generally establish edges of the frame.
Night Photography Tip #8
Dress Appropriately For The Night Conditions
Not having enough clothes for the cold can easily turn an enjoyable night into an endurance test for cold real quick. Wearing gloves in cold weather also comes in handy especially since they offer substantial protection and are appropriate for accessing camera controls in the cold condition. In addition, you should carry a bug spray to protect you from insects that can be a nuisance when working at night.
If you love working in silence then you should definitely give night photography a try. This and extremely rewarding photos are some of the perks of night photography. If you come prepared and set your camera right, this will be a fun and easy experience. Just be ready to overcome the hurdles of low lighting.