Card Set Information
Guide for taking night time shots, digital cameras.
When is the best time to shoot?
Just before and after the sun goes down. Changing light gives more possibilities. Same applies to sunrise.
What equipment do I need?
A digital camera capable of long exposures and a sturdy tripod.
Noise reduction systems are found on recent cameras so be sure to enable it.
An extra battery may be required as long exposures drain batteries quickly. A small torch or led headtorch is essential.
What camera settings?
Try and set up you camera before venturing out of doors especially in winter.
Set to manual exposure mode.
Chose an f stop around mid range.
Shutter speed is a matter of trial and error, start with 1 sec. and go up depending on results.
Set the ISO speed to minimum to reduce noise.
Use manual focus if your auto focus is struggling.
What about location?
City centre and tourist attractions with lots of reflective surfaces are ideal After rain provides excellent opportunities and waterfronts or rivers banks are ideal.
Moving traffic leaves a trail of light and can be spectacular.
For country shoots try for a full moon shot. The moon can give off a surprising amount of light.
What subjects are suitable?
Look for interesting features such as buildings, sculptures, natural features such as trees.
Or perhaps less recognisable structures taken from odd angles.
People tend not to show up if moving through the shot and if static will not be sharp and clear.
Try for backlighting or even an off camera flash to highlight a feature.
How to start?
Long exposures are the key to great results.Exposure time is your friend in night photography.
Try a one second exposure and review the result.
If underexposed increase the exposure time and open up a stop.
If overexposed reduce the exposure time and close down a stop.
Review and adapt until you get the result you want.
If you run out of options with exposure time and aperture you can increase the iso speed.
What about composition?
Bear in mind the digital camera will pick up more colour strength than your eyes at night so be ambitious when it comes to colour.
Perspective is also our friend so take account of it and make use of it to give depth to the shot.
Look for lines that lead the eye into the picture, diagonals are useful.
Textures can be useful when strong but don't expect the same dramatic effects you would expect in daylight.
Prepare beforehand by getting to know your camera modes.
Study images produced by other night photographers.
Get to know what images appeal to you and grab your imagination.
Look for the unusual, the unexpected occurence.
Blocks of coloured light, decorative dynamic lighting such as neon as well as traffic trails. Weave them into your image.
Look for symmetry especially where reflections and water are involved.
Movement brings an image to life, use it.