Card Set Information

2012-01-21 07:39:20
night time

Guide for taking night time shots, digital cameras.
Show Answers:

  1. When is the best time to shoot?
    Just before and after the sun goes down. Changing light gives more possibilities. Same applies to sunrise.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Top tips?
    • 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.