When darkness falls there is no excuse to put your camera away as night photography can be an exciting adventure. While I mainly shoot night photos in nature, there is no excuse not to try it in the city.
Here are some tips to make the journey to beautiful night pictures a little easier.
Firstly, choose the right equipment.
Tripod and shutter release
Apart from a camera, a sturdy tripod is crucial for night photography. Low light photography requires slower shutter speeds which can result in camera shake. The smallest movement can spoil that night picture, so use a shutter release cable. If you don’t have one, set your timer to two seconds to achieve perfection in night photography.
Choose a lens with the widest angle and the highest aperture. With a wide angle you fit more into the image. Lenses with high apertures (small f-number) allow more light into the camera, a big advantage when shooting in darkness or low light. Don’t have a wide angle? Never let your equipment limit your capabilities – I use my kit lens.
Low light photography is not always easy, especially when it comes to focussing. Apart from helping with focus, torches can be used to light up subjects briefly for better night photography. Play around with light painting techniques to add something different.
Set the scene for perfect night pictures
Water and lights can create interesting effects, whether you are out in nature or the city. Experiment and create interesting night photography scenes by playing with light trails. Try this with stars or moving vehicles, depending on the location. Remember, light trails are not achieved with fast shutter speeds, so slow down and see the results.
Never give up
Play with your camera settings for the best night pictures. Night photography is not easy, but once you get the perfect combination between ISO, shutter speed and aperture, it becomes easier. I remember spending hours trying to get the stars in focus, and eventually you will get it right. This brings me to the last point…
Make sure you dress warm enough as it is always more rewarding to spend long hours outdoors. That perfect shot is never just 10 minutes away.
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