Night Photography Tips and Tricks

Night photos can be some of the most dramatic photographs that you’ll ever shoot. City lights can create a beautiful look, with the correct aperture setting. Shooting photos of fireworks is fun, but needs a long shutter opening. Capturing photos of your friends during a nighttime party requires a good flash unit. Shooting those night photos can be a challenge, but having the right equipment and knowing the correct techniques certainly helps. Try these tips to improve your night photography results.

night photography tips tricks

Photo by Jacob Surland; ISO 800, f/22.0, 1/25-second exposure.

Use a tripod to make sure you don’t have any problems with blurry photos from camera shake. Shooting photos at night requires a slower shutter speed, which can lead to blurry photos.

• If you don’t have a tripod, you can try a few tricks for keeping the camera steady. First, set the camera on a steady surface, such as a table or the top of a wall, and consider using the camera’s self-timer or remote shutter. Second, lean your body weight against a building or door frame, holding your elbows in tightly to your body while shooting, thereby steadying yourself. Third, if you think your shot has plenty of external light, you can manually increase the shutter speed, and, hopefully, the photo’s exposure will be OK.

Try shooting around some water. At night, the water will appear black, but the reflection of the lights, moon, and other bright objects off the water create beautiful effects.

• Bring external lighting with you. If you’re trying to shoot a photo of people at night, you’ll need a powerful light or flash to provide enough light to illuminate the subjects. Some photographers even try to use directional light, such as a powerful flashlight, to create an artistic look in the photos.

Try several different camera settings with a single subject, just to ensure a properly exposed shot, especially if you’re learning to shoot at night. With a point and shoot, fully automatic camera, try a few different scene modes to figure out which one will work best. Shooting at night can be easier with a camera with manual control features, though.

Try a lot of angles when shooting at night. With the night sky in the background, shooting upward can create some interesting looks, for example.

Use blurred subjects and motion to your advantage by focusing on an object that cannot move. As people or vehicles move around the object, they will look slightly blurred in the final image, with the longer shutter speeds required most of the time at night. This type of look can be interesting and different from other photos.

About the Author:
Steve Schuldt is the president of United Camera, one of the nation’s largest repair centers for cameras, camcorders, gaming consoles, and Apple products.

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