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Eight Tips for Nailing Night Photography Every Time

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

The nighttime is so exciting. Taking pictures after the sun goes down allows you to capture scenery in a totally different way.

Obviously, the most challenging thing about night photography is, well, the lack of light of course. Getting a well lit photo requires use of the right lighting, but it also takes the proper settings. This article will discuss how to get great photos after dark.

Use Manual Mode

Manual mode allows you to set the shutter speed, aperture and ISO giving you complete control of the camera. This will help you account for light and dark spots in the image so you get the perfect balance.

If you’re not comfortable using the controls, take your time. It’s a trial and error process but eventually you will find success.

Get Comfortable with Bulb Mode

Manual mode is recommended, but your camera will only stay in that mode for 30 seconds. The only way to set it for longer is so use Bulb mode.

In Bulb mode, the shutter will stay open as long as you are holding the shutter down. A remote shutter release will control shaking as you are trying to capture your image.

If your remote shutter release doesn’t have a timer, you can use another timer instead, such as the one on your phone. A locking feature will also come in handy as it will eliminate the need for you to hold the shutter down the entire time the picture is being taken.

Shoot in RAW Format

RAW format is recommended for night photography because it provides a wide range of colors. It will also make for a smooth transition between colors.

At nighttime, a wide range of color is important. If you don’t shoot in RAW, you may only have access to darker shades.

Bring a Flashlight

A flashlight will help you see your camera’s features which will come in handy when you’re trying to set it. It can also provide extra lighting in a pinch.

Get the Settings Right

Your camera should be set as follows:

• Aperture: Open up your aperture (or use a low f-stop number) when shooting at night. This will let in more light and it will help your camera adjust to the limited depth of field.

• ISO: Night photography has dark areas that cause digital noise. Set your ISO low to keep this noise to a minimum.

• Shutter Speed: When shooting at night, you can let your shutter speed stay open as long as you need it. A slow shutter speed will produce a great effect when photographing traffic lights and other moving objects. It will also work well in high winds.

Metering Modes

Your meter may become confused as you shoot between darks and brights at night. The best thing to do is use spot metering and expose for the highlights. A +1, +2 setting is recommended as it will keep highlights looking bright while keeping it in the dynamic range of your camera.

Bracket Your Photos

Bracketing photos requires taking the same photos using different settings and different exposures. This will give you plenty of options and you are sure to get at least one good shot out of the bunch.

Check the Exposure Using Your Histogram

The histogram is a graphical representation of the pixels in your image. Even though the LCD will let you know if your photos are properly exposed, the histogram is more accurate. It will give you a better idea of whether your camera is in its dynamic range.

Taking photos at night can open up a whole new world. The tips in this article will help you capture clear photos even if you don’t have the light to make it happen. How do you get great nighttime shots?

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