Photography Tutorials and Articles

Tips For Night Photography

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Fundamental tips for Night Photography

With Omnilargess Night Photography class coming up this Friday I thought everyone would enjoy some great tips on night photography. There are only two more seats available for this amazing workshop!

Why do we take night photos? 

While they’re not difficult, they can be a challenge. Photography by definition is painting with light, and at night…well, there is very little light! This means we have to be more creative to achieve our goal and capture an outstanding image.

What’s the big fascination with night photography?

I believe it’s partly for the challenge, as photographers love challenging the light. This is also why not many people attempt night photography. Everybody shoots pictures during the day and as it gets dark they often stop or turn on their flash units. With night photography you’re taking pictures that most people don’t attempt; images which have potential to be interesting, dramatic and even mysterious. Night photography is not simply getting a picture in low light; it is about creating a new vision which is different from other photographs. In night photography you’re trying to do something special.

Omnilargess Night Time Photography Classes

Omnilargess Night Time Photography Classes. Photo by Margaret Bouwman

Fundamental tips for Night Photography

1-Tripod

When there’s only a little light you call on every method possible to make the most of it, and using a tripod is first on the list. You’re almost always going to need a tripod, especially for creating selective blur with slow shutter speeds—such as moving lights writing their magic lines and shapes. And even with a tripod, to prevent the slight vibration of the shutter release button, it is recommended to use the camera’s self-timer, a remote trigger or cable release to trip the shutter. When using a tripod be sure the Image stabilization function of your camera/lens is turned off.

2-Turn off the Autofocus

In night photography the autofocus sensor keeps searching to find something to focus on. It can cause delay or the camera may not even take the shot as it is waiting to focus first. Just set the camera to Manual Focus, choose your focus manually and you are ready to rock.

Slow shutter night time photography part of our Digital Camera Bootcamp

Slow shutter night time photography part of our Digital Camera Bootcamp. Photo by James Orr

3-Exposure Mode

I recommend using Manual Exposure or Aperture priority for night photography. In Manual exposure or Aperture priority, you set your aperture value first and then control the shutter speed.

4-Metering Mode

Metering mode is not as crucial in night photography as it is in day time photography. The best over all results come with using Centre Weighted metering as your camera sets the exposure for the centre of the viewfinder, which is probably the most important part of the scene anyway.

5-White Balance 

Try them all and see what suits your style and preference. Auto white balance will tend toward more warmth for yellow and orange lights in a scene. If you are shooting in artificial light, a good starting point is either the incandescent or fluorescent setting. If you are not happy with how they look, try the other settings. If you want to capture the deep blue colour of the night sky, set your White Balance to “Day Light/Direct Sun”.

6-ISO

I recommend to use the lowest possible ISO, as the low sensitivity to light not only allows you to use longer exposures, it also provides the best possible Dynamic Range for post processing.

That is all for now. Our Night Photography class is this Friday September 11 and there is only two more spots left. Register now to book your spot, as it is going to an amazing photography adventure!

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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