Photography Tutorials and Articles

Learn night photography tips to improve your exposure techniques

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Advanced Night Photography Workshop

Announcing a new class:

Consistently getting good exposures is a key component to success with photography. And yet, with so many types of lighting scenarios, this could be one of the biggest challenges faced by all shooters: understanding how to get it right in camera. We all have been there, enjoying enough experience in natural daylight conditions, for example, but occasionally struggling to get correct exposures for a specific scene. We may understand how to use our camera’s built in light meter, change the metering modes and other important skills. But how well does that apply to night photography? Why can’t we nail the exposure each and every time?

Is shooting night scene photos much different from day time photography?

Yes!  The first and most basic reason is because at night you are working with much lower light. The low light doesn’t create strong shadows and the built-in light meter often cannot read the light correctly.

Night Photography Tips

Omnilargess Night Time Photography Classes
Omnilargess Night Photography Classes. Photo credit Margaret Bouwman

Composition in night photography is different too:

Due to lack of strong shadows, composition techniques are different for night photography as well. You need to consider other elements for creating depth and dimension in pictures.

Night Photography Tips

Night photography is one of our most popular Digital Camera classes. Photo credit: James Orr
Night photography is one of our most popular Digital Camera classes. Photo credit: James Orr

Night photography and White Balance:

Most new cameras can accurately assess a decent White Balance for daylight shooting, but when it comes to night photography, White Balance can be a big challenge.

Check our Upcoming Photography Classes to find workshops that you need to take!

Night Photography Tips

Adjusting the White Balance and correct exposure are the key features in night photography
Adjusting the White Balance and correct exposure are the key features in night photography

A few tips for night photography:

Here are some simple and effective tips for your night photography adventures.
1- Metering Mode:
The best metering mode for night photography is either Centre Weighted or an advanced metering mode the manufacturers call Matrix, Evaluated, Multi Segmented, etc. This mode meters different parts of the scene and creates an average reading.
2- White Balance:
If you are taking pictures at night and some daylight is still present in the sky, use the Daylight preset from White Balance Presets in your camera. This works best is there is little to minimal city light contamination.
For city scene night photography with little to no ambient light, try different White Balance Presets to find out which works best or do a Custom White Balance and save yourself time in post processing!
3- Aperture Setting:
Personally I prefer to use f11 to f16 in my night time photography. Wide open aperture settings can cause undesirable halo and flare around the light sources.
4- Shutter Speed:
In night photography you will always use slower shutter speeds. For best results use a Shutter Release Cable or Remote Control to trip the shutter, especially when you want to shoot slower than 30 seconds and/or use the BULB setting. (Most digital cameras can go as slow as 30 seconds.)
5- ISO Setting:
I recommend using a fixed ISO. Auto ISO can produce unexpected and undesirable results.

If you’d like to learn some solid advanced techniques for getting great night shots, please check out the details for this fully hands-on Night Photography workshop/field trip on May 12th from 7-9pm.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

Advanced Night Photography Workshop

May 12th 2017 from 7-9pm

Join us on May 12th for this exciting Night Photography workshop, where you will gain new skills from live shooting scenarios and find more hidden settings on your camera.

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