26 Nov 2009

Shooting Night Time Photography

Photography 4 Comments

What Is Night Photography?

I doubt you’re actually thinking that and if you are… well it’s self explanatory.

What Do I Need

  1. A camera with manual controls
  2. Tripod or Gorilla Pod
  3. Remote trigger “or on camera timer to allow camera to settle before the photo is taken”
  4. A scene with some light “you cant take a picture with no ambient light”

Set Up

Step 1

  1. Start by finding a stable surface to set your tripod or Gorilla Pod.
  2. Navigate to one of your cameras manual modes on the dial or menu they often look like.
    1. A-Dep = Automatic Depth of Field, camera picks the depth of field.
    2. M = Manual, it gives you full control over the shutter speed and aperture size. “Recommended for those who have an idea of how to do this”
    3. AV = Aperture Priority, when changing you aperture in this mode the shutter speed is automatically set. “Recommended”
    4. TV = Shutter Priority, lets you set the shutter speed while automatically changing the aperture.
    5. P = Programmable Mode, basically an advanced version of the Auto Mode allowing changes to be made to ISO, white balance, drive mode, metering mode, ect…
  3. Why manual modes?
    1. Manual modes give you more control over your camera, by allowing you to change the white balance, ISO, shutter speed, aperture size, and other features.

Step 2

  1. After setting your camera up set it to either “M” or “AV” I would recommend “AV” especially for those not familiar with manual settings.
  2. If you are shooting..
    1. Landscapes/City Scapes use a lower ISO like 200, and an Aperture larger than F16. “if your camera has noise reduction for long exposures I would turn it on”
    2. For people use a larger aperture such as F6 and an ISO of 400.
  3. Time to take the shot, either use the built in timer in your camera or a remote trigger.
    1. When using the timer use a long timer to allow the camera to settle after you remove your hands.
    2. When using a remote trigger allow time for camera to settle after handling it.
  4. Take the shot, make sure nothing moves the camera because you are more than likely in for a long exposure.

Issues That May Occur

  1. Motion Blur
    1. Cars moving “often a wanted effect”
    2. From camera shake “not wanted”
  2. High Noise ” long exposures and high ISO make for a lot of noise”

Rule Of Thumb

For Landscapes/Cityscapes

  1. If there isn’t enough light in an area for you to see around you chances are your camera wont either.
  2. Find a scene where the majority is lit to avoid over exposing/under exposing the image

For Portraits

  1. Make sure the subject stays as still as possible for the duration of the exposure.


Shot on Thanks Giving 2009 Atop a roof in St.Louis. I did this shot handheld, it has a little blur but turned out nice.

Shot on Thanks Giving 2009 Atop a Roof in St.Louis

Shot on Thanks Giving 2009 Atop a roof in St.Louis

Taken atop a roof in St.Lous Thanks Giving Day 2009.

Taken atop a roof in St.Lous Thanks Giving Day 2009. I set a timer on my camera got next to my brother and during the exposure we left thus giving a ghostly image.

4 Responses to “Shooting Night Time Photography”

  1. ahmed Sleem says:

    nice man, you’re good. Thanks 🙂

  2. Didim says:

    l like those pictures, l must try same to night 😉

  3. Lady Vaughner says:

    Hey could I use some of the insight from this entry if I reference you with a link back to your site?

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