Photography At Night - Tips & Techniques

Want to learn proper night time photography? Then you’d better pick up some good digital photography tutorials. One of the best times of day to shoot pictures is after dark. Some of the most beautiful pictures that you can capture require the stark contrast between the lights and the darkness of the night. The downside to capturing pictures at night is that they are fairly difficult to take properly. Night shooting is an art that takes time and practice to master, which is why it is important to know how to shoot night time pictures.

This digital photography tutorial aims to provide you with the necessary tips and techniques to improve your night time photography.

Tips #1: Dusk
One of the best tips for night time photographers is to take shots during the time that the light of day is not quite gone. Dusk is a time for beautiful pictures, as the illumination from the street lights, buildings, and cars provide a perfect contrast to the darkening sky overhead. You will find that the quality of the images that you capture at dusk can still be excellent, the lighting of your pictures may turn out breathtaking.

Tips #2: ISO Setting
When shooting images at night, it is better to use a higher ISO setting on your camera. Using a higher ISO setting will often take pictures that have a lot of noise. However, you will find that editing out noise from a photo is easy using Photoshop or some other photo editing program, but you can’t edit out the blur that using a lower ISO setting will result in.

Tips #3: Steady Shot
It is vital that you keep the camera steady when shooting night pictures. Seeing as there is very little light filtering into your camera when shooting night photos, keeping your camera steady is the only way that your pictures won’t come out blurry. In order to take good night photos, make sure that you are as steady as possible by using a tripod or resting your arms somewhere.

Tips #4: Mirror Lockup
There is a setting on many digital cameras that you can use, called the mirror lockup setting. This setting will enable you to take clear night pictures, as it will help to direct as much light into the lens as possible to get clear pictures. There is a self timer mode that you can use in place of the mirror lockup setting, but it won’t provide pictures of the same quality.

Tips #5: Use the Blur
Most of the time blurs tend to look bad in pictures, but the beauty of taking night picture is that some blurs just look downright awesome. These are usually motion blurs, an effect that occurs when a car passes by or when you move your camera in a line. You are able to capture some pretty cool effects at night if you can learn how to get the motion blur just right.

Tips #6: Zoom In With Open Lens
Another cool trick that you can use to capture awesome images is to zoom the camera in while the lens is still open. This is pretty hard to achieve without a lot of practice, but you will find that you can get an incredible effect that will make it seem that you are taking a picture while moving forward. If you can get it right, this technique can give you some amazing pictures.

Tips #7: Slow Shutter Speed
If you want to take a picture of a near object while ensuring that there is a motion blur in the background, you will find that using a slower shutter speed for a longer exposure will provide this effect. Use a flash to illuminate the object close to you. Make sure to set the flash to go off after the second shutter curtain, as most people will move the instant they see the flash.

Tips #8: Combine Multiple Pictures
If you want to get quality pictures, take the time to snap exact images of the same setting. Snap a picture on a lighter exposure, one on a darker exposure, and one at a medium setting. Use photoshop to combine the three images into a single High Dynamic Range image of excellent quality.

You do this by taking a number of these and stacking all of the images on top of each other to obtain the best quality image. Use your favourite photo editing software to accomplish this. This can give you excellent results and is worth a try.

All of the tips and techniques in this digital photography tutorial can make a big difference to your nighttime photography. The key is to experiment and play around a lot so you get comfortable with all the different techniques. After all, reading a digital photography tutorial is only step one. The next step to take is to get out there, apply your learnings and improve your photo taking abilities.

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