Today I will be writing about….? You gues right DSLR night photography tips. Yes! I want to share with you my experience, what gear you will need (not a lot) and everything about your camera settings
So let’s get started. 😀
Why Take Pictures at night?
That was my first question before I went out with a friend to learn about some night photography tips techniques. The answer is simple. At night everything looks different. You have shadows, lights, and a totally different atmosphere. Places that look pretty average during the day become the perfect location. Even a normal lantern can be interesting. 🙂
The Gear you will Need:
- Any lens
- Flashlight for light painting and because you WILL 100% need it. 😀
- your phone or a remote control for your camera. If you want to shoot in bulb mode.
The Technique Behind it.
Since you don’t have a lot of light at night you need to have either a high-end camera, with a super sensitive sensor like the 1dx, or a tripod. One of those two things is available for 28€ (not the 1dx). We go with the tripod. The tripod gives us stability, so we can lower our shutter speed as low as we want.
Quick Tip nr 1.
Try to find a place without wind, because the wind will pull on your camera and blur your image.
Quick Tip nr 2.
If you happen to use an 18-55mm lens from canon you will run into problems, when trying to set focus to infinite. Because some genius guy at Canon decided to not mark the infinite focus point on the lens. But don’t worry! Point your flashlight at an object 2 m away from you, so your camera has enough light to focus on it. Now turn your autofocus off and try not to touch the focus ring. Job done. Your lens is now focused in infinite.
My Night Time Photography Settings
Shoot in raw:
Rule number one Shoot in RAW because some of your pictures may look fantastic on your camera screen, but later on your computer, they are way underexposed. Plus at night you have a very high range from bright to dark.
A few people turn up the iso and that’s 100%, correct if you try to shoot freehand. But as soon you put your camera on a tripod, turn down the Iso, because you don’t want any noise in your picture. Right?
Since the camera is mounted on a tripod, don’t be afraid to drop the shutter time down to 30 sec. or how far you need to. If you need to go over 30. seconds set your camera to bulb and connect your phone (if supported by your camera) or your remote control with it.
Use Manual Mode
Turn your Camera to M so you can control aperture, Iso, and shutter. That is a great way to learn more about the Manual mode and getting a feeling for it. Without missing shots and won’t need automatization anyway, since you got a lot of time to take a picture.
Try to use a high aperture (small) to get the nice light flares (I don’t know what they called) 😛 f/16 should be good enough.
Find the Right
I always take test shots and work my way up to where I want the picture to be. Try to expose a bit too dark, so you won’t overexpose the highlights and blow them out. The reason why is, because your picture will have black areas in your picture anyway since it’s a night picture. But you don’t want the highlights burnt out in a night picture. A good rule of thumb is to start at -2 and adjust from there.
Use a camera remote, mobile or the self-timer on 2 sec. on your camera. This is important so you don’t shake the camera while pressing the button.
Night Time Photography Ideas
Look For Wet Places
Rain is awesome or maybe when it stopped raining. This is actually my favorite time to go shooting because you will find reflections everywhere and together with the lamps at night it’s a perfect combination. Marinas are awesome too. Sometimes when there is no water I even take a bottle of water with me and empty it in front of my camera. I may look stupid doing that but it gets the job done. 😀
Try Hdr since you are on a tripod anyway. You might not like the look of them, but it is always a good backup if you over or underexposed a picture.( I think at night it’s ok to use HDR nobody sees you anyway).
Try to Capture Light Trails.
This one is very easy. Just go near a busy street and aim your camera at it. The driving cars will do the rest for you.
One Last Thing
If you still don’t know or don’t want to go outside at night to take pictures, just give it a chance you will be surprised. 🙂
That’s already it! So go outside and get started. 🙂 If you have any kind of questions or opinions, feel super free to tell me in the comments! I will get back to you in no time. Until then have an AWESOME Shoot. 🙂