Night/Dark Photography Primer

I’ve decided to try to use night photographs in my final project, so I’ve had to learn some new techniques to take photos with very low light. There are a few different routes you can go down in night photography, but I’ll try to help out with some tips.

First, you’ll want to raise your ISO setting, to 800 or higher. You simply cannot get the level of detail from a night sky that you can from daylight. The grain will look better than blur you would otherwise get. Open your aperture as wide as possible and slow down your shutter speed to at least 1 second. Make sure you meter and white balance on location .(I’ve found that incandescent settings work best for night) Make sure you are standing absolutely still – it is best to lean against something or sit/kneel to steady your camera as much as possible. The slow shutter speed will make the tiniest movements into noticeable blur that otherwise would not occur at faster shutter speeds. A TRIPOD IS BEST.

To keep your night eyes, try not to look at previews or menu settings on your camera too much. Learn how to adjust the aperture and shutter speed without looking at your display. If you look up close at your screen to fix something, you’ll look back at your subject and just see darkness.

Hope this helps!


~ by fingoscrip on October 22, 2011.

One Response to “Night/Dark Photography Primer”

  1. This post needs even more images that were actually taken with a tripod. Also, this is just one way to do night photography, and it focuses around one specific subject as well. You need to talk about how to capture moving subjects at night, and stress that the tripod is the most important aspect earlier. (or not, but show alternative ways of shooting without the tripod at night) talk more about light levels and (!)exposure settings in detail with examples(!). This post functions OK as a primer, but it should be a more in-depth.


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