5 tips for Night Photography

It may be heading towards Spring now, but there’s still time to make the most of the dark evenings with you camera.

Here are a few ideas and tips….

  1. You really need a tripod for all but the most creative “camera moving” shots – this is because the low light means you need long shutter speeds, often up to 30 seconds or more. There’s no way you can hold the camera still that long and not move it – giving blurred shots.
  2. Try to include moving lights in the shots – the most obvious thing is traffic, be it from a motorway bridge as cars zoom past or on the pavement next to a road. The lights turn into glowing lines, but the car doesn’t show… its magic!
  3. Add your own light to the scene – you can increase the interest in a night shot by using a torch to illuminate different parts of the shot. You set a long exposure going on your camera, then switch the torch on and point it at the thing you want to light – move the beam steadily over the it and you will get a more even covering of light.
    Blue torch adds light
  4. Use a head torch. They may look very geeky and weird, but when its dark and you’re looking in your kit bag for something, it makes a huge difference having both hands free AND light in the bag. Also, if it’s really dark where you’re walking, its far safer to have a light on the floor.
  5. Zoom Bursts…. this is a technique where you take a longish exposure (say at least a second) and “zoom” the lens from one extreme to the other. This means that every point of light in the shot becomes a line. If you do it with the camera on a tripod, they become straight lines, if you do it hand held, they tend to be a little wavey. It’s a cool effect
    Zoom Burst

11 thoughts on “5 tips for Night Photography”

    1. Yeah – great tip there too David. You “can” also use noise reduction on your camera, but the exposure time doubles, because the camera takes a second shot with the shutter closed and works out what noise there was from that… it’s not an isse if it’s 1 or 2 seconds, but for a 5 minute shot it can be a real pain.

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