Its Christmas time and if you are like me you want to get out at night and get some images of the lights this time of year. I did some research to help me get better at shooting Night Photography and I found some great info I wanted to share.
Use long exposures (time exposure). This makes sure you get enough light into the camera. You will need a camera where you can control aperture, ISO, and shutter speeds. You will also need to ALWAYS use a tripod when shooting at night for stabilization.
Tripod! Don't forget the Tripod! :)
Set camera to Manual Mode (M) - and don't forget to turn off stabalization (VR).
ISO: Unless you are shooting night time sports, use a slower film speed. This will reduce the grain visible in your images and produce a much clearer image.
Aperture: Lower the aperture the more light gets in the lighter the image, the higher the aperture the darker the image. So you will want to use a lower aperture.
Shutter speed: Test different shutter speeds. Maybe try 10 seconds and go up or down from there, depending on the results you want. It takes some experimentation.
Remote Release: Remote release is the most preferred method of shutter release for night photography.
Use your Camera Light Meter Point your camera at the darkest area, to get a correct reading. It may say that you need a flash, or if you have a SLR, you may see the metering bar showing you how much underexposed your image will be at your current settings.
Even though most of the time you will want to keep your meter reading in the center, there are times you will need to deliberately overexpose or underexpose your images slightly. Sometimes this is for artistic effect but usually it is because you are shooting in conditions that can confuse the meter.
Examples of times to overexpose
•Subject is very dark in comparison to background
•On a bright day if your subject is in shadow
Examples of times to underexpose
•Subject is very light in comparison to background
•To achieve a silhouette effect
•On a overcast day to increase color saturation
Trick/Tip: Try zooming in and out while camera exposes, you will get a mix of sharpness in the center of the image and blur at the edges, creating action and movement.
Night Photography – Shooting Video in Low Light – How to reduce Noise
Here are the four main rules to remember while videotaping in low lights at night.
1)Never go higher than ISO speed 1600 or image gets really noisy.
2)Keep shutter speed between 1/30 – 1/50. If you shoot with higher shutter speeds some lights will start to flicker.
3)Set Aperture between F1.2 – F5.6
4)Take contrast completely down or image will be darker than suppose to be.
With these four rules you should get good results.
It’s all about the Lens. Lens with aperture 5.6 is much darker than lens with aperture of 2.8. Also, Remember to go where there are plenty of lights. No lights = very noisy image.
If you have any tips, corrections, or other helpful info on night photography please let me know. Thanks for Looking!