night photography. time of day with many night photography subjects, total darkness isn’t always...
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Night PhotographyTime of dayWith many night photography subjects, total darkness isnt always the best time to do night shots. Late dusk is actually the preferred time. This is when there is a tiny bit of light left in the sky after sunset, or before sunrise for the early rising photographer.The advantages of shooting during this time is there will be less large areas of black in the image, cutting down on excessive contrast and allowing for more color. The residual daylight that is left will also fill in the large shaded areas that are not lit by artificial light.Plan it OUtPick good locations beforehand by scouting out the best spots in your local town to find the most interesting lights and architecture, or if youre looking to shoot traffic light trails, check which roads are busiest, when is the best time for traffic, and which is the best (and safest) position to take photos from.Carefully study the scene before you start taking photos. Are parts of the scene in darkness? Do areas of the shot become more interesting, brightly lit or colorful as it gets darker? If so, dont be afraid to zoom in on the most photogenic areas. Zoom in with your wide-angle zoom lens or zoom with your feet just move closer to your subject.Use the B or Bulb setting on when neededOnce the shutter dial is adjusted to "B" or BULB, the shutter will stay open as long as the shutter button is pressed and will not close until the shutter button is released.
Use a TripodIt is vital to keep the camera steady as you will be using very slow shutter speeds and will not be able to hand hold the camera steady. The result would be camera shake, which appears as blur in the final image. For a long exposure, its wise to use your cameras self timer or a remote release to prevent blurring when you press the shutter buttonUse the lens sweet spot
By using apertures in the middle of the available range (f/8 to f/16) youll increase your chances of capturing the sharpest shots with your lens.
Use Manual MOde to adjust for exposureIn daylight conditions the light meter is a fairly accurate tool for determining exposureHowever at night some meters perform better than others but all can only be used as a rough guide. In such low light situations the light meter can only be used as a starting point for exposing the scene properly.How to Expose for the NightThe only good light meter for night photography is your eye and experience. Because we are no longer dealing with daylight, a metered reading can only be used as a "starting point". Begin by composing and focusing your shotSet a narrow aperture around f/16, then dial in the right shutter speed until your light meter shows proper exposureTake some shots and review them on your LCD. Remember this is what your camera thinks is the best exposure, but if your shots are looking too bright, underexpose by 1-2 stops so that they actually look darkFor night photography it is best to take four or five images of the same scene at different exposures, called exposure bracketing.
ISOIt is a common belief that the lower the available light, the faster the ISO sensitivity rating needs to be to get enough light onto the sensorUsually this is true, however; fast ISO settings (i.e. 400 ISO and over) are not always necessary for night shotsThere may be an occasion when this effect is desired for night photography, but on the whole fast ISO is not necessary. In fact a slow speed ISO can be used just as effectively, the exposures needed would just be that bit longer, sometimes for several secondsDont forget to use a tripod. And if you have a long exposure try to use the timer or a remote release.Using a narrow aperture (around f/16) will not only ensure a deeper depth of field, so your shots are sharp from foreground to background, but will also make street lights sparkle in your scenes to give your pictures an added magical effect.How to get a 'starburst' effect on street lights
Troy Paiva specializes in night photography and light-painting techniques. He explores Americas abandoned urban landscapes in his latest book Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration.
Troy Paiva I thought this would be a cool technique for you to try! Light Painting Landscapes.
You can also add color.
Use slow shutter speeds for moving lights
Its NOT AS HARD AS IT LOOKS! Experiment!All you need is the night, a camera, a tripod, a remote (or timer) and a light source such as a flood light or a flashlight. Colored gels over the flashlight will look cool too. If you are going to set the camera off with a remote and move around the picture to use the flashlight, move VERY FAST and you will not show up in the picture! And wear dark clothes.If you dont have a remote, set your cameras timer. Or bring a friend who will press the shutter button for you. Shoot on B or bulb if needed. COMPOSE YOUR SHOT using the art principles (emphasis, balance, etc) you have learned!!Your shutter speed will probably be about 30 seconds, so you will most likey have to stop down your aperture to f/22 or even f/32.
How to take pictures of starsTripod Were going to be dealing with exposures in the tens of seconds and I dont care who you are, youre going to need something to stabilize your camera.A Camera With Manual Controls Manual control of your ISO and shutter speed are going to be essential for photographing the stars.A Wide Aperture Lens Youll need a lot of light and f/2.8 seems to be the butter zone for astrophotography. Combine this with an ultra-wide lens and depth of field wont be a problem.When photographing these tiny pinholes of light you will need as much light to hit your sensor as possible. Therefore its important to use combination of high ISO, wide apertures, and long shutter speeds. For example: ISO of 1250 an aperture of f/2.8 and an exposure of 30 seconds. The slower the shutter speed though, the more movement in the stars you will get. You HAVE to get away from city lights.Shoot in RAW.
For example: ISO of 1250 an aperture of f/2.8 and an exposure of 30 seconds. Shot in RAW.