Tips for Night Photos

There was a meetup today at Rizal Park to shoo...

There was a meetup today at Rizal Park to shoot the Seattle Skyline at dusk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Taking up photography can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it also presents a great deal of challenges to those who are just beginning to understand the many dynamics and variables within it: it’s not just aiming and clicking!  One of the big issues to overcome is that of night photos:: how to get decent shots when it’s dark outside.  Well, we’ve put together a few tips to help you get those great night shots:

Pick a good location.   Planning ahead is an important aspect of any photography shoot, but this is double the case when it comes to night shots.    Check out any location you’re planning to shoot in advance, and consider things like where the light sources are (so you know how much you’ll need to provide yourself), what potential issues are there (ie, if you’re planning to shoot traffic, look for the busier roads and times)

Make use of the settings.  If you’re just starting out, then there’s nothing wrong with using the presets that your digital camera will have.  It’s very common for modern cameras to have a setting or two designed purely to get results from night shoots.   If you don’t have the presets, you can always explore creating your own.  If you get out on the web, you’ll find plenty of tutorials on how to do this.

Use a tripod.  One of the most common ways that night shots get ruined is that almost any movement can cause blurring.  The best way to avoid this is to use a tripod to ensure you get maximum stability when taking the shots.   Another good idea is to use the built in self-timer, as this will ensure you won’t even have to move the camera to press the shutter!

Work on your composition.   When working on your composition, night presents some unique barriers to getting the perfect shot, such as part of the frame being covered by darkness, or some areas being more brightly lit than others.  Of course, these unique features are what makes a lot of great night shots, but it’s still important that you take the time to explore the potential issues that they can provide.

Use the high quality image you can.  At night, it’s especially important to shoot in the highest image quality that you can, meaning RAW.  Using this quality, your images will retain the most information, which means that you’ll have more options when you start using software to edit them.

This article was written in association with UK canvas printing experts Somer Print.

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