Bringing Out the Beauty in Your Night Photography

Night photography is one of the best ways to produce stunning images. There is something about trailing lights, moonlight sky and other dazzling subjects that convey a wonderful picture to the eyes. Something, daytime photographs could not accomplish much.

However, night time photography requires another set of skills and additional effort because of the lack of proper lighting. If done correctly, a photographer will have more room to explore their creativity with night photography. Here are a few guides to help you take great photographs at night.

The important thing to remember to achieve successful night photography relies in a long exposure setting. We’re speaking about exposures spanning in seconds. When you use a long exposure, more light is infused into the camera, allowing the correct set of details in your night photograph to be captured. The main problem of using long exposures is that your hand will shake while holding the camera, resulting in blurred pictures. The solution for this is simply use a tripod, best with using a shutter release as well.

night photography

One problematic issue with digital cameras is that pixels always occur on the image sensor which makes photographs look bad. When shooting day photos, these defects are not visible. However, they are pretty noticeable in night time photos. How do we solve these? Here’s a proper way of taking a control shot, and afterward using an image editing to get rid out those bad pixels.

First step is to shoot a picture of Scene A, as you usually would. Then, when it’s suitable, shoot another photo of the exact same Scene A again, this time with the lens cap on. Now, you will end up with two images, one normal night shot and one with a controlled shot (with the hot pixels). Open both in your photo editing software for example, Paint Shop Pro. Go to the control shot and click on the Edit and Copy from the menu. Next, change to the night time shot and paste the copied photograph as a new layer. Finally, choose the new layer and replace the Blend Mode to Difference and click OK. The result is you will achieve the perfect night time shot without the bad pixels and the hot spots.

night photography

Using a long exposure, a photographer can expand their creative options when it comes to night time photography. This includes photographing motion. For example, photographers shooting images of trails of car lights as they pass by down the highway at night? This is achieved with long exposures.

Other than shutter speed, you can also experiment with changing the aperture size of your camera. There are two settings here. If you use a long exposure, you must use a smaller aperture to avoid overexposing any fixed lights. Doing the opposite, if you set a short exposure, then you should try setting a larger aperture to avoid any blurred motion in your image.

One last proper method of correctly taking night time photography is by using a flash, although the least popular way because photographers are turned off by the bright light a flash can cause, this can be solved by using flash filters or by bouncing off your flash through a wall or a little white bouncer attached to your flash. This also provides ample creativity opportunities.

There you go; I hope you have learned a thing or two in how to properly take correct night time photographs. If you follow this simple guide then you will know how easy it is to capture magnificent photographs during the night.


About Kristine Buenavista

Tin oftentimes takes her folding bike and old camera along country roads. Sometimes, she forgets to take pictures (though she never forgets when she finds great photos elsewhere). She narrates through words and images here. Travel, creativity, laughter, cerveza negra, scavenge hunt for beauty, starry-windy nights are among the things that make her feel weightless.

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