Night Photography Tips
For Great Photography Art Images

Night Photography Tips - London Eye by Kate Tilmouth

These Night Photography Tips will enable all photgraphers to shoot stunning evening images. Many compact digital cameras and even some higher end cameras will have a night time setting to allow you to take shots after dark.

However to really be able to capture truly stunning night time photography you will need to have a SLR camera and a solid tripod which will enable you to have total control over the camera which is necessary to cope with the low light conditions.

  • The use of flash in after dark landscape photography is generally completely useless and so should be turned off. Using the manual setting will do this and will also give you complete control over all of the cameras settings.
  • A tripod will have to be used when shooting at night to keep the camera steady during a long exposure, which will keep the images sharp.
  • To be able to capture any colour or detail in the sky you will have to shoot in the first 30 minutes after sunset. After this time the streetlights will make it impossible to capture any detail once it has gone completely dark.
  • Make sure you take with you an extra battery, as long exposure will drain the power from your camera a lot quicker than in normal day light conditions. Night photography tips often over looked this problem and there is nothing worse than running out of power whilst out on a shoot. One of my first digital cameras was badly affected by the cold temperatures at night which would drain the battery even faster.
  • Of all the night photography tips, this one is simple but very effective at combatting the difficult light conditions after sunset. Choose the day light setting for your white balance as this will allow to record really deep rich blues in the sky and will give any bright lights, such as street lights, a warm yellow tint.
  • Take with you a low powered torch to enable you to be able to check your settings. Make sure the torch is not too bright, as this will affect how well your eyes adjust back to the low light levels of the evening.
Night Photography Tips - Noise Reduction Filter

One of the main problems with digital cameras and night time photography is that the longer exposure required to get the results you want may result in a grainy image.

This grain effect is known as noise. There are several ways to reduce this noise, they are:

  • If your camera has a noise reduction setting, make sure you have it turned on. This will increase the processing time between each image that can be taken but is generally only a few seconds more.
  • Some image manipulation software contain filters that reduce noise. Use the sliders within the filter to make the image as smooth as possible without losing too much detail.

This video takes you through the steps for setting up your camera to take great night shots.

DSLR Tips : Night Photography

A seven minute video showing how to take night photos.

Light Trails

Capturing the moving lights from cars or other moving objects at night to create light trails can lead to some exciting and eye grabbing images. However there are some fundamental steps to consider when planning to shoot light trails. These night photography tips will help you to ensure that you will get the best results.

Light Trails - Photo by Fiskfisk
  • Find a suitable place to shoot from is the first step, you will have to make sure that there is plenty of traffic on the road so that you will have enough passing during the long exposure required to achieve the light trails.
  • Looking down from a bridge onto a busy road is always a good advantage point.
  • Shoot at dusk to keep some of the colour in the sky for the exposure. This will add to the overall feel of the picture.
  • An exposure of between 10 and 20 seconds should be enough to get the light trail effect. Choose either the Bulb setting or drop the stop down until you get a sufficiently long enough exposure.
  • You will need to use a tripod to ensure the camera remains still during the long exposure. For hand held shots you will need to use a fast lens with apertures between f/1.0 to f/2.8 or a lens with built in stabilisation which are usually fast lens also.