After few popular photography inspiration from our blog, time for some basic ideas to shoot during night.
It is most definitely not a walk in the park to take photographs at night especially if one is an amateur photographer. There are a lot of compromises that a photographer is expected to make when taking photos in low light and this makes the whole exercise to be technically demanding. You will be expected to make compromises in ISO settings, shutter speed and even aperture.
It is advisable for beginners and intermediate photographers to understand that using direct flash in pitch black leads to underexposed backgrounds and an overexposed subject that is very scary!
Few Basic Tips on Night Photography
It is important to understand that there are other things to be considered in night photography apart from simply using flash. There is no need to worry if you do not know how to take night photos because this article will provide you with some valuable night photography tips:
1. Choose Your Exposure
The background determines the way your photo will appear and that is why it important to choose how you want it appear. You may want the background to be exposed like the subject or for it to be pitching black. You must be sure of what you want to achieve before touching the camera and tripping the shutter.
The next thing after choosing your background is to select your desired exposure settings. It is advisable to use manual focus because rogue light sources can fool the camera’s metering. It can be a total disaster if the camera metering accepts to be fooled!
2. Shoot Raw and Post-process
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You should choose your settings wisely especially if your settings do not favor high contrast because you can end up with something that is not actually black. This is the reason why shooting raw and post-processing is the best option. This helps a great deal when large dark areas are included in your night shots. The shadow noise can be reduced by ensuring that the blacks are clipped a bit.
3. Watch for Flare
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You can actually end up with some pretty nasty flares because of rogue light sources and longer exposures. Lenses that are prone to flaring should not be used in the presence of rogue lights unless you want a flaring effect. You should avoid shooting near populated areas or shooting long exposures because it can lead to light contamination.
4. Your Camera should be steady
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Long exposure requires a good tripod for you to take quality photos. Lack of sharpness and camera shakes lead to the many issues that are normally associated with night exposures. The shake induced by pressing the shutter button should not worry you if the exposure is longer that 1 second. It is advisable to consider using self-timer or remote release if your exposure is between 1sec and 1/15 of a sec.
5. Use your Flash Properly
Using a flash to fill the scene by itself is not a good idea. A flash can only be used together with ambient light to add attractive lighting. Metering the scene as if you would not use the flash at all is the proper way of using your flash.
You should only consider what you want to do with your flash after choosing ISO, aperture and shutter speed. The shutter speed is irrelevant to the flash exposure even when it comes to illuminating a specific part of the scene or creating the illusion of a larger light source. The best way to get the output that you want is by experimenting with the flash settings.
Photography Contributor: Lisa Ely is a photography blogger and editing expert. She is also part of Inkjet Photo Paper. If you’d like to read about their inkjet photo paper review, head over to their website.
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