Make The Most Of The Dark With Night Photography

Night photography can be quite a challenge, especially for beginners. Getting great night shots often requires you to manipulate shutter speed, aperture and ISO, which can be a struggle when you are still getting to grips with how a camera operates. A photography workshop or photography course for teens is often a great way to get up to speed with camera mechanics and how they can be used to create beautiful night shots.

If you have primarily learnt all your photography skills in daylight, then you will find that taking pictures at night doesn’t work in quite the same way. Not only do you need to adjust your camera settings to handle the low lighting, but also many photography rules need to be adapted or even entirely ignored at night.

A teen online photography course can be a great way to learn night photography techniques and how best to adjust your setting to get that amazing night shot. Next time you venture out in the darkness to get some snaps, consider the following tips and tricks.

Scout Out Locations Beforehand

When night falls, everything around takes on a completely different look and feel. A location that is amazing to photograph in daylight might be dull and mundane in the dark and vice versa. A photography course for teens will teach you to explore your locations before heading out for your photoshoot. Scouting the area for the shots you want to capture beforehand can save you precious time and keep you from coming across any unexpected surprises.

Look out for picturesque night landscapes that you can capture. Bright city lights can make for amazing skyline shots, always think about the rule of thirds when taking night landscapes, just as you would during the day. Plan to arrive at the location for your shoot about one hour before sunset. This will give you enough time to get everything set up and give you the chance to take some photos as the sun goes down.

During sunset the lighting conditions change rapidly and can be good for learning how this changing light affects your scene.

Don’t forget to stay safe for night photography, only choose appropriate locations, tell someone where you’re going and take someone with you.

Lillie’s Top Tips: Find monuments or statues that get lit up during the night, these make for really great night photography subjects as they stand out well from the background and give you the chance to capture sometimes bright and well lit in the dark.

Always Use A Tripod

Before getting stuck in to learning night photography, make sure you have a sturdy tripod available to you. Taking photos at night time often requires long exposures which require your camera to be perfectly steady and still at all times.

Most tripods will have a bubble spirit level which is handy for determining if your tripod is straight or not, or if your tripod doesn’t have this feature then you can turn on your camera’s virtual horizon which will make sure your camera is levelled.

Lillie’s Top Tips: If you don’t have a tripod available then don’t worry, if you can find some kind of solid surface to rest your camera on then this can also work wonders for reducing camera shake and giving steady images.

Experiment With Shutter Speeds

Capturing moving objects at night can result in some amazing effects that you just can’t catch during the daytime. If you don’t fully understand how shutter speeds and other camera settings work then a photography workshop or photography course for teens such as Street Photography will teach you all the basics of how a camera works.

Use the shutter priority setting when shooting moving objects at night, this lets you set the shutter speed, and your camera will automatically set the aperture. This setting can help you to create impressive light streaks within your night landscapes.

It might seem logical to use a very wide aperture for long exposures at night, but this often isn’t necessary. In some cases when you have a combination of a really slow shutter speed and a wide aperture it can result in your image being overexposed. You might be surprised at the amount of light our camera can pick up, even in very dimly lit scenes.

If you are using shutter priority mode then check the aperture that your camera selects for you, it is often as small as f/22 for an exposure that is a few seconds long.

Lillie’s Top Tips: If you want to capture moving car lights in your images then try using slow shutter speeds such as 10 to 30 seconds to create colourful light trails. Remember that the lower the shutter speed, the longer the light trail will be.

Explore The Unknown

Taking photos at night time is very different to photography in the light of day, and while a teen online photography course can give you the basic understanding of camera mechanics and settings, the best way to learn is to get out with a camera and practice.

Get out and explore what your camera can do in the dark and try out various different settings and subjects to see what effects you can create. Night time photography is the perfect opportunity to experiment, explore and have some fun.

Try some wacky things such as getting a friend to run through your scene with a torch pointed at the camera to create light trails. Experiment with different subjects and camera settings, but always keep a note of what you did for each image, so you can study the results later on and see what settings worked and what didn’t.

Lillie’s Top Tips: If you want a person in your shots but are working alone, then try setting up your camera and the setting and then set your self-timer. This way you can capture yourself walking through the photo. It can take a few attempts to get right when using a self-timer, but you will soon learn what works and what doesn’t.