Skylines, traffic and landscapes look fabulous in the night. Surf this article to use some useful tips for night photography.
If you are the quintessential night bird strolling the streets long after the sun has set, the city lights and the moonlight rouses within you the yearning to capture a quick photo. One that you could stare for ages, or hang on your wall or sell at an exhibition! No doubt, clicking manual photos without natural lighting can be quite the challenge! But that’s the best part! Try your level best to capture what the rest of the world has been struggling to. Right from the neon signs to the jack-o-lanterns on the porches of pretty neighbourhood, the world is beautiful at night! Spot the traffic patterns from a height and that too is very visually appealing on camera. You will be amazed as you continue to experiment with nocturnal photography. However, night photography will be a disastrous endeavour if you make attempts without a tripod and the ideal ISO settings. Advanced features on all DSLR cameras and newer digital models render photography at night possible. You will get the hang of it as you read the techniques mentioned below.
Night Photography Techniques
Fireworks appear and disappear in a matter of seconds, but they’re so enticing that you simply cannot resist the urge to click. It’s not as difficult as you may think, but there a few tricks that need to be mastered for this shot. Scout for a good location to frame your shot properly. Mount your contraption on the tripod stand. The ideal camera settings are 4-5 seconds of exposure and f/8 as the aperture speed. Don’t forget to switch off the flash and set the ISO to not more than 100. Experiment with the different shutter speeds that result in sharp or blurred effects. Set the timer and keep clicking!
Shoot The Moon
This is almost every photographer’s mission- to get the best shot of the ever glowing moon. To master this frame, a 300 mm zoom lens is necessary. Carefully attach the camera to the tripod (without which the picture will inevitably blur) and get started. Select the following manual settings: ISO 100, exposure at -5 or less and an aperture at f/9. Ensure that the picture mode is on “vivid” and the sharpness of the image is at its maximum while the white balance is on automatic. Set the self timer for 10 seconds and zoom out the lens to its full capacity! Begin your clicking spree as you aim for the best. To improve your focus, you could begin with auto focusing and gradually switch to manual.
Exotic Night Traffic
Yes, night traffic can look very exotic when captured by the camera. Chance upon a breathtaking top angle view of a highway road as you climb a bridge or elevated point and click away. Compose your shot as you fix your camera on the tripod. Get rid of the flash as you set your camera manually with the aperture at f/9 and the exposure at about twenty seconds. Maintain the ISO at the standard 100. Use the self timer to start shooting the cars moving from point A to B in aesthetic succession. Check your results and experiment with different exposure times if you feel they have more potential.
Extremes Of Lighting
How the lighting is depicted in the scene makes all the difference in the final outcome. Say for example, you are portraying rows of lanterns at an exhibition; your source of light is the subject of the picture as the lanterns exude sufficient light. On the other hand, if you intend on capturing a floodlit building, you might need longer exposure as it depends upon the reflected light which is a very poor source of illumination.
Night Scene Mode
Many DSLR and compact cameras come with a very useful "Night Scene Mode" . This enables photographers to take photos at night outdoors. Turn on the mode and you have a really neat picture! How does it work? The flash sheds immediate light on the subject in the foreground while the extended shutter speed takes advantage of the ambient lighting in the background.
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