How to Take Quality Photographs at Night
Everyone knows that it can be challenging to take good quality pictures at the best of times. This is especially true at night, when low light conditions present unique challenges for all kinds of photographers.
However, night photography can be plenty of fun and produce stunning results when you know how to do it right! Here are our top tips for night photography to get you started.
#1: Get a Solid Tripod
Before you delve into the wonderful world of night photography, you will definitely need a tripod. Taking photographs in low light conditions requires long exposure times, which means that your camera must always be steady.
Get a tripod that can handle large and heavy cameras, and preferably one made out of carbon fibre or aluminium. You can also get a mini tripod for challenging angles, which can be used on the ground or even on table tops.
#2: Choose Manual Focus
Most modern cameras offer an autofocus mode, but it is not always perfect and is optimised for daytime shooting. This feature is especially weak at night, and your camera will struggle to adjust in the dark as well. Using manual focus will ensure that your camera does not focus on random, unwanted parts of the scene you are trying to capture.
Turn manual focus to infinity on your lens, turn on the Live View Mode, and zoom in until the subject you are photographing is in focus. From there, simply adjust until your scene is as sharp as you’d like. Remember not to turn on autofocus at any point here, as it will completely readjust your settings!
#3: Go for a Low ISO
Many novice photographers try to do night photography by using a high ISO, which unfortunately increases the amount of noise in your pictures. Top quality cameras do not have as much of an issue with noise and ISO, but for the common photographer using a camera with a limited light sensitivity scope, sticking to a low ISO is the way to go.
We recommend that you learn the limits of your camera’s ISO settings by taking low light shots with different settings active. Find out at which point your photographs become too noisy, and stick to a setting lower than that. This process is much like playing Singapore casino games online – you need to find the unique settings or bets that work for you.
#4: Shoot in RAW Format
Casual photographers typically store photos as JPEG files, as they do not take up too much memory card space. While JPEGs can be uploaded instantly, they also compress your images significantly, which can pose a problem when you’re shooting subjects with a higher dynamic range. At night, switch your files to RAW on your camera’s settings.
These files take up quite a bit more space and need to be edited later, but this is the best way to preserve their quality and avoid grainy effects due to low light. You can always convert a RAW file once you have finished editing it.
#5: Opt for Bracket Exposure
You can minimise the guesswork and ensure a good set of night photographs by bracketing your shooting. This technique is done by taking a number of shots at different exposure settings, which will get gradually darker or lighter as you go. Chances are, one of the pictures you take will offer the exact exposure you were looking for.
You can bracket exposure both automatically and manually. If doing it manually, set your camera to Speed Priority or Aperture Priority. Take a regular photo, and then use your Exposure Compensation (+/- button) feature in the following images you take to adjust their exposure. The automatic version of this function can be accessed through a camera’s shooting menu.