Apr 27 2007

Night Photography

Published by at 8:47 pm under Tips and Ideas

Night photography is some of the most stunning work done by professionals. If you are just beginning to learn about photography, you too can try your hand at night photography and may be very pleased with the results. Learning to take pictures at night is a little more challenging than learning about daytime photography, but with a little dedication to the art, you can get some beautiful shots at night.

The most important part of nighttime photography is your camera. You need to make sure your camera has the right features for shooting in the dark before you attempt to take pictures at night. Otherwise, you will be disappointed with your prints. Most midrange and all expensive cameras have the ability to take pictures at night, but many of the cheaper cameras on the market are not good for this type of photography. If you have an automatic flash in your camera that cannot be turned off, for example, you probably will not be successful at night photography.

Flash is just one part of the equation. On a normal camera with a built-in flash, you can use this device to illuminate object up to about 10 feet from the camera. After that, the flash is not a good source of light. If you are taking pictures at night, then, you need to be able to control your flash. Built-in flash is only good if you want to show objects that are very close to the camera. Some photographers get good results using a handheld flash. Called “painting with light,” this is an art form that takes some practice before you can be successful.

When shooting at night, you will need a long exposure time. Depending on your subject matter, this could mean anywhere from a few seconds to even as long as a few hours. Therefore, you’ll need a good tripod to hold your camera perfectly still for this shutter speed. Also remember that any moving light in the frame during the exposure time will be captured as a streak across the picture, so use this to your advantage or avoid it completely. Stars in the night sky are notorious for leaving streaks of light.

As always, be safe when you are shooting. At nighttime, be aware of your surroundings-in the city, always try to work in a safe area and consider working together with another photographer. Nights in rural areas can also be dangerous if you cannot see where you are stepping. Bring a flashlight to help you find your location. Night photography, if you are safe, can produce some of your most breathtaking work, so continue to practice with your camera at night until you get the shots you want.

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