How To: Night Photography
Night photography can be really fun and very satisfying. It's a chance to get out when most of the world is asleep and play in your own world for a while. You're here so you're obviously interested!
I'm going to give a few personal tips that I've collected over the years and give photo examples. (The examples given are for Digital or Manual SLR cameras)
First: Get a tripod. Unless you enjoy blurry photos, this is a must. You'll be opening the shutter for quite a while so any movement will be captured.
Second: Get a remote. This isn't as important because you can set the internal timer on your camera (if you have one). Though, it helps to prevent the frustration of going back to the camera and waiting for the timer to go off. Be sure to get a remote compatible to your camera model! Most remotes are universal, but it's always good to double check. Your remote should also come with directions to set it up with your camera.
Third: The idea is to gather enough light for not only a visible photo, but one with enough exposure. There are a few settings you can achieve this on. I prefer shooting in Manual. Depending on your location (City, Woods, Backyard) you'll need to set how many seconds to leave the shutter open. This is done with the dial at the top of the camera near the shutter button.
Now you should have your camera set on a tripod, set in manual, with a remote in hand. If you're thinking, "That's it? That's easy!", you're right! IT IS!
Fourth: You might have some trouble with night blindness due to your LCD screen if you're shooting digital (easy fix is to turn it off, but in case you don't). Focusing (auto is hard to use, but occasionally works) can also be a concern. You can deal with this by bringing a flashlight. Shine the light on your subject and you'll be better able to focus. This is also a useful technique when "painting" light onto parts of the subject you want highlighted.
Like I said, this is a lot of fun and very rewarding. It's great to experiment and explore if you're tired of the same or looking for that "eerie" feeling.
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