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TAKING PICTURES AT NIGHT with your DIGITAL CAMERA
Taking Great Night Pictures is Easy
Know about the menu selections, the flash, the timer and get the camera out of your hands and you will have stunning night photographs. This hub uses the Nikon L10 camera for discussion purposes. Nikon is currently up to the L22 model, its controls are very similar to the L10 (it uses a button instead of a slide for mode selection) and my L6 controls are nearly identical to the L10. Other small digital cameras I have seen have controls and menus similar to the Nikon; so what applies to the Nikon should apply to most other digital cameras.
Nags Head Pier at Night
Mode and Menu
Put the camera in scene mode by moving the slide into the center, scene position. Push the menu button to display the scene choices. Select Night Portrait if you are taking a picture of something close, in the foreground such as a person. The camera will focus on an object near to the camera. If a more panoramic picture is being taken select Night Landscape. The camera will not focus on a particular object and pretty much focus on everything it “sees”. If there are items close to the camera they will not be in focus. The menu items are selected by pushing the top or bottom of the selector button (button with OK in the middle) then pushing OK. The picture above was taken with an L6 and I think it is decent.
Turn the flash off. Push the lightning bolt symbol on the selector button, select the bolt with the cross out line, and push ok.
Push the clock symbol on the selector button; a box will appear; select “on” using the selector button, push OK. The timer must be turned on for each picture.
Ready to Shoot with Timer on
Steady as She Goes
When the timer is used, the camera will take the picture itself so you can take your hands off the camera thus avoiding shaking the camera and blurring the picture. The camera must be supported however, a tripod is the best way to support the camera but not totally necessary if something else is handy like a trash can, car hood or fence post. Regardless you must get you hands off the camera. Under low light conditions the camera will use a very long exposure time, no one can keep the camera steady for the duration of the exposure, hence the timer use.
Camera on a Tripod
Frame the picture on the monitor, push the shutter button ½ way and obtain the green focus indicator and push all the way then stand back for the 10 seconds while the picture timer counts down; a great picture will be the result.