Tips And Tricks For Night Photography

Night photography is very different from daytime photography. There are unique factors to take into account during the night and steps you have to take to get the best picture. If you are new to night photography, there are some tips and tricks you can use to get the scenes you want.

Use A Tripod

A tripod is a necessity when shooting at night. Night photography is usually done with a slow shutter speed and the smallest camera shake can result in a blurred image. If you want sharp pictures, you need to have a tripod.

A basic tripod that is stable and solid will be enough. The tripod will need to be able to hold your equipment and it should not weigh too much. Having a spirit level in the tripod is a good extra, but it is not a necessity. This is due to modern cameras having a built-in digital spirit level that you can use instead.

Use Manual Focus

The autofocus you use for daytime photography is very reliable, but you might not want to use it for night photography. This focus is not foolproof and will often struggle in the dark. Using manual focus will ensure your images all focus on what you want.

When you use autofocus at night, the camera might choose the wrong element to focus on. Generally, this will be the element that is clearest to the camera. Manual focus gives you more control and you will be able to get a crisp picture.

While using manual focus, you should also look at activating the Live View Mode if your camera has this. This will provide you with even more control over the focus of the picture. It is important that you not switch to autofocus at any point in the shoot. Doing this will override everything that you have set up manually.

Shoot RAW

While JPEG is a great file format because it does not take up a lot of space, you should look at shooting RAW at night. To save space, JPEG will compress your image files drastically. This can cause a lot of problems when you are shooting night scenes which a high dynamic range.

RAW files will take up more space on your memory card, but the quality of each is preserved. You will need to edit them after, but the clarity is generally worth the extra work. RAW files are also the best if you want to avoid grainy pictures because of the low-lighting and post-processing. To ensure you have enough space for your entire shoot, you should take some spare memory cards with you.

Take Test Shots

Night photography requires a methodical approach and you need to take test shots. At night, you need to know the exact camera settings you need and the only way to find them is a test shot. You can adjust all the settings until you get the image you want.

Test shots also let you experiment with the setup of the shot. You can see if it is possible to get light streaks or try a new perspective for the shot. Allowing time to fine-tune everything will ensure that you have the best images at the end of the shoot.

If you are shooting at night for the first time, there are certain tips and tricks that you need to try. Manual focus is better than autofocus and you should use RAW files instead of JPEG. It is also important that you take test shots at night to get the image that you want and use a tripod to avoid blurred images.

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