Photography becomes quite tricky when shooting
at night or in other low light situations.
So the question then is:
Can I still get great shots at night or in low
The answer, of course, is yes!
Here’s how to get better at Night Photography – courtesy of FringeFX!
How to Get Better at Night Photography
One of the things to consider when shooting in
a low light situation is the aperture. Depending on the lens you have, it would
behoove you to open the aperture to allow the most amount of light into your
Because there isn’t a lot of light, to begin
with, the light that is faintly there becomes restricted as you set the
A word of caution: opening up the aperture
creates a shallow depth of field and makes it more difficult to get sharp images.
If I’m trying to shoot a portrait in low light, I would probably open my lens
up to f/2. Any lower than that risks a blurry image. And nobody likes blurry!
Speaking of blurry images, I’d have to
recommend working with a manual focus when shooting at night or in low light.
Cameras may not have an easy time picking up
your subject in the photo when in auto-focus. To ensure crispy sharp images,
use manual focus.
It does take getting used to, but it is not
impossible! If it helps, take a reliable tripod with you as an insurance for
sharp images. It will allow you to focus on focusing (ba dam pshh!), rather
than carrying the camera and all that.
ISO is one of the “three pillars” of
photography. While you will be letting a good amount of light in by opening up
your aperture, you will also want to set your camera’s sensitivity to light
higher during low light shooting.
By opening up your aperture, you will be able
to avoid setting your ISO too high. Yes, that can be a bad thing!
Setting ISO too high can cause noise in your
images. Unless you are purposefully going for that look, try to keep your ISO
below the 1600 range.
RAW vs JPEG! These two camps will always be at
war with each other.
Though JPEG images take less space in your
memory card, I’d have to recommend ALWAYS shooting RAW – especially in low
By shooting in RAW, you will be able to get
away with underexposing your images. Most of the time, you can gain back all of
the details in your photos in post-processing. You definitely cannot do this
The photo is recoverable in ‘post’ because RAW
images are not compressed like JPEG files are. Be careful not to underexpose
too much, though, and lose your image entirely.
You can overdo it, even with RAW!
Shutter speed is one of the three pillars of
photography that allows you to control how much light comes into your camera
(just like aperture!).
Unlike the aperture, however, you don’t have
to worry about depth of field. You do, however, have to worry about the type of
subject you will be shooting in low light (i.e building, model, animal,
In order to allow the most amount of light
into the camera (which you want in low light situations), you will need to slow
down your shutter speed.
The problem with this is that if you are
trying to capture moving targets (i.e models, animals, etc.), then your image
WILL be blurry. The enormous amount of light you are letting in by slowing down
your shutter speed will be too fast for your camera to capture; causing blurs.
If you are shooting landscape, however, then
knock yourself out! Just be sure to have your camera on a tripod. The slightest
of nudges will cause havoc in your images.
Remember to always have fun with your art. Experiment with different exposures and see what you get. That’s truly how to better at Night Photography – or any Photography for that matter!
Take tons of test shots, have fun with
different types of lights, and just know that there isn’t one way of doing