Night time photos can be some of the best photos you can take yet conversely one of the hardest photos to take! They either turn out fantastic or in really awful quality and there’s usually very little in between. Even the slightest movement when taking the photos can make such a difference to the photo you end up with so here are some tried and tested tips to take great night time photos:
1.) Get yourself a DSLR: You don’t have to splash out on one. Even an entry level DSLR will do just the trick here.
2.) Get rid of your flash: Don’t use it. Not even by accident. It seems counter-intuitive but using your flash always leaves you with the exact kind of photo you want – one that’s devoid of character and looks quite frankly, unnatural. There are other ways to make up for not using your flash though but we’ll touch on that soon!
3.) Get a tripod: You need this for stability to compensate for the lack of flash and low light. (Not got one – head over to number 8)
4.) Get a remote control for your camera: These are cheap as chips and even a generic one will do just fine. (If you can’t afford to get one or simply can’t find one – have a look at number 7 below)
5.) Strap that camera onto your tripod and select a prime location to place the camera and tripod – preferably one where there’s very little chance of someone walking in front of your camera while you’re taking the photo or any similar distraction.
6.) Increase your shutter speed. I go for at least at 10 second exposure but some of my favourites are those with a 30 second exposure.
7.) In the absence of a remote control, use your camera’s timer. Try to use the 10 second setting. This ensure that you try to take a photo, it gives the camera 10 seconds to stop moving around from you touching it. This is important as even the slightest motion will result in blurry photos.
8.) Set your ISO to auto! I know “experts” will say to use certain ISO and stuff but in all honesty, I wouldn’t bother too much with the ISO. You’re already having to focus on so many other things – let your expensive-ish camera do some of the work for you.
DONT SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF:
9.) So someone did eventually run past your camera while you were taking a photo? Don’t sweat it, you’ll be surprised that you probably won’t see them anyway if your camera was on a long exposure and they moved quite fast. Of you might end up with a mystical looking blur across your camera. In any case, try not to get too stressed by this (which seems easier said than done especially after waiting minutes to get a perfect shot in the freezing cold) but remember, all of this is supposed to be fun and to help you discover your more creative side so bear that in mind and totally have fun with it! 🙂
10.) Try different settings! Once you get a few photos out of the way, play around with different settings on your camera. You never know what you’ll end up with of what you’ll like. Some of the best photos are the ones you’ve taken unplanned and unprepared. The best part is, after you’ve taken a good photo, most photo editing tools will have all the details of the settings you used to take these photos which you definitely should note down and re-attempt on a different occasion. This is one of the best ways to improve your knowledge and skills – especially your specific knowledge of your camera and it’s strengths and limitations.
11.) Let your personality shine through! Your unique view point is always appreciate (much more than you realise) and so when you see a photo that just feels perfect to you, capture it! This is the best way to let your personality shine through your photographs. Not everyone will like every photo you take and that’s a GOOD thing – sometimes, we’re so caught up with wanting to liked that we forget to indugle ourselves in things that we want to do instead of things everyone else wants us to do. I’m not saying we’re artists or anywhere even remotely close but a lot of the art that is appreciated in the world today isn’t appreciated because it looks like something everyone else had done but instead because it tells a story from the artist’s unique perspective that we somehow have come to identify with (even if it wasn’t the case at the time said artwork was created). Wanna take a photo of a trampled on leaf because it struck some cord with you – or even a mundane photo of a pine cone? Do it. It’s your photo.