Top 10 Tips for Night Photography
1. Go Steady
A sturdy tripod is all but essential to keep the camera still during long exposures but, if lugging one around is really impractical, use a small beanbag to rest your camera on top of fences and walls.
2. Bad vibes
Passing vehicles can cause vibrations and will introduce camera shake, especially if you’re shooting from a bridge or next to a busy road. Wait for a gap in the traffic.
3. Weigh it down
Even a gentle breeze can blow your camera around when it’s mounted on a tripod. Weigh it down by hanging a heavy item, such as your camera bag, from the camera platform, or the tripod’s built-in weight hook if available.
4. IS off
Image stabilisation can have an adverse affect in long exposures, even in some lenses that claim to have automatic tripod detection. Switch it off to be on the safe side.
5. Switch to Manual
It’s best to use a low ISO setting (ISO 100) for top image quality, and a small aperture (f/22) if you want a large depth of field, but this can mean longer exposures than the 30-second maximum in most shooting modes. Switch to Manual and use an unlimited Bulb exposure instead.
For exposures of 30 seconds or less, when a Bulb setting isn’t required, you don’t have to use a remote control. Instead you can simply select a two-second self-timer delay in conjunction with the Mirror Lockup function, which will further help to avoid camera shake.
7. White balance
Auto white balance usually works pretty well for night shots but the Tungsten white balance setting is good, especially if you want to accentuate the blue of the sky at dusk, shortly after sunset.
Coloured lights are often the main attraction in night shots – you can double these up by using foregrounds that include ponds, rivers or even wet pavements to add reflections.
9. Light trails
Movement of vehicles across the scene can add intriguing light trails. Look for bends in roads, which will give the lights attractive curved shapes.
10. Get flash
For night portraits, or when you want to illuminate a foreground object, add flash with a long manual exposure. Zoom in first, fill the centre of the frame with the foreground object, and then press the FEL (Flash Exposure Lock) button to set the correct flash exposure setting.
This entry was posted on Thursday, October 18th, 2012 at 3:22 pm and is filed under Canon D-SLR Skills. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a comment. Pinging is currently not allowed.