Tips for Taking Photographs at Night.

By | May 25, 2017

Night photography is more than unsystematic clicks and moving around with a hanging camera on your neck, photography needs skills. Maybe, one comprehensive forms of art, taking photographs greatly relies on external factors like perfect shade and light. Due to technological advancements, we have new model cameras that makes photography as simple as clicking the shutter. Nevertheless, passionate photographers have skills and are focused in detecting the magic in shadow and light. As cameras are dependent on light, it is always daunting to get clear photos especially at night. Night photography offers amazing photographic experience due to attractive scenery and magical lights. The planet, nature, sky and the stars combine to create a delighting photographic experience. However, with low light conditions you create photographs that are dull and odd colored.

I will walk you through some tips to assist you capture elegant, crisp photos at night:

A Tripod Or Camera Stabilizer: Try this! You are in messy light condition thus the slightest bang on your camera will result to granny shadows. Your tripod has to be steady enough to support the camera. It may not be possible to even hold the camera against our bodies… as humans we prone to errors as much as we try our best not to shift or be immobile.

Shoot in RAW: Shooting in raw is excellent in night photography trails since majority of our cameras have 14 bit raw files while there are only 8 bit JPEG files. With more bits, you get high transitional colors and shades. It is always vital to shoot in raw during the night since the camera only captures extreme lights at the low end of the scale and as such the pictures have a larger dark portion. If you consider JPEG files you get banded pictures due to low color options.

Watch the ISO: Even after making adjustments in aperture as well as shutter speeds, you may require more light to take photographs and thus upgrade the ISO settings will enables low light shoots. Higher ISO; may, creates a noisy shoot but will improve the shadow appearance during night photography shoots. With test shots, you must make good use of them especially during the night. Nevertheless, it does not have to consume all your time to check if a test shot will be a success or not. Take the test shot and save on time, if not consider a much higher ISO that the ordinary. For instance, the exposure setting for a single shot with an ISO 400 are f/5. At 30 seconds. Crank up your ISO and increase shutter rates to similar counts of stops relatively consider taking the shot and don’t wait for that exposure for around 30 seconds. You get similar exposure but within a shorter time for a test shot. Consider raising the ISO to 4 stops thus 6400 ISO (One stops gets you 800, 2 stops 1600 ISO, 3 tops gets you 3200 ISO while stops 6400 ISO). At 4 stops with 6400 ISO you decrease the shutter speeds to 2 seconds. (Decreasing shutter speed stops gets down to 2 seconds)

The Need for Flash: It is almost impossible to shoot in low light or during the night. A flash really pays the dividends in night time photography. The flash is useful since it illuminates a subject in photographs enhancing brighter photos. Keep the flash mode on to be able to view everything on tripod and camera.

Comfort in Using Bulb Mode: With manual mode you can get 30 seconds exposure. If there is need for longer shutter speeds, you need to use bulb mode. When holding the shutter button, it remains open only in bulb mode. As you press on the button, you open the shutter and when closing the shutter, you only have to release the button. It is vital to release the shutter as this reduces movements on the exposure. The bulb mode ensures that you have exposure for a longer time. Most remote shutter has in built timer; in instances your remote has no timer you can use the phone timing. Use the locking feature to avoid holding the whole period.

Consider Manual Mode: This is one of the initial steps in taking photographs at night. Manual mode allows you to take control over the camera, enabling you set speed, ISO and aperture. While shooting during night time, the camera has to be on tripod and thus automatic mode may not be reliable due to speeds already set. With trial shoot the camera is simply fooled by dark and bright areas of a picture (thus manual mode ensures that you have full control over this procedure)

Confirm Exposure with Histogram: While taking the exposures, check with LCD located at the rear side of the camera. The photo on LCD will confirm whether you have correct exposure but also check with the histogram to know the dynamic range of camera. Bear in mind that highlights must be placed on right side of histogram. However, avoid the spike on right side. Whenever the dark spikes are on the left side of the histogram there is no issue as parts of the picture will be black. Apart from this, ensure the image is within histogram range.

Bracket the photos: With night photography it is always good to consider bracketing the photos. If you blend with HRD then you can have wonderful pictures. Most people may be against this idea but take it as exposure insurance.


Whenever you follow all aforementioned steps you are sure to have wonderful camera shots. All cities have their unique ways of lighting major bridges, museums and other attraction areas—often amazing scenery. The scene that you consider boring during daytime would enhance a magical photo at night. Reason being, there are light effects during the night that will actually surprise you. However, you need to invest your time and effort in applying all tips to have the best exposure that will maximize your experience.