How to photograph at night?

How to photograph at nightis a matter that, sooner or later, all professional photographers  have to face, especially if there are important and rare natural events to catch.  Night photography  is able to highlight details that, with sunlight, manage to escape not only to the human eye, but also to the photographic lens. In this article we will try to show the main techniques to learn how to photograph at night.

How to photograph at night: suitable places

A city, a natural reserve, a landscape, whatever your choice may be, it is necessary to have proper equipment to make perfect  night photos.

First, it is important to probe and study the site you choose and carry out some patrols; only then you will be able to understand  how to photograph at night and make the most of your equipment.

As it happens for photographs taken in broad daylight,  light is an  essential  component to shoot some quality night photos.

That’s why a typical photo taken among the city lights is always captivating, if shoot well.

However, even a photo of a landscape that is surrounded by nature can be well lit, if you use some tricks when shooting, despite the time!

Let’s see together how:
  • Professional equipment : Nikon D5  and Canon EOS-1D X  guarantee night photos of very high quality, thanks to sensors. But we can rely as well on cheaper models, like the  reflex entry level, among which stand out Nikon d500  and Canon Eos 7d, both capable of multiplying the the focal length  thanks to their APS-C sensors. But it will be essential to have  tripods;
  • Photographic technique : always shoot in  RAW  mode and work in  manual mode.
  • Landscape choice it is fundamental in order adapt the camera to the location. If, for example, you wanted to photograph the milky way, you would have to resort to  the rule of 500 for shutter speed, according to which you should divide 500 by the focal length you want and, thus, set the shutter speed so as not to allow the Earth’s rotation to affect the result of the photo.
  • Another alternative is to get a a star tracker  that makes the camera follows the movement of the stars. If, however, you also frame the landscape with the stars, this will result blurred. Then in the post-production phase you will have to combine two shots: one made with the tracker to the stars and one without the tracker, in order to a clear foreground
  • Post-production:   last, but not least, in order to have a good result.

How to photograph at night: Star Trail

Photographing at night

How to photograph at night  with the  Star Trail is a frequent question among photography enthusiasts and a  professional photographer will certainly be able to show you the right path to follow.

I advice,for this peculiar photographic technique, suggests that you make  short exposures and use an  interval timer, in order to  set how often to take a photo.

This technique requires very long exposures,  meaning tens of minutes or more.

Later, you will need to recur to post-production.

I  suggests using Adobe Photoshop software, because it is suitable for overlapping the chosen shots and to make the postproduction.

Photographing at night

How to photograph at night: the Moon

How to photograph  the moon  at night is a question often asked by photography enthusiast and amateur on forums.

It’s not a difficult task: you will just need to set the camera with the manual focus,  F8 aperture,  shutter speed 1/125, ISO 400-600. These parameters must be calibrated according to the type of optics that you use (fixed telephoto lenses such as 400mm F2.8 are preferable).

The best solution is therefore taking more photos, with one of them that better highlight the moon’s details and gives a better exposure to the ground.

You will then  need to merge the shots with the photomerge that you can find in Photoshop!

Remember! The composition is essential in order to have photos of the moon that are too similar. Use your creativity!


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