Taking good night photos is a challenge for some, but, over time and with practice, photographers will be able to take breathtaking night photos. Taking spectacular pictures of the night sky is difficult for a lot of photography enthusiasts, but most have attempted it at least once. They can be some of the most spectacular shots you take. There are several tips that can help people improve their skills when it comes to taking night photos.
1. Use A Tripod for Crisp and Clear Photos
Shooting at night leaves you with little light, forcing you to use slow shutter speeds ranging from 1-30 seconds. In order to compensate for those slow speeds, you will need to use a tripod if you want crisp and clear results. Make sure it’s properly setup and on solid and flat ground, so the camera will not shake in the middle of a shot. Stillness is crucial when trying to capture glowing celestial bodies that are light years away.
While your shooting, make sure you are not holding onto the tripod, because with slow shutter speeds, any slight movement can ruin your photos. If you’re attempting to take pictures of the night sky, consider using a telescope as well. Do some research for telescope reviews & guides to find out what will work best for you and your setup.
2. Scout Your Night Time Photo Locations Early
Picking the best time to snap pictures is important, but location is equally so. Before your night time photo shoot, it saves you valuable time if you pick locations beforehand by scouting the city for the best spots that offer unique lighting and architecture. By planning ahead, you can also find out where the best place to take photos of nighttime traffic and the busiest street. City lights can interfere with the quality of your pictures. Find a spot that’s far from crowded areas.
3. Find the Lens’ Sweet Spot
The sweet spot range for your lens is usually between f/8 and f/16. However, finding the best aperture requires you to take several test shots to find the perfect setting. By taking photos with differed apertures in the middle of the range, it allows you to capture crisp shots with your camera. It’s similar to the first pancake rule. Your first attempt will never be your best, so make sure you’re ready for when the perfect moment arrives.
4. Proper Settings
To get good night photos, it’s recommended to shoot in manual so you can select the best aperture and shutter speed for nighttime photo shoots. First, compose and focus your shot, set the proper aperture, then set the shutter speed. Then take a few test shots and review them to see if your photos have the best exposure. Don’t forget what you’re trying to capture. Is it a shooting star or the peaceful stillness of a starry sky?
Without the right settings, all your efforts can go to waste.
5. Keep Your Hands Off the Camera
When you take photos with long exposures at night, they can become blurry even with the slightest movement of the camera. A tripod is a start. However, using the camera’s built-in timer with automatic shutter helps avoid any problems. If timing is important to the picture, such as a shooting star, consider using a remote release instead.
Taking good night photos requires a lot of effort, but when you apply these tips, the results will be stunning. It takes patience, practice and time. Night time photos look amazing after a bit of practice. You just need to patience and determination, and you will capture some spectacular shots.