Have you ever tried to take a photo at night, outside, and it came out terribly? That’s because taking photos at night is a lot harder than snapping shots during the day. The less light you have to play with, the more compromises you have to make, and the harder you have to work to get a great image.
But we have some top tips for you which will leave you great photos at night all the time.
1. Use a Tripod. A tripod will be your best friend. you will need it to keep the camera steady during the long exposures necessary due to the low light conditions. In fact, as your photography skills grow, you will find that it is almost impossible to live without a tripod.
2. Get a flashlight. Sometimes you’ll want to draw attention to or simply lighten up an important part of the foreground which is too dark.
3. Focus Manually. Despite the constant improvement in technology and modern DSLR cameras, autofocus still won’t do a good job at night, particularly if you’re photographing dark landscapes.
4. Use the mirror lockup function. DSLRs have a mirror, which, when you look through the viewfinder, reflects the image from the lens, so you can see what the lens is seeing. This causes vibration in the camera and can lead to blurry photos. Mirror lockup reduces camera vibration.
5. Use a Lens with Open Aperture. The last tip for better night photography is to use a lens with an open aperture. An open aperture allows more light to enter the camera in a shorter period of time, allowing more of the stars to be registered as well. The most popular lenses for night photography are those which have the possibility of using f/2.8 or wider.
Photography shoot booked? Excellent! Got your camera? Yes! Picked your backdrop? No! Don’t worry we have a quick guide on choosing the best backdrop to compliment your photoshoot.
Urban living defines much of our daily lives. Most of us never leave the cityscapes in which we live, which is, for some, a great loss. Think of all the wonderful sights, not to mention photo opportunities, you’re missing in the great outdoors. But while the natural world has its merits, we believe that the city can provide just as stimulating an environment, with some equally breathtaking images waiting to be captured on the streets or from the rooftops. This article should give you some expert ideas on how to use the city to your advantage, and how to seek out the best shots.
Things to Consider
- What’s your theme? There is far more opportunity for storytelling in the city than out in the woods. Everywhere around you people are rushing about living their lives. Take note of all the sounds and voices you hear. Be vigilant for those standout moments that can happen only in cities. How will your pictures resonate with the viewer? What aspect of human experience do you want them to reflect?
- Architecture is everywhere. You won’t find art deco in the hills. There’s no gothic revival in the valley. Don’t let these unique opportunities slip through your fingers. (The upside about photographing buildings is that they aren’t liable to run away if startled!) Look at the contrasting patterns, colors, and textures. Simple everyday things like reflections in glass and water, funneling of light, urban shadows are all powerful subjects for great city photography. Don’t underestimate them.
- Pack everything you need. The tripod is your friend and a variety of lenses can help unburden your shots. Also, the good thing about working in the city is that, if your camera runs out of battery and you forgot to pack a spare, you can always pop into the nearest Starbucks to recharge (providing you packed your charger).
Big City, Great Photos
- The wide-angle lens should be your go-to lens if dealing with limited space or an extremely large subject. For example, if looking down over the city from on top of a large building, anything less than a wide-angle will be too restricting, as though trying to squeeze too much into the frame. The appropriate lens can be incredibly freeing. Remember, cities are huge entities, and if this is what you want to capture, don’t try to contain them.
- Landscape photographs without a tripod are tricky business. If, for example, you were taking a shot of a bridge and the cityscape from above the cloud-line, then shutter speed is the key factor to success. Inversing your ISO while selecting the shutter speed (i.e. 300 ISO = 1/300 of a second at f/16) will ensure clearer, more distinct photos that truly capture the subject in its entirety.
- Perspective can make a world of difference to otherwise uninteresting photos. Get up close to your subject, bringing things down to their perspective. Match that perspective or simulate a different one by using interesting angles to put a whole new spin on the familiar.