Color & Light
Meeting Photo Challenges
Creative Image Processing
Nature & Outdoor
Creating Better Photographics
Night & Low Light Photography
Light & Exposure
Close-Up & Macro
Digital Black & White
Color & Design
Choosing & Using Lenses
Digital Photography Equipment
Shooting at Night
A lot of photo enthusiasts say, “The sun’s out—time to take pictures,” and put their camera away come nightfall. But if this is your philosophy, you’re missing half the fun of photography. You can take some exciting night shots of colorful neon signs, the streaked taillights of traffic in motion, or shadowy figures silhouetted by street lights. The photo opportunities after dark are plentiful.
You can use fast film (or the equivalent
ISO setting on a digital camera) in the 400–1600 range for outdoor night
shooting. Also—particularly when using slower films—you’ll
want to use a tripod or another means of camera support, unless you’re
shooting night scenes with a lot of light, such as buildings in Las Vegas.
If you’re shooting when the sky is pitch-black, sometimes lit buildings are rendered as disembodied lights in the sky. For this reason, it’s a good idea to shoot pictures in the early evening, or twilight, when lingering light in the sky balances the colorful lights of buildings and signs. Photographers often call twilight “the magic hour,” as it yields a lot of color for a relatively short amount of time. You’ll want to have your camera ready before this brief window of opportunity begins, which also means scouting out a great location ahead of time.
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