Night photography is an interesting area to explore and specialise in. Comparing with day shoots, the difference of night photography becomes evident right from visualisation. There are certain types of shots that only night photography can pull off amazingly.
Photography is an art that is based on more than just techniques. Like any work of art, it all starts in the mind of the photographer. That’s why students are advised to imagine their shots in photography classes.
Visualisation (also rightly called “Pre-visualisation”) is the process of picturing the frame as vividly as possible, even before the camera is lifted. It depends on the ability of the photographer to imagine the resulting shot.
When visualising, the object of interest has to be defined. The next thought would be about parameters like shutter speed, depth of field and exposure. This clarity of thought reflects in the resulting picture.
What’s with the Night?
There are a few unique possibilities with night photography that makes it a very interesting category of photography. Astro photography is one.
It takes a measure of imagination to combine a nightscape with another subject of photography like buildings, trees or people. Knowing how best to capture the beauty and feel of a scene at night, brings about many amazing possibilities.
An obvious characteristic of night photography is the low availability of light. Certain other features like decreased clarity and increased noise in the image makes it a challenge. Learning to handle these and winning the odds can give great results.
Thus, getting enrolling in the right photography course is instrumental in helping you to gain confidence in venturing out in the wee hours to take pictures!
Where to find inspiration?
Shooting the moon- Nothing compares to the beauty and depth in clicking the moon. Moon is a very obvious and intriguing subject to try to perfect a few concepts related to night photography.
A major concern here is the moon’s distance. Preparation for clicking the moon starts with choosing a long zoom lens that can capture the subject with clarity. Setting the lens to infinity focus allows distant objects beyond the focus range to come inside the field of focus.
It always helps to be aware of the weather conditions and ensure that there is no pollution to affect the appearance of the moon. Using a tripod can keep the camera steady for a clear shot. Its best to work in manual exposure mode, setting faster shutter speed and higher ISO.
Try Astro Photography
Astro photography is the photography of the night sky with stars, moon and comets. In astro photography, too short an exposure will let too less light resulting in dark or no stars getting visible. Too long an exposure will make stars look like streaks as the celestial movements get recorded in the frame.
A safe bet is an exposure ranging from 15 to 30 seconds. This is a tip given to students in almost all photography schools.
Faster apertures results in quality images of the stars. Using wide or ultra wide angle lens covers more sky and even some ground in one shot. It’s also necessary that the frame has minimal light pollution, meaning there should be minimal or no interference from stray light.
Practice Long-Exposure Photography
Long exposure photography employs longer exposures to capture motion in the frame. It captures dynamism of the moving elements in the frame while the static elements will look sharp and well-defined.
There’s nothing like trying a long exposure at night when the possibility of capturing dynamic light effects is maximum. Capturing starry patterns in the night sky or strokes of flowing traffic lights on a highway at night are examples.
The principle rule for long exposure is to keep the shutter speed low, the aperture at a high and ISO at the lowest. This results in moving objects getting blurred or streaked and stable objects getting sharper details.
Practicing night photography is a part of training at many photography training courses. Hamstech believes that it’s an exciting field of photography that every photographer should have the experience of.