Common Questions

5 Quick Tips for Night Photography

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1: Switch your camera to Manual mode by turning the mode dial to ‘M’.

2: Choose the smallest f-number available and a relatively long shutter speed to capture light. One second is a good starting point and most cameras indicate seconds using double quotes, so look for 1”.

3: Keep your camera very steady. Preferably use a tripod. Use the self-timer to avoid wobbling the camera as you press the button.

4: Check your photo. If the lights aren’t bright enough, try a slower shutter speed. If the lights are too bright, try a quicker shutter speed.

5: After taking your photo, remember to set the mode dial back to Auto or Program mode.

© Ken Hubbard

© Ken Hubbard

© Ken Hubbard

Watch out!
Always temporarily switch off any anti-shake or image stabilization systems when using a tripod. If the camera is perfectly steady these systems can actually introduce movement as they attempt to counteract something which isn’t there.

Some cameras will also have difficulty focusing in dark conditions, so if yours is having problems, switch the lens to manual and focus on the lights. If they are distant, focus the lens to infinity.

Another way to maximize available light is to increase your camera’s sensitivity by using a higher ISO number. Increasing the sensitivity will however reduce your picture quality and may still not give you a quick enough exposure to handhold. So, stick to using a tripod and a low ISO number for the best quality.