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The Night is Coming - Night Phpotography

Published by WPC Official Account on Mar'02,2017

2 | 794


The Night is Coming - Night Phpotography

WPC Official Account
2 | 794 | Feb 24, 2024

The word “photography” has its roots in Greek, roughly translating to “writing of light.” Just as a text is most interesting when free of superfluous words, photography using little light is often the most intriguing. Night photographers, consequently, are some of the most captivating “writers” in the medium, with a fascinating art and unique history.

Night photography refers to photographs taken outdoors between dusk and dawn. Night photographers generally have a choice between using artificial light and using a long exposure, exposing the scene for seconds, minutes, and even hours in order to give the film or digital sensor enough time to capture a usable image.

With the progress of high-speed films, higher-sensitivity digital image sensors, wide-aperture lenses, and the ever-greater power of urban lights, night photography is increasingly possible using available light.

Photos taken at night have their own captivating aesthetic, and a sense which is quite rewarding: they recover scenes that would otherwise be left for the dark. After all, night time photography has a bit of that romantic, mysterious quality, it makes you capable of capturing a single perfect moment never exposed before, and brings it out for the world to see.

 

Tips for Night time Photography

1. Work out the details of your plan. You most likely have an idea of where you’d like to shoot, but best make sure you know the specific location, the way to drive there and where to park at night. It’s the kind of info that can save a lot of trouble since you are already dealing with a limited amount of time and you want to make it efficient.

 

Credits: Rafael Fabricio

2. Timing is important and the weather may be not so good. Have a look at the weather forecast as you decide where and what you want to shoot. If you’re focusing on the sky, it would be good to know how much cloud cover to expect. This is also useful info as you decide how well to dress. It may get cold out there while you await your perfect photo opportunity.

 

3. Some of the best night photos are taken during dusk when colors and details are easier to capture, especially in the distance. Controlling aperture and shutter speed are the keys. Aperture is the size of the lens opening; use large apertures to let in as much light as possible. Shutter speed will control how long the shutter stays open; the longer it’s open, the more light will reach the sensor. This is important whether you are shooting at dusk or at night.

Credits: Jan Erik Waider

 

4. Don’t use flash. The key to successful night photography lies in a long exposure.

Flash requires light to bounce off a subject. If you are shooting dusk or at night, trying to capture a subject long way away, your flash unit won’t reach it effectively.

However, when a long exposure is used, more light is allowed into the camera, allowing the details in your night photo to be captured. It also allows a very advanced capability: motion capture. You’d be surprised at how quickly the stars move across the sky. Given the right circumstances, a 30-second exposure can even show detectible star trails.

Credits: Joshua Fuller

 

5. Use a sturdy tripod. The problem with using long exposures of over one second is that you may shake the camera, and the result will be a poor image. A tripod will hold the camera steady for long periods of time. A good idea is also to use a cable release, which lets you push a switch on the end of a cable to open your shutter without the need for you to touch the camera. It will also keep the shutter open for as long as you want.

 

6. A tripod is not always an option, especially if you happen to be traveling. For such instances, you can use almost any surface that is steady in order to stabilize your camera. When you’re taking city photos, look for a sturdy surface like a bench. It will provide the stability you need. When taking the photo, put the camera against that surface and apply some force to make sure it does not move. If necessary, increase the ISO (sensitivity) to enable faster shutter speeds, but watch out for grainy ‘noise’ in your shots.

 

7. Be adventurous! You’re aiming for a moment never captured before, so a sense of adventure (and patience) will help to do the trick. And also, take lots of pictures. Try out different exposures and different angles. If you’re using a digital camera, just delete all the extras. And if not, well, film is not that expensive, use a disposable camera. You’ll be sure to end up with a few cherished photos by morning.

 

 Credits: Allef Vanicius

 

Famous Night time Photographers

1. Gyula (Julius) Halász Brassaï or Brassaï (as known in the photography world)

 Credits: BRASSAI

2. Bill Schwab

Credits: BILL SCHWAB

3. David Baldwin

Credits: DAVID BALDWIN

4. Robert Brook

 Credits: ROBERT BROOK

5. Karekin Goekjian

Credits: KAREKIN GEOKIJAN

 

Happy Shooting!

 


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The word “photography” has its roots in Greek, roughly translating to “writing of light.” Just as a text is most interesting when free of superfluous words, photography using little light is often the most intriguing. Night photographers, consequently, are some of the most captivating “writers” in the medium, with a fascinating art and unique history.

Night photography refers to photographs taken outdoors between dusk and dawn. Night photographers generally have a choice between using artificial light and using a long exposure, exposing the scene for seconds, minutes, and even hours in order to give the film or digital sensor enough time to capture a usable image.

With the progress of high-speed films, higher-sensitivity digital image sensors, wide-aperture lenses, and the ever-greater power of urban lights, night photography is increasingly possible using available light.

Photos taken at night have their own captivating aesthetic, and a sense which is quite rewarding: they recover scenes that would otherwise be left for the dark. After all, night time photography has a bit of that romantic, mysterious quality, it makes you capable of capturing a single perfect moment never exposed before, and brings it out for the world to see.

 

Tips for Night time Photography

1. Work out the details of your plan. You most likely have an idea of where you’d like to shoot, but best make sure you know the specific location, the way to drive there and where to park at night. It’s the kind of info that can save a lot of trouble since you are already dealing with a limited amount of time and you want to make it efficient.

 

Credits: Rafael Fabricio

2. Timing is important and the weather may be not so good. Have a look at the weather forecast as you decide where and what you want to shoot. If you’re focusing on the sky, it would be good to know how much cloud cover to expect. This is also useful info as you decide how well to dress. It may get cold out there while you await your perfect photo opportunity.

 

3. Some of the best night photos are taken during dusk when colors and details are easier to capture, especially in the distance. Controlling aperture and shutter speed are the keys. Aperture is the size of the lens opening; use large apertures to let in as much light as possible. Shutter speed will control how long the shutter stays open; the longer it’s open, the more light will reach the sensor. This is important whether you are shooting at dusk or at night.

Credits: Jan Erik Waider

 

4. Don’t use flash. The key to successful night photography lies in a long exposure.

Flash requires light to bounce off a subject. If you are shooting dusk or at night, trying to capture a subject long way away, your flash unit won’t reach it effectively.

However, when a long exposure is used, more light is allowed into the camera, allowing the details in your night photo to be captured. It also allows a very advanced capability: motion capture. You’d be surprised at how quickly the stars move across the sky. Given the right circumstances, a 30-second exposure can even show detectible star trails.

Credits: Joshua Fuller

 

5. Use a sturdy tripod. The problem with using long exposures of over one second is that you may shake the camera, and the result will be a poor image. A tripod will hold the camera steady for long periods of time. A good idea is also to use a cable release, which lets you push a switch on the end of a cable to open your shutter without the need for you to touch the camera. It will also keep the shutter open for as long as you want.

 

6. A tripod is not always an option, especially if you happen to be traveling. For such instances, you can use almost any surface that is steady in order to stabilize your camera. When you’re taking city photos, look for a sturdy surface like a bench. It will provide the stability you need. When taking the photo, put the camera against that surface and apply some force to make sure it does not move. If necessary, increase the ISO (sensitivity) to enable faster shutter speeds, but watch out for grainy ‘noise’ in your shots.

 

7. Be adventurous! You’re aiming for a moment never captured before, so a sense of adventure (and patience) will help to do the trick. And also, take lots of pictures. Try out different exposures and different angles. If you’re using a digital camera, just delete all the extras. And if not, well, film is not that expensive, use a disposable camera. You’ll be sure to end up with a few cherished photos by morning.

 

 Credits: Allef Vanicius

 

Famous Night time Photographers

1. Gyula (Julius) Halász Brassaï or Brassaï (as known in the photography world)

 Credits: BRASSAI

2. Bill Schwab

Credits: BILL SCHWAB

3. David Baldwin

Credits: DAVID BALDWIN

4. Robert Brook

 Credits: ROBERT BROOK

5. Karekin Goekjian

Credits: KAREKIN GEOKIJAN

 

Happy Shooting!