One of the main tools that a photographer has at their disposal is lighting. Whether you rely on natural sunlight or artificial lighting, the way that you use light affects every aspect of your shot. When dealing with photography at night, you may struggle to determine how you can capture the best shot possible. Here are some tips for taking great photos at night or in low light.
The Benefits of Digital Cameras
The use of digital cameras in photography is still a hotly contested debate. Some photographers refuse to make the jump to digital while others embrace it. The truth is, digital cameras offer several benefits when it comes to nighttime photography. For one, you can take as many shots as you want without worrying about the cost of development or how many rolls you go through.
This allows you to worry less about the composition of each individual shot and try a variety of settings. Additionally, digital cameras are now able to achieve extremely high ISO settings, letting you take shots without much light. When using a ISO setting, you should also be aware that this could cost you in image quality. The higher ISO settings may produce a grainy image. If you have the option to use a digital camera then consider using it for nighttime shots.
Use a Tripod Whenever Possible
With lower lighting, you want your camera to be as still as possible. Whenever you can, you should use a tripod. It provides more stability and control over your camera. With a tripod, you can also use lower ISO settings. Using a tripod, you can still freely move your camera around, without worrying about shakiness or arm movement.
While a tripod is always useful, there may be certain situations where you do not have the space or room to set one up. In these cases, make sure that you keep your arms as steady as possible while taking shots. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold your camera with both hands. If possible, tuck one of your elbows into your stomach to provide additional support.
When to use a Flash
During the planning of a nighttime shoot, some people may immediately want to go for the flash to provide extra lighting. Depending on your location, this may not be the best idea. If you are at an outdoor event at night, such as a concert or sporting event, your flash may not provide any real benefit. Rely on the lighting being provided by the event to capture your shots. Also, if you have decided to go with a high ISO setting then you may want to avoid using the flash.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you are a photographer then you will probably encounter a wide variety of settings and environments. When it comes to night shots, you will learn that practice makes perfect. You will get used to the different settings on your camera and how they affect your pictures in different lighting and various conditions.
Experiment with different settings as much as possible. This is made easier with a digital camera – as mentioned earlier you do not have to worry about the number of shots you take when you have a digital camera. Over time, you will begin to realize what styles you can create in low light settings using just your camera.
Just because you have to deal with a low light situation does not mean that you will not be able to take great pictures. Remember to adjust your ISO settings, use a tripod when possible, and avoid using a flash when there is already artificial lighting in the area. Have fun taking pictures and practicing with different settings. If you have a question or comment, please send us a message.