Night Photography: Technical Basics
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by Editor Miro Susta
When the day draws to a close and the sun slowly disappears on the horizon, the world of night photography begins.
Remote Shutter Release
Neutral Density Filter (NDF) & Polarization Filter (PF)
IMPORTANT TECHNICAL BASICS
Mirror Lock-up Function
As already mentioned, to avoid camera shake during night photo shooting, the camera is normally placed on a tripod and the shutter is controlled by a remote shutter release. Therefore, it is not always advisable to increase the ISO sensitivity for night scenes. The exposure time is slightly longer at lower ISO values, but the image noise and sensor errors are considerably reduced. This means that the finished image quality is better at lower ISO values.
TIME, POINT OF VIEW, MOTIVE AND PERSPECTIVE
The appropriate time for photographing makes it possible to determine the later mood of the image. The Blue Hour, the time between sunset and twilight, is one of the most popular times for night photographs.
There are a few things to consider when choosing a location for photographing fireworks display. There's nothing more disturbing than taking fireworks images of people running around.
· *Follow the basics of night photography – place the camera on a tripod, use a wide-angle lens with the narrowest aperture possible, and focus to infinity.
· *Turn the camera's mode dial to Manual or Bulb shooting mode and use a slow shutter speed (1-30 or more seconds) for longer exposure.
· * Leave the lens hood on your lens to prevent lens flare from street and other point source lights.
· * Night shots can be quickly underexposed, so to facilitate image processing it is advisable to switch the camera from JPG to RAW mode and save the images lossless as RAW or both JPG and RAW mode.
· * The autofocus is tempting, but if the autofocus cannot see which object is being focused at high night contrast differences, the focus should be adjusted manually.
· * Even if the flash built into the camera encourages the use at night, it is not recommended to use it except in special cases.
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