Night Photography itself may sound like a contradiction, but is one of the most challenging ways of doing photographs, due to the lack of natural light. Therefore, the results of doing it with patience, creativity and technical skills, are just mind blowing. Night Photography refers commonly, to the images taken on the outdoors, between dusk and dawn. There are two roads for doing the images, by long exposures, or by aiding the exposure with artificial light sources. Modern time’s high ISO sensitivities have made low light situations a friendlier habitat for making pictures, but I think that with long exposures, the crispiness of low sensitivity ISO settings, is secured for sure.

Fast Apertures

Fast apertures allow more light to enter through the lens in order to hit the sensor or the film of our cameras. If you have no choice but to shoot handheld, cranking the ISO sensitivity to the limits of noisiness, a lens with fast aperture capabilities will be very handy.

Night Photography is best done in a still surface, like a tripod, but there are times in life, that there is no choice but shooting handheld, like in Street Photography. A fast aperture is one of those things that you won’t be using often in night photography, but you will regret if a situation pops in front of your eyes, and you don’t have the tool for the job.

Fast Apertures will also give you more flexibility in terms of exposure settings. If you want and need a decently fast shutter speed setting, you’ll be very happy to have a fast aperture lens as a friend.

Aid yourselves with sturdy tripods

Sometimes the light sources in Night Photography can be so little, that it will be ridiculous of trying without a sturdy tripod. Tripods are the best lens for many situations in Photography, and they enable anyone to achieve amazing images, especially at nights.

Invest in a sturdy tripod that will resist shakes at the moment of pressing the shutter button (or the release cable, which is a great solution in order to avoid micro vibrations produced by your hands while touching the camera when pressing the shutter button), and bumps while carrying it around.

Explore night Street Photography

This is for the street photographers reading this piece of work. Street Photography at night has a great potential, and the only thing you need as your best ally, is a gear with the capabilities of taking available light situations to the limit. In other words, you just need a fast aperture lens, and a decent light sensitivity-wise camera or body.

Let’s take the great example of Brassaï, the Hungarian–French photographer famous for recording Paris at night in the 1930s, a time in which low light photographic capabilities, were very limited.

Subjects in Night Photography (Solitude and Star Trails)

There are a lot of Night Photography subjects that you can study with high probabilities of achieving amazing pictures:

  • Abandoned buildings

  • Airplanes

  • Amusement rides

  • Artificial structures

  • Bodies of water

  • Caves

  • Celestial bodies

  • City skylines

  • Concerts

  • Factories and industrial areas

  • Lava

  • Nightlife

  • Northern or Southern Lights

  • Streets

  • Thunderstorms

If you are interested in Celestial Bodies, you’ll definitely will want to try Star Trail Photography. This particular technique requires several images of the same portion of the sky stacked together into a final image. The most important thing here is to plan the imagery, scout the desired location in advance, get yourselves prepared with patience, and learn how to manipulate the whole repertoire of images in post-processing.

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