Low light conditions, mixed lighting and bustling creativity is what sets apart the night photography. The moonlit sky, shining stars, artificial lighting, sparkling fireworks magically transforms the everyday world to the arena of colors, light and action to provide an excellent opportunity for taking the magnificent shots. Just equip yourself with night photography tips and the following amazing ideas to explore the magical world of night photography.
Photograph The Moon
The silent beauty of night is well complimented with the silver casting of the moon. The magic of the silent beauty and calmness of its character swipe everyone to the world of imaginations. It is for this very reason that photographers, be it amateurs or pros love to photograph the moon. After all what else can be a better companion (subject) than moon when shooting at night. Check out the handy tips for photographing the moon at night here.
Take The Advantage Of Artificial Lights
Light is the photographer’s best friend and worst enemy, both at the same time. While natural light is what you use most of the times when photographing during the daytime, it’s time to experience some surprises with artificial light during the night. Fluorescent lights, LED lamps, neon lights, etc are good contenders for lighting the subject at night. Just employ the features of lighting and you are sure to get some good shots with artificial light at your disposal (even though exposure becomes a little tricky with artificial lights).
Experience The Twilight Magic
You can easily get some of the “perfect” shots just before the sunrise or after the sunset. Ken Rockwell also appreciates the mesmerizing effect of the magic hour (stunning lighting conditions during the dawn and dusk hours of the day) in the article titled Importance of timing. He specifically mentions that the perfect time for getting the best of the shots is twilight — the time when the sky is filled with blue hues. This makes space for a quick tip for night photography — shoot earlier; before the sky turns from blue to black.
Photograph The Sparkling Fireworks
Celebrations and festivities offer yet another opportunity to take some beautiful shots. Fill the frame with the vivid colors and imaginative effects of sparkling fireworks. Turn on the bulb mode and be ready to capture the entire action on a single frame entailing the life of the burst.
Capture The Beautiful Star Trails
Star trails simply make up for visually stunning and eye catching photographs. The long exposure night time shots capture the motion of the stars (owing to the movement of earth to be precise) resulting in the mysterious streaks of light which ultimately make up for some of the wonderful night shots.
The Dark Alley Shots
Josh Johnson mentions this technique in one his posts. The dark alley shot is the one that utilizes the shallow DOF for photographing a fairly immobile subject to render the feeling of loneliness and isolation. And as Josh says, the key for this style of shot is to utilize only the available light (or at least appear to) without the excessive use of any professional lighting equipment or flashes. The natural contrast of the light and dark areas plays into the concept of the shot and should be embraced and experimented with extensively.
Long Exposure Traffic Trails
It’s time to take the long exposure shots. Rest the camera on the tripod and go slow on shutter speed to capture the traffic trails and motion blur of bustling traffic of the urban cities. For the cities that never sleep, long exposure shots make them appear lively and happening.
Capture The Serenity Of Seascapes
The coastal water and seascapes stand out distinctly at night. Low light and silver shine of the moon adds to its beauty and serenity and taking the long exposures of the scene turn out to be magical. Soft, smooth, foam-like waters and reflections of distant lights together create mood and make up for great photographing opportunity.
Shoot The Cityscapes
Skyscrapers, bridges, huge architectural buildings bathed in artificial lights look great at night. Get your perspective right and shoot a lot of cityscapes and urban landscapes when photographing at night.
Glistening Light Reflections
Go For Bokehlism
Are you a big fan of bokehs? If yes, bokehlism is what you strive for when there are lots of lights in the background / foreground. Narrow DOF and out of focus lights are the two things that let the magic happen. So, what are you waiting for! When you are out photographing at night, playback this neat trick and return back home with handsful of bokeh. Check out the article titled How to create bokeh effect to create the “bokeh effect” and take a look at the beautiful bokeh examples here.
How do you make a difference with your night shots? Share your night photographs and the shot-story with us.