All about Nighttime Photography

5 Mins read

Freelance photographers in Dubai find it a daunting task to take photos at night. Essentially, light has to bounce off from a subject for a camera to capture photos. At nighttime, there is no light that can bounce off hence the difficulty in capturing a photo. Having the know-how on shooting photos with limited light enables you to make nighttime photography fun. 

It is tempting to shelf off a photography session due to darkness. However, some special moments are worth capturing regardless of the time of the day. If such moments pass, then the memories are lost forever translating to the loss of invaluable history. As a freelance photographer, you need to be armed with the right strategies and tools that will save the day. 

As a beginner, you will have to experiment until you grasp the drill. Never faint to manipulate the aperture, and shutter speed, among other changes that will result in quality nighttime photos. How about when you are too novel to know what to do? Well, the following tips will arm you with all that you need to know about nighttime photography.

1. Get a sturdy tripod

Freelance nighttime photography in Dubai requires a long exposure that compels you to hold your camera steady for extra minutes. It is almost impossible for you to make such a move without the support of a tripod stand. Getting an aluminum or carbon fiber tripod can not only hold your heavy camera steady but also ensure that you do not waste your time taking photos that are poor in quality.

You should also buy get a bubble spirit level that checks whether your camera is in balance. In the absence of the level, you can make use of the virtual horizon of the camera since it works the same. Mini tripods come in handy in places that are tricky for regular stands.

When shopping for a sturdy tripod, you should first ascertain the weight of your camera. Weighing the camera using your bathroom scale is one of the ways of identifying the weight. Alternatively, you can carry your camera with you during the shopping spree. The move can help you test the tripod under the weight of the camera.

2. Test the quality of the photos

Shooting photos during the night is different from shooting them in the daytime. Assuming that the nighttime photos are quality without checking is as good as not shooting them at all. The solution to the uncertainty that surrounds the quality of photos at night entails taking test photos. The move helps you make the necessary adjustments that will enable you to take your preferential photos.

Taking test photos helps you identify the specific changes that you can make to your camera. Sometimes the photos can contain a minute streak that makes the entire photo lose its quality. A simple tweak on the settings can help you remove the streak, but you can only do the changes after taking a test photo.

3. Use shutter priority for moving subjects

The shutter speed for capturing stationary subjects differs from the one that you should use on moving targets. Selecting the shutter speed option makes your camera make an aperture selection automatically. However, you can still use low shutter speed when you want to capture beautiful trails at night, especially when cars are passing.

You should also avoid overexposure when taking photos at night. The outcome is a result of using the widest aperture on a long exposure. Additionally, using a slow shutter speed together with a wide aperture also results in overexposure. You should note that your camera has the ability to collect much light even in dimly-lit areas.

On the other hand, you should use the aperture priority on static subjects. The fact that the camera makes an automatic selection of the shutter speed when in the aperture mode depicts that it can select the ideal speed when shooting non-moving subjects.

4. Set ISO at 100

Capturing quality night shots also calls for the adjustment of the ISO. Setting it at 100, the ISO will help you shoot quality photos at night that are devoid of grains. However, setting the ISO at high levels can also result in quality photos, but you have to test the best level. Afterward, you can delete the photos that did not come outright.

5.  Use a shutter cable

The manual pressing of the shutter results in shaking the camera. As a beginner in freelance photography in Dubai, it is hard to notice the effect. Shaking of the camera makes you shoot blurry photos at night. To avoid the effect, you should use a shutter release cable. For cameras that feature a shutter speed of less than 30, using a remote to release the shutter can help you to shoot high-quality nighttime photos.

6. Bracket your shots

Given that it is impossible to ascertain the most appropriate exposure when taking nighttime photos, you should bracket your shots. Taking photos using the mode results in pictures that have incremental lightness or darkness. The move enables you to take a single photo using different exposures thus allowing you to select photos that feature your preferential quality.

You can find the photo bracketing option on your camera. After taking a regular photo, you should switch to the aperture or speed priority options, and then activate the exposure compensation button on the next photos that you are to take. The move enables you to make adjustments to the exposure.

7. Use a torch

Sometimes freelance photographers complicate nighttime shooting. Some think that one must have artificial lights that have to emit metered light. The fact that you can use s torch to light up your subject during a nighttime photo shoot.

8. Try creative photos at night 

Shooting creative photos does not take place during the day only. You can also take photos at night since you get a free black canvas. One of the creative photos you can take during nighttime entails shooting reflections. Selecting a scene with several colors enables you to merge them well on water. The reflection helps in contrasting sharply from smooth textures.

You can also take a shot on the moon. It is one of the most consistent sources of light at night and it produces interesting effects during nighttime photography. Alternatively, you can shoot the sky. The move helps you to capture various effects that include moving clouds and more definition on star trails.

Carnivals offer a spectacular view at night due to their bright colors, as well as night lights. If you live in an area that hosts carnival nights, then you should be used to making prior preparations for nighttime photography. The move will ensure that no one party passes by without capturing the moment efficiently.

You are not limited to the places you can photograph at night. The selection calls for a whimsical selection of the spots, but sometimes you should have the end results in mind when taking the photos.

Bottom Line

Freelancer photographers in Dubai should stretch their limits to nighttime photography. Some of the photographers find it hard to make the necessary adjustments to their cameras when shooting in the dark. The most important concept to understand is that photography entails capturing the light that bounces off subjects. At night rarely does the bouncing happen, but you should know the tips that will help you thrive in nighttime photography.

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