The challenge of shooting in low light and nighttime lighting conditions can be daunting. While many of the same principles apply to night photography as photographing during the day, there is definitely a learning curve before you start taking great photos at night. Let’s take a closer look at some of the fundamentals as we explore some of the possibilities of shooting landscapes at night.
It’s easy to believe that the gear doesn’t make the photographer and from a creative standpoint that maxim is 100% correct; however, from a technical stand point, having the right gear can really make a difference.
Tripod – Invest as much as you can afford into getting a durable tripod that is sturdy enough to trust with staying upright while shooting in potentially rough weather and terrain. Consider purchasing a good quality tripod as in investment into keeping your camera safe.
Remote Shutter Release – This little device comes in many forms ranging from an infrared remote to cable and smartphone app. Most are fairly inexpensive and some, such as a Triggertrap, will even perform other functions. Using a remote shutter release will allow you to take a photo without the risk of your finger jostling the camera as you press the shutter release button, which can result in motion blur. Alternatively, you can use your camera’s timer as a workaround if you don’t have a remote. Simply set the self timer to expose the photo a few seconds after you manually press the button so the camera shake has time to resolve.
Camera – Having a camera that has above average low light capabilities will be beneficial. Not all cameras are created equal when speaking of low light capabilities and shooting with a camera model that has above average low light performance will be beneficial. This will allow you to shoot at higher ISO’s without having too much digital noise.
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Take note if subjects will be moving in your composition. If motion blur will detract from the quality of the image, try to bring up your ISO and/or open up your aperture to allow you to shoot with a faster shutter speed. – Photo by Gabriel Gonzalez / CC BY 2.0