Night photography techniques

Whenever the bright night lights and beautiful night scenery will always make people linger on, pressing the shutter at this time to take a picture is also a great pleasure in life.

Unfortunately, however, most of the night scenes shot with digital cameras are far from the real scene, either the portrait definition is not high, or the background is blurred. In order to solve these problems, this article will introduce some night photography techniques. Following the methods we recommend you to practice, you may be able to take the most beautiful night photographs.

1. Night photography techniques

(1) Selection of photographic equipment

Because night scenes are low-light scenes, if you want to take a long exposure, you must first prepare a stable leg, otherwise, it is easy to take blurred images. As for the selection of PTZ collocation, it is recommended to match the ball PTZ. Because the ball head is not only convenient for the photographer to control quickly, the composition can also provide considerable help.

Moon shot using proper night photography techniques

The shutter release is also an indispensable auxiliary tool because it can effectively avoid the instantaneous vibration caused by pressing the shutter, but also through the shutter function of B to control the required exposure time so that you are engaged in image creation can be handier; As for the gradual dimmer part, it is used for exposure balancing.

(2) Make good use of manual functions

As the night scene is a low-light source and high-contrast scene, it is often lost focus if using AF to shoot. At this time, it is necessary to replace it with manual mode (MF) to overcome the failure of focusing.

Manual focus control mode is quite simple. The photographer, as long as the switch MF mode, aims the lens focal length infinity, then the focusing ring back a little bit can achieve focus. If readers don’t feel comfortable with it, suggest that they can try to take a first, reuse the local watch camera zoom function, so it can avoid the problem of image out-of-focus.

MF manual focusing function, not only can accurately focus on a low light environment, but also has the effect of saving electricity.

Night photography

(3) Select the appropriate exposure mode

Night photography must be based on the target of the correct use of exposure mode so that you can make the ideal image. In general, if you just want to take a few easy nighttime photos for memory, use auto or P-exposure mode.

However, it is recommended to use aperture first (AV), shutter first (TV), or manual exposure mode (M) if you want to take an attractive image with hazy beauty. Because through manual control, you can make the image effect more different changes. It is recommended that you learn from manual mode M if your ability permits, so that it is easier to create the required image effects.

If you use auto-exposure mode at night, it is easy to overexpose. The reason for this is that the camera is misled by the wide range of dark conditions, resulting in overexposure. Therefore, when shooting night scenes, we can use the full manual mode or use the shutter B, so that we can set the appropriate shutter and aperture.

Of course, it is necessary to find out the appropriate aperture fast door combination. Each beginner can take a few more pictures to see the effect. If you want to know if the photo is overexposed, observe whether the light spot in the photo is clear. In other words, spots of light under normal exposure, such as the most common light, appear very clear. On the other hand, if the photo is overexposed, the spot will have the impression of becoming more prominent and the lines will not be clear.

Therefore, exposure control is very important in night shooting. The sky is usually dark at night, and the light is relatively bright. The camera and human eyes are not able to recognize so many layers of light and shadow. If the automatic overall exposure system is used for metering, the photos taken are generally too explosive or too dark. In order to ensure that the photos can reflect the atmosphere of the night scene at that time, we adopt the method of exposure compensation and reduce the exposure compensation of 0.3ev-1ev as appropriate.

Night photography

The surround exposure method is used to select the most suitable setting for the current environment. For example, under a fixed aperture, take several pictures with a time of 3 seconds, select the optimal time, and then wait for the most wonderful moment to capture.

(4) The use of aperture size

Using aperture size can also transform various image changes at night. For example, with a small aperture, it is easier to shoot a large area of clear images if it is used in night shooting because of a wide focusing range, and it can also capture the star effect emitted by a single point light source.

When the aperture is large, the focus range becomes relatively small, so it is easy for the photographer to shoot blurred images in front or behind. Can make the image present a unique hazy feeling, especially in the light of the foil, more beautiful. However, it should be noted that the large aperture is not suitable for large-scale photography, but more suitable for a sketch or local photography, so as to fully express its charm.

Use a wide aperture lens for shots: When we attach the lens to the body, the lens aperture automatically opens to the maximum. In dark conditions, a larger aperture allows more light to enter the lens, making the picture clearer to the viewer.

Night photography

Use a small aperture: This may seem contradictory. Why talk about using small apertures now? The reason is simple. The purpose of using a wide aperture lens is to make it easier for the photographer to see the scene more clearly. However, there are two reasons for using a small aperture lens. Second, if there are lights at night, use a small aperture to make the lights star and stand out.

(5) Low brightness (ISO)

We all know that high brightness can produce faster shutter speeds at the same aperture to reduce the problem of shaking, but it can also cause noise in the image.

Especially in night shots, long exposures can make dark areas particularly noisy, so if circumstances permit, use a tripod and a low ISO value to get the best results.

(6) Set white balance

It is not recommended to use the automatic white balance for night shots, as it can easily become inconsistent in the dark, resulting in chromatic aberrations.

For night shots, you can use the “Aluminum wire” mode of white balance, but of course, choose the model that works best for the situation. In addition, storing the photos in RAW format allows the photographer to adjust the white balance later as needed.

Night photography

(7) Use a slow shutter speed

In addition to the fun of shooting with a wide aperture, slow shutter speeds can also create different visual effects. Because the slow shutter speed can capture the instantaneous light and shadow lines, it can inject a unique vitality into the night scene discussion.

In general, the photographer only has to reduce the aperture between F11 and F16, and keep the shutter speed between four and eight seconds, then adjust the shutter time depending on the image. However, it should be noted that, due to the complexity of nighttime light sources in cities, gradual dimming lenses can be used to assist correction during shooting to effectively avoid the occurrence of local over-darkness or over-exposure.

Buildings at night can be photographed with vehicles moving on the road, which can add a lot of elegance to the general street scene.

(8) Composition

The composition of the night scene is different from that of the day. At this time, the sky is dark, and basically, the shape of the building is outlined by the light, so the light becomes the main object of our performance. At this time, we should pay attention to the part of the area under the luminous building, and control the horizontal line in one-third of the picture, so that the building shooting can have a sense of stability.

2. Night portrait photography

Night portrait shooting is a difficult one. Because we need to take into account the normal exposure of the foreground background, but also to consider how to make the influence of the foreground figure clearly photographed. Indeed, this is one of the problems most tourists encounter when visiting the night scene.

Especially when using the automatic transmission of the camera, the flash was turned on during the shooting, so that the people close to the camera got the correct exposure, but due to the limited scope of the camera flash and short exposure time, the original night scene appeared black in the camera. This is because distant night scenes require a long exposure to produce a normal image, while close subjects require a short exposure due to flash. So it’s best to use the camera’s manual, slow down the shutter and force the flash on when shooting.

After the flash, it is recommended that the subject remains in the same position until the exposure is over. This will result in a normal exposure of the subject and the background night scene. However, night portrait shooting is not the patent of the manual camera, some advanced automatic point-and-shoot digital cameras have night portraits in this shooting mode, but also the use of slow shutter, forced flash this principle to set.

Night photography

A tripod is needed to hold the camera in place while shooting because it is necessary to keep the camera still during long exposures of the background.

Make it clear to the subject before shooting that the flash does not mean the shooting is finished and that the original position and position must be maintained until told to change or leave. For the shutter, it is a sign that the front curtain has reached the end of the shutter and is switched on, but the back curtain has not yet reached the shutter.

The exposure only ends when the rear curtain passes through the shutter and reaches the closed position. For the shutter in the mirror, the flash flashes when the shutter is fully open, but the shutter is not closed after the flash. Because the night portrait exposure time is often required in 1 second, or longer, after flash shine, still have a long time the shutter is open, to feel the night light if moving subject, the original was covering the background of the part will be in the face of the lens, continue to light, so beautiful photos, as the part is transparent or translucent. Therefore, the subject should remain intact until the shutter is closed.

3. Night landscape photography

Night landscape photography is also night photography. The city that never sleeps is rich in color and bright lights, so the shooting of night scenery becomes a subject of photography. Although it is difficult for the camera to shoot the night scene, we can rely on the LCD screen to check the exposure situation in time and obtain more satisfactory color by adjusting the color temperature, which provides great convenience for the digital camera to shoot the night scene.

At present, A lot of high-grade digital cameras offer P (to be automatic), A (aperture priority), S (shutter priority), and M (manual) exposure of the shooting mode, moreover most digital cameras offer the scene mode, the most common pattern is night mode and the macro model two kinds, there is some digital camera provides A more detailed rich scene mode, You can even get evening, late-night shooting mode and other functions.

Night photography

In general, satisfactory results can be achieved through this kind of night view mode. For most digital camera novices, taking this way of night view shooting is the most simple, feasible, and guaranteed method. Tripods are not optional for night shots. When the camera is mounted on a tripod, it is possible to take pictures of car lights or people moving at a slower speed.

Of course, in order to achieve the best artistic effect, the afterglow of dusk when the lights come on can effectively separate the outline of the building, showing a better sense of layering. Photographers seeking artistic effects will use the technique of double exposure in the same position.

In addition, the use of white balance is also very important. The choice of different white balance will directly affect the tone of the photo and the artistic conception expressed. In general, do not choose automatic white balance. This will affect the inherent color of the light so that it will lose the unique color temperature. When shooting a city at night, we usually use the Tungsten white balance because it’s closer to the lighting effect. Of course, this is not absolute, depending on the circumstances.

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