Night scene photography
Night scenes photography have a mood and excitement
all their own. To make them you'll need high ISO setting, a tripod and
a cable release. In some cases you may want to take along a flash
attachment for supply extra fill in light.
For outdoor pictures with limited
illumination, use a time exposure with your camera securely held on a
tripod. Good "time exposure" subjects include night street scenes,
fireworks, moonlight, campfires, lightning flashes, illuminated
buildings, homes, industry, streets and bridges.
The technique for time exposure
Many of these exposures will take several
minutes, sometimes as much as 5 or 10, depending upon the amount of
light on the subject, that is why you need a tripod to hold the camera.
A favorite trick of some photographers is to leave their shutter open
for several hours on a night when the heaves are full of stars. The
result will show a streaks the lighted paths of the stars and meteors.
You can also record lightning flashes and
because the light given off is very intense, the shutter need be open
only long enough to capture the lightning. Of course, you shutter might
be open a long time before the lightning comes; if so, the lens should
be pointed at a dark area of sky so that there will be no light flares
from nearby buildings or passing cars.
While a large fire takes a short
exposure, campfires generally need additional light such as a fill in
flash unless the people gathered around the flickering blaze can remain
still for 8 or 10 seconds.
Lighted bridges, streets and fireworks
all take longer exposures. In each case you will have to rely upon your
own judgment regarding the proper exposure because the light will
seldom be strong enough to record on a photo electric exposure meter.
An exception might be a brightly lighted area, such as Times Square in
New York City. Here, directly under a theatre marquee with its blazing
light, it is often possible to shoot at 1/50 second with the camera
hand-held and the lens aperture set at f/3.5
If you are making a long shot of Times
Square or similar scene in any large city, you need a time exposure.
Billboard light reflections on a rainy night add a little more glamour
to this type of picture. Take a number of shots of the same scene with
slightly varying exposures.
Choose the night subjects with care
You will learn that not all good day subjects make good night shots. At night, your picture depends a great deal upon the outlines made by your large mass objects such as bridges, buildings, campfires, etc and what the light does to them.
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