Tuesday, 5/12/2023 | 9:25 UTC+0
Photography Directory

Capturing the Beauty of Landscapes at Night

moon behind hillLandscapes act as an ever-interesting subject for photography. Nature is always new and beautiful. Whether it is a high mountain or rolling plains, a countryside or a city skyline, landscapes have an unending appeal to engross anyone. However, most landscapes are shot in the daylight. Isn’t shooting them at night preferable? Or is it too difficult to achieve? Well, it may be difficult, but not impossible. The tips and tricks here which are shared by pro landscape photographers prove this.

Find Your Location Beforehand

A lot of landscape photographers use days of poor light and bad weather to check out prospective shooting sites; however this is essential with night photography.

But just finding a scene is not enough; you will have to decide how you will be creating the photo and what focal length of lens you will require while you will actually look at the stretch of the land.

You should also decide your exact position of shooting and also the best height from where you will shoot and the best angle. Best is to take some shots to ensure that you have secured the composition.

It is also advisable to decide where to focus and find out how far that spot is from your position.

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Organize Everything

If you practice nighttime shooting, you automatically become more organized. This is because you won’t at all want to struggle with a tool in your bag in the dark.

It is, however, best to keep a torch at hand while you are getting your kit from your bag. But it is not an alternative for having your bag well organized and knowing what is where exactly.

When you are well organized, it also prevents accidental losses as you don’t need to take out many things out of the bag to find your desired item.

This habit of being well organized will obviously help you while shooting in daylight because you will find whatever you want quickly, so you are at less risk of missing a shot or the passing light.

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Focusing in Low Light

If you reach your shooting site before darkness arrives, that won’t be a problem, as you can position the camera and focus the lens in the left over light.

However every time you may not be able to do this and even if you do, you may want to take more than one picture at night.

Even extremely sophisticated autofocus systems rummage at night since they need to see some contrast to work.

This means that there is a need of manual focus, but you should be able to see the subject just as the AF system does.

You can regulate focus if your lens features a focus distance scale till it comes at the distance you checked in the daylight.

Or else, Live View mode is helpful as the gain applied to the signal can show the scene giving you adequate info to focus your lens.

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Low Sensitivity for Long Exposures

When you need short exposure, high sensitivity settings are of much help, but while shooting at night even very high settings will need shutter speeds that are too long for holding the camera in hand.

High sensitivity settings also gives a lot of noise, which most people don’t like, therefore it’s often better to make use of a long exposure and low sensitivity.

Though a remote release and mirror lock-up are generally advisable for long exposures, the time taken for any vibration to silent is negligible, therefore they are not important.

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Noise Reduction in Long Exposure

Often noise is a part of long exposures which comes from vibrations in the photo receptors sensitivity across the sensor, but it tends to come at the same locations unlike high-sensitivity noise.

The easiest way to tackle with it is to make use of the long exposure noise reduction system of your camera.

After you activate it, it generally starts in case of exposures longer than a second or more and works by taking another exposure of the same length but with the shutter closed.

Then the camera extracts the noise appearing in the “dark frame” or next exposure, from the image exposure to create a clean shot.

All this takes place automatically and works very nicely, but it doubles the working time for each shot.

If the exposure is of some seconds, it is not a problem, but if it is of many minutes, it becomes tedious.

Therefore some people like to turn off this system and catch dark frames of their own periodically to eliminate the noise on computer.

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Controlling Camera with a Touch

Though you might have a headtorch, it may be hard to see the dials, buttons and signs on the camera, so you should be able to find them with a touch.

Once you get a practice of this, you will be able to reach the controls without watching them.

After a few hours of nighttime shooting, you will be thoroughly familiar with your camera – much more than ever before.

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The Unseen Light

Sky at night often looks quite dark, but long exposures usually disclose some hidden sources of light.

If you are shooting in countryside, for example, you have every chance to find that the lower section of the sky is orange. You can make use of this for a good illusion, producing an effect of sunset, while the sun has gone down much before.

Imagine Photo Maric: Images of Dublin &emdash; Tall ships at Dublin bay

Movement of the Moon

When the moon is in the sky, it makes a huge difference to your exposure time and the soft light it gives helps the image a greater form. So, it’s very beneficial to plan a night shoot around a phase of the moon to have some illumination.

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Misa Maric of http://www.imaginephotomaric.com/ is a passionate photographer, though he is originally a software technician, and finds photography truly fulfilling. He has been interested in photography since childhood and completed several courses of various types of photography. The multi-talented photographer touches a variety of photography fields like portrait photography, special events photography, street photography and more. Still he is passionate to learn a lot in photography and believes in being a great photographer of today, but better one of tomorrow. Photos in this article are his courtesy. Enjoy the beauty of landscapes, cityscapes and waterscapes captured in the nighttime photos!
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