What is the best way to take night time photos?

Discussion in 'Photography Board' started by lindsroc, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. lindsroc

    lindsroc DIS Veteran

    Oct 3, 2007
    In the thread of the empty park pics, I saw a lot of beautiful nighttime photos. Without using a tripod- what is the best way to take these? Best settings etc? have manual settings on my camera, just wondering if I would need to lug around a tripod. Thanks!
  2. stevelamb121

    stevelamb121 DLP Lover

    Sep 15, 2004
    When i was last there i got some really nice shots of wishes. Now i'm no expert photographer by any means. I only used a normal fuji digital camera..not an slr. I turned off the flash as it would have bounced off closer things making the background dark. I also set the iso setting to 1600. This means the shutter stays open longer, letting more light in and making photo's in the dark better. The downside for me was i didn't use a tripod so some of the photo's were blurry. Even a mini one might help
  3. CanadianGuy

    CanadianGuy <font color=green><br><br><font color=blue>Me and

    Apr 24, 2006
    Tripod is going to be key for sure.. I've successfully used one of those 6" models on the edge of bridge, fencepost or whatever.. rather than carrying around a full size tripod.

    I find a self-timer (or remote shutter release) is good because then you're not touching the camera which can cause a bit of shake as well.

    This is probably better answered by the folks on the Photography Board.. so I'm going to move this over there.


  4. Groucho

    Groucho Why a duck?

    Jan 16, 2006
    If you're shooting something stationary (like the castle or some other building), there's simply no way around some sort of support for the camera - something that takes the camera out of your hands.

    A nice solid tripod is the best all-around solution, photographically-speaking, but obviously can be a pain to carry around.

    There are smaller options like the GorillaPod, ClamperPod, bean bags, pocket tripods, etc, as well. These generally work OK with smaller cameras (though you can often make them work with bigger ones if you're careful.)

    Once you have that, you have to make sure that the camera doesn't shake when you start taking the photo. If you have a DSLR, a remote shutter release is the best option. If you have a point-n-shoot or a DSLR w/o remote shutter release, use the two-second delay option to give it time to "steady" after you press the shutter. If you're on something really wobbly, you may even need to go to the 10-second shutter.

    Finally, as for the camera itself, you want to keep the ISO low and the aperture at the sharpest setting. If your camera supports Av (Aperture Priority) mode, use that and set it somewhere around F8-F10. Set the ISO to something low, generally you want the lowest available. That could be anywhere from 50 to 200 depending on your camera.

    Then, just shoot - you'll get great night photos as if by magic. :)

    You may also want to play with white balance settings - many times, the camera will give you a brownish sky, setting the white balance to Tungsten can help correct this.
  5. handicap18

    handicap18 <font color=blue>Husband, father of 3, and Disney

    Oct 18, 2005
    Disney has trashcans all over the place. What is good about these trashcans is that they have flat tops (though some may need help with keeping it steady like a pice of paper under one corner so it wont wobble). Great for using a small table top tripod and your self timer set to 2 or 10 seconds.

    Groucho covered a lot of it. So take what he has. The only other thing is shutter speed. Try it on AUTO first, then if that isn't good enough you can go into M (manual) and set your ISO (50-200, again depending on your camera), f/stop: f/5.6-11 (depending on your camera, so only go to 8) and then play with different shutter speeds. Fireworks would be 3-6 seconds, Basic night shot of the castle or Hat would be about 1 second or so. Some of what you'll end up doing is trial and error. Hopefully this gives you something to start with.

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