Friday, August 27, 2010

Night Photography Basics

My first influence in photography came from a painter, not a photographer, named Rene Magritte. In his painting L'empire des Lumières 1954 he combines daylight with nightlight. Although I still have a rather limited idea how to make a photograph like this, one of the aspects that originally drew me to this painting was I am not sure I had ever seen a painting showing night quite like this before. When I began photography I found it much more difficult to make any type of night photograph with the technical accuracy of a daylight photograph.

To take a photograph at night the equipment needed is a camera with manual shutter speeds that includes the speed Bulb and/or Time, a tripod, a remote triggering device or electronic cable release.

1 Place the camera on a tripod.
2 Autofocus and then switch from AF to M.
3 Set ISO to the lowest ISO number. Set the exposure mode dial to A, allowing the camera to choose the exposure time when working in low light. For full darkness, set the exposure mode to M and set the shutter speed to Bulb and the aperture to 16 or 22.
4 Set the self timer and press the shutter button for low light. For full darkness a remote triggering device or electronic cable release may be needed.

text and photograph ©2010 Paul Light all rights reserved


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