Night photography techniques to capture scenes with limited lighting (part 3)
5. Take test shots
Night photography requires you to be much more methodical than taking photos in the daytime. When you’re shooting in low light situations, you can’t simply press the shutter but have to know the exact settings to use for your camera. In order to do that, you need to take some test shots. Taking test shots helps you experiment with different creative shots. Besides, you can also try different perspectives to make your image become more interesting.
You should play around with different ISO levels, shutter speeds, and apertures, too. First, try taking a regular photo in either Speed Priority or Aperture. Notice the aperture and shutter speed settings, then incrementally adjust until you find the ideal exposure. Bracketing your shots is also a faster, more refined method you can try.
6. Do bracket exposures
Nailing the perfect exposure when taking photos at night can be challenging. You can bracket your shots to minimize guesstimating your settings. This technique includes taking a series of photos at different exposure settings so that each picture you take will get brighter or darker. Hopefully, one or some of those photos will give you the ideal exposure you want.
You can bracket exposures manually or automatically. In terms of manual bracketing, set your camera to Speed Priority or Aperture Priority. Take one regular photo and then adjust the exposure using the Exposure Compensation button in the subsequent images. Automatic Bracketing function can be found in the Shooting Menu of your camera.
7. Shoot in Aperture Priority Mode for static subjects
If you haven’t clearly understood how Manual Mode
works, then you should use Aperture Priority. This mode helps you choose your wanted
aperture and automatically chooses the shutter speed.
Aperture Priority Mode is the fastest way to take photos at night. As you set your camera to this mode and select a wide aperture, you are ready to shoot. If you don’t have moving subjects, Aperture Priority is the safest way to take night photos.
It is perfect for shooting static scenes such as buildings and landscapes, too. If you want more control in shooting moving objects, you should switch to Manual Mode or Speed Priority Mode.