Last night I had a moment of pure happiness. I was set up next to two other photographers on a hill overlooking the busiest highway in Seattle. I had my camera peeping through a hole in the fence which was there to keep me from falling down the hill.
I was getting some really cool shots and had been set up for a while when I noticed the guy next to me suddenly packing up and getting ready to go. He came over to me and asked "are you getting a lot of shake in the sky scrapers?"
"Hmm, not too much. Are you using manual focus?" I replied.
I showed him my live view and how I used the manual focus ring to get everything sharp. He told me my images were way more focused than what he'd been getting and immediately set up again to try it out.
He came back to me a little while later to thank me as he said it had made a huge difference.
Apart from getting some really awesome shots myself, I was so happy to have been able to help someone else get better a better shot too!
Shooting at night has become a favourite time for me to photograph cities. The combination of movement from rushing cars and the stillness of the skyscrapers is beautiful and I think perfectly captures the flow of a busy city.Today's post gives you 5 practical tips for great night shots.
1. Use a tripod
While there will always be a hard surface on which you can perch your camera for a long exposure shot, a tripod will get you the most stable surface and also allow you to change angles easily. Use a time delay and weigh down your tripod to prevent shake (I put rocks in my tripod bag and hang it over the tripod legs). Remember, it is still always good to experiment and you can get some incredible shots of movement without a tripod too.
2. Use Manual mode
This is of course personal preference, but I like to use manual in order to get the settings exactly where I want them. I find the best settings for landscape night shots are ISO 100, Aperture 16 and then use the light meter to set shutter speed for the right exposure.
3. Use live view and manual focus
If you want sharp focused night shots you will really struggle if your leave auto focus on. If your camera has it, switch to live view and zoom in all the way, turn on manual focus then use the focus ring to get a sharp image.
4. Use a lens hood
Using a lens hood will reduce any flare from light sources which you don't want in your image.
5. Get creative
Think angles, leading lines and reflections. You can use light to your advantage to make almost anything more interesting. I am yet to try this, but you can use a flash light to literally paint light into your long exposure shots to bring detail where otherwise there would be none. If you'd like to read more on this click HERE.
There you go, 5 simple tips for getting better night shots. Don't forget to always shoot in RAW for post editing and the best quality images.
If you enjoyed this post and found it useful you can keep updated with more practical tips by subscribing to my email or connecting with me on Facebook.