Bluebird Chic ambassador Monisa Dobbins of Monisa J. Photography shares her best tips for capturing the beauty of night in your photos!
It’s such a different dynamic to photograph subjects at night. From photographing couples under the Christmas lights to long exposure shots at a carnival, night time shots can turn out amazing with the right tips! Here are just a few to help those tricky nighttime photos!
Tip #1 – Familiarize yourself with your camera’s settings.
Being familiar with the manual settings on your camera can help a great deal when photographing at night. ISO, aperture, and shutter speed are the main components allow control over how much light comes into the camera. The higher your iso, the more grain you may see in your photo, but also the brighter your photo will be. For this session, I made sure to keep my ISO around 640. A little bit a grain is perfectly okay depending on your preference.
Tip #2 – Take advantage of ambient light.
Ambient light is the light that may already be available around you. Use this to your advantage! In the image above, there is ambient light coming from a shop windows downtown. Since the light is so bright, I’m able to keep my ISO lower to keep the grain from the photo when I’m editing. By asking my client to face towards the window, the details of her face are brightened. If you do end up having more grain in your photo than you’d like, you can always use the luminance tool in lightroom to make your image appear a bit clearer.
In the photo above, the ambient light comes from the street light. Some street lights may have an orange tinge to them and make your subject to appear orange as well. If that happens, you can choose to play around with the orange saturation sliders in Adobe Lightroom or even cool the image using the temperature slider. Luckily for this image, the light was more of a blueish tint.
Tip # 3 – Use a tripod.
Long exposure shots are among my favorites when capturing nighttime photos. These shots can be tricky if you’re like me and have such an unsteady hand after just 3 or 4 seconds of trying to hold still. Tripods help to keep your camera completely still to get the perfect long exposure shot. In addition to a tripod, you may want to opt for a wireless remote as well. This will provide even more stability, though using your finger works well too.
When traveling, it’s best to have a smaller tripod that’s easier to carry around. City shots can look great from the highest points and having a tripod that will lessen the load when trekking will definitely pay off!
Nighttime photography can offer a different perspective of the things around you. I love how the busy city of Budapest feels so peaceful here.
Best of luck to you on capturing those gorgeous photos at night!
Hi there! My name is Monisa Dobbins of Monisa J. Photography! I’m a natural light photographer specializing in capturing authentic moments of families, couples, and anyone awesome enough to book a session! Photography has always been a love of mine, but just recently I turned this hobby into a business. I was born and raised in the sooiet state of Arkansas (woo pig!). However, being an army wife, home is currently in the gorgeous country of Italy. My Nikon and Sigma lens are always with me! If it’s not clients I’m capturing, it’s adventures with my handsome husband and my sweet 4 month old! As long as I have life’s essentials (the good Lord, family, & my camera) my heart is bursting at the seams! And food. Food makes me happy, too.
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