The challenge of night photography

Shooting subjects in daylight is challenging enough. We often produce blurry, out of focus images even in bright light. What more at night, in an urban landscape with only neon signs, street lamps and lights from buildings? The special condition of low light situation presents an obstacle to photographers but these can all be overcome, and you do not need to be an expert. Night photography can produce some of the most remarkable and impressive photos. To do this you have to remember some simple guidelines.


David Peterson, founder of, presents some tips in his article Spectacular Night Shots In 5 Easy Steps. These are:

1. Get a tripod
2. Find a high-traffic location or an interesting street sign
3. Frame the shot in an interesting way
4. Pick an aperture of F8 and shoot some experimental shots at a slow shutter speed
5. Readjust and keep shooting

You will notice that the steps provided by Peterson is a combination of the technical and the creative. The technical side is where you have to learn all about your camera, its features and what it can do. Once you know that, then you can do a lot of things such as shooting with shutter speed priority or long exposures, the technique which creates silky smooth waterfalls and, in night photography, those amazing light trails. The creative side is where you have to draw on your knowledge to come up with the proper framing and effective composition. We are often deterred in doing night photography thinking this needs specialized equipment. The only other thing you need aside from your camera is a tripod. Everything else boils down to you – your patience, passion and resolve. Add these personal traits when doing night photography. The resulting images are rewarding.


6 responses

  1. I agree. The tripod is a singularly important piece of equipment to stabilize the camera. As with night photography, it is essential in macro photography.

    March 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    • Junsjazz

      Yup, the tripod is a photographer’s best friend. Thanks always Sally! Btw, I have already laid-out your images in the magazine spread and it looks great! Now all it needs is a great write up from you. I await that next week. 🙂

      March 14, 2013 at 2:39 pm

  2. JK Bevill - Lost Creek Publishing

    Reblogged this on lost creek publishing.

    March 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    • Junsjazz

      Thanks JK! have a great weekend!

      March 15, 2013 at 1:59 pm

  3. Thanks for the tutorial. I would like to add these tips from my own experience for your readers.

    1. Get a good tripod
    2. Get a good tripod
    3. Get a good tripod
    4. Get a good ballhead
    5. Get a remote release (or use the 2-second timer)

    March 14, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    • Junsjazz

      Thank you Mark! I guess we could never overemphasize the importance of the tripod. A serious photographer is never complete without this equipment. Have a great weekend! Thanks again. ~JJ

      March 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm

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