Sure you are clicking some great photographs which could give professional photographers a run for their money, but all that is during the day. Are you equally good at night, capturing pictures in low light and understand how the camera works in those conditions?
You might be surprised but a large number of photographers struggle with night time photography. Here is a check list which can help you prepare for common mistakes which photographers make while shooting in the night along with their quick fixes.
1. Under exposure is one perennial problem. You shoot during the day but at night, forget to change the ISO settings and that means trouble. Go as high up on ISO as you can, even upto 1600 is alright. This way, when you edit photos, noise won’t ruin it and natural and artificial light would be well balanced.
2. If you are aiming for the stars – literally – then set your shutters peed accordingly. Clarity is the key, and long exposure will create a lot of noise in the photo. So use multiple short exposure to avoid that. While you are at it, watch out for airplanes, they might ruin your photos with their red blinking light!
3. Failing to turn off autofocus is another blunder which might cost you a good shot. At night, the camera fails to find a good spot to focus and hence, will refuse to take a photo. So get into the manual focus mode and use your good sense to set focus.
4. You set up your camera on the tripod and wait for some amazing shots, only to have a mini-heart attack when your equipment smashes into pieces? Yeah, that is what happens when you forget to check the stability of your tripod. So tighten the leg locks, and the centre column lock before you even think of the ISO and shutter speed settings. A little breeze could knock your expensive camera down. Now that is definitely not worth anything, is it?
5. The northern lights, or the Aurora Borealis are the ultimate test of night time photography for a beginner. DLSRs are technologically well-equipped to capture them in all their glory, but just a gentle reminder – keep exposure to under 5-10 seconds as it will limit motion blur. This will help you in capturing the true colours and intensity of this phenomenon.
6. Composition is key while shooting in moonlit surroundings. Try to exclude any subject that’s too close in the foreground. Depth of field is very limited when shooting at f/4-5.6, even if you’re using a wide-angle lens.
7. For even better results, use a shutter release cable. These can be purchased at almost any good camera store. This will help reduce the camera vibration. It’s a small cord that can be attached to your camera, which allows you to take your finger off of the shutter release button.
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