Part 2 of How to Photograph at Night

Shutter Speeds are very important to night photography
• Your camera can only be set to do a maximum of a 30 second exposure.  For a longer exposure set camera to Bulb.
• The longer the exposures the more movement you will see. Even from stars,
fog, water, steam, mist., fireworks.
• People will not appear with such long exposures.
• Remember to Experiment.

White Balance – White balance (WB) is the process of removing unrealistic color casts, so that objects which appear white in person are rendered white in your photo. Proper camera white balance has to take into account the “color temperature” of a light source, which refers to the relative warmth or coolness of white light. For now leave white balance i

Dynamic Range – In photography, dynamic range is the difference between the lightest light and darkest dark which can be seen in a photograph. You can see a distribution of this tonal range in a

Watch out for Noise – Noise is a function of one of the following: High ISO, Underexposure, Long Exposure Times

What to be done about Noise?

• Noise Reduction Software; nik software, noise ninja.
• Try and use lower ISOs
• Put Noise reduction ON in camera settings

Focusing – Focusing at night can be challenging. There are several approaches that you can try, and the right choice will vary depending on the shot.

• Try auto focusing on point light sources at a similar distance to the subject of interest and then turn off auto focus and reframe your shot.

• Look for something outside of your composition that is about the same distance away – focus on that, switch AF off, and recompose.

• Use Live View to zoom in and focus manually on an area.

• Alternatively, bring a small flashlight since this can be set on the subject, focused on, and then removed before the exposure begins.

• Manual focus may be a possibility – either by trying to get a point light source such as a bright star (or your laser pointer, or a light placed in the scene, etc.) to focus manually through the viewfinder or by relying on the distance scale on the lens barrel.)

• Since perfect focus may be more elusive at night you have another reason to perhaps use smaller apertures with their greater depth of field.

• Put Auto Focus Assist Illuminator on which sends out a light which will send out a light to help focus. The range is 24mm-200mm on your lens.

Stay Tuned for Part 3 Next week of How to Photograph at Night or go to for more more information on Karen Haberberg’s workshops.

karen haberberg

Central Park at Night