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Home > Tutorials & Notes > Night Photography

Night Photography


There is something special about taking photographs at night. The low light and long exposure times return such vibrant colours.

The following is a selection of some of my work with comments that may be of assistance if you are starting out.

The first thing you will need is a camera that allows you to turn off the built in flash. The cameras I use are both Canons, one is a 350D and the other is a G6, both are mid level cameras. One day I hope to be able to afford a Canon 5D but at AU$3.999 RRP it will have to wait a while.

The canon 350D is a good starting point for a Digital SLR and the 500D which is the current model should be even better.

Although it is handy to have a built in flash usually they are under powered and too close to the lens to get anything more than a snapshot type result. Also most of the photography I do an night involves long exposure times and you have to be able to switch off the internal flash with these type of photos.


Afer the Party

After the Party

This is an example of the type of image I am looking for. Much of my work is hand held.
This is a single exposure with no post production.



Using the flash to light a subject

This image was an 3.20 second exposure I fired the flash into the sky just as
the subject has walked into the right spot in the frame.

This gives the subject a ghost like translucent effect. You can literaly see right through her.


Using the flash to light an object

Art Hall at Learmonth

Art Hall @ Learmonth IV

This image was taken using a tripod with an exposure time of 2.50Sec with an ISO of 400

I wanted to highlight the sculpture on the Left of the image. To do this I used a hand held flash. I had to run into the shot and fire the flash at the right angle so as to let a little light fall onto the top of the sculpture. It took me 5 shots to get it right.


No flash

Oops in the shot

Direct Flash

No Flash

Oops too direct and I am in the frame.

This time I am out of the frame but it is still to direct. - Too much light and a large shadow on the hall

Indirect flash Indirect flash at ground Too mcuh light at the top
Indirect flash
Better but now it's washing out the Hall
Aiming the flash at the ground worked better but there was still a shadow on the Hall and not enough light at the top of the sculpture. Getting better but not there is too much light at the top.
Just right    

This time I aimed the flash away from the top of the sculpture and just let a little light spill onto it. I may have still let a little too much light spill onto the top of the sculpture.

P.S. (Putting my pimp hat on) If you like this image you can purchase a copy of Art Hall @ Learmonth IV from my Redbubble site.



Using the flash to capture the smoke.

No Smoke WIth Smoke

Without a flash

Exposure time 10 seconds

Using a flash to light the column of
smoke from below.

In this version I ran into the frame and
held the flash almost in the smoke and fired upwards.

Exposure time 10 seconds





APA citation:
Russell, R. (2016, July 04, 03:44 pm). Night photography.
     Retrieved June 24, 2024, from http://www.rupert.id.au/tutorials/night-photography/index.php

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