One week to go until Christmas – and slowly I’m getting into the spirit. Last night The Significant Other and I visited a Christmas Show by American Musical Star and Dancer Gaines Hall. This afternoon it is snowing, covering everything outside with a beautiful white blanket. Perfect backdrop for all the beautiful lights and decorations The Significant Other has placed all over the garden and the house. Like every year, I have to admit she’s outdone herself again.
Probably due to the many black&white night photos I have posted lately, I got a question how to best approach night photography.
As for the technical aspects, I have posts in my Learning Center that covers some of those aspects, like the Instant Inspiration episode about capturing nocturnal skylines. If you search for “Night Photography” in the search field of this blog, there are plenty posts with photographs taken in the dark, and in many I talk about some how-to stuff.
If you go for best image quality, you will need a tripod (or something less sophisticated like a beanbag) to rest your camera on. For best image quality dial in a low ISO number, and select an aperture like f/11 for max depth of field. Result will be a slow shutter speed, hence the need for a tripod. Use the self timer of the camera to trigger a vibration free exposure.
If your camera has good image stabilization and a good glass attached you might get by shooting hand-held. With my Olympus cameras I can shoot 1/5 sec out of the hand and still get sharp images. When trying to shoot handheld at night, I usually shoot in P-Mode with Auto-ISO capped at ISO 1600 and I see where it gets me. Obviously, it also depends on the ambient light available, from street lights or building illuminations.
Typically I shoot in RAW and do the conversion to monochrome in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, using one of my proven presets as starting point.
This photo of Nuremberg’s Imperial Castle was taken with the Olympus PEN-F with mZuiko 25mm F/1.8 prime lens, image specs are 1/25 sec @ f/1.8 and ISO 1600.
Wish you a relaxed Sunday!