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Night Photography: A Personal Point of View

There are many ways to enjoy the night, but for me the best way to remember a night is not the hangover the next day. Here's a guide or group of tips for night photography.

Camera. It is almost essential mode B (bulb) for this type of photography or a camera that allows us to adjust the exposure time, at least 8 seconds. We will perform what is known as bracketing, which is nothing else than to do 2 to 3 captures of the same scene by changing the exposure time every time, so we make sure we expose it correctly. It is also interesting if we can change the aperture. Why? Although it seems contradictory using small apertures (f22) that let in less light, would capture more detail in the scene or “movement.” For example, Lubitel or Smena 8M are ideal for this kind of photography.

Film. Although black and white is interesting, I think that capturing the colours of the lights is the most striking of night photography. I usually use slide film cross processed to exaggerate the saturation.

Support. All you should know what during long exposures while holding the camera with your hand: blur or shake images. In some cases this may be interesting, in other cases we don’t want to capture the movement of our hand, but the subject/object photographed. The best option is to have a tripod, but any support will work. I know two tips to avoid moving the camera when pulling the trigger: to use a cable release or the timer on the camera (this prevents us from using B mode, but may be enough if we can set exposures of 8 or more seconds).

written by megustastu


  1. vicuna


    Totally agree with you! I would even add for the film that it is the best to use slow films, like 100 asa, (shot with the smallest aperture like you said). The exposure time will last longer, but the picture will be less grainy and sharper.
    Great gallery of night shots! :))

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  2. sergio_m


    great work, love the picture nr.2

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  3. herbert-4


    Fast films are prone to reciprocity failure (film speed slows with longer exposures). For VERY long exposures, very slow films have flat reciprocity. Something like Adox CMS 20 (ISO 20) works great for several minutes and longer exposures, if you can get it. In any case, use ISO 400 and slower for night shots. Enjoy.

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  4. megustastu


    Yeah! Slow films are the (my) best option for night photography.

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  5. superlighter


    lovely gallery and article!

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  6. adi_totp


    thanks for the tips :)

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  7. stickyvinny


    Great tips :)

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  8. yattering


    Second one is awesome! But, i wonder, am i shoot the cloudy mode for the best result?

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  9. megustastu


    @yettering: nop, the sunny mode has the smallest aperture

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  10. yattering


    @megustastu Thanks mate.

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