A Guide to Night Photography


When doing night photography, it is essential to know some tips and techniques that will help you attain beautiful pictures. Here are some tips that you can follow when doing night photography.

Credits: hodachrome

Use a Tripod
It is very useful to have a tripod when doing night shoots. The tripod will keep your camera stable, resulting in sharper images free of blur. However, not all people have tripods and there are times when you feel you have to capture images at night and you don’t have your tripod with you. An idea is to find a stable wall to lean against. Use that wall to keep yourself stable while taking pictures at night. Another idea is to find a flat surface to place your camera on.

Credits: bkspicture

Use the Bulb Setting
If your camera has the bulb setting, use it to your advantage when taking photographs at night. The bulb setting allows longer exposures so you can capture light streams from headlights of cars, streetlamps and other objects that emit light. You will end up with amazing night photography pictures when you use the bulb setting.

Credits: dogma

Shoot at Dusk
Another thing to consider is shooting at dusk when there is some light left. This will allow you to have a bit of light on your photo as opposed to having big areas of blackness. Shooting at dusk is also perfect for bodies of water when you can see a hint of reflection of the objects on the surface of the water. Of course, some views are best shot in total darkness. It’s completely up to you!

Credits: novakmisi, neurodiaz & istionojr

These are only a few tips that you can use when taking night photographs. Taking perfect pictures may take some time but you might also come up with interesting images as you learn along the way!

written by jeanmendoza on 2011-09-20 #gear #tutorials #night #tips #dusk #nighttime #photography #tipster #top-tipster-techniques


  1. whizzkidd
    whizzkidd ·

    Always handy... :)

  2. mochilis
    mochilis ·

    Very useful and... wow, thanks for choosing one of my pics!! :)

  3. neurodiaz
    neurodiaz ·

    Sweet. Thanks for choosing my picture :). Great tips.

  4. ho0la
    ho0la ·

    tripod is a must :s

  5. badjuju
    badjuju ·

    Thanks for the tips!

  6. misssarah
    misssarah ·

    Great...and what kind of film would you recommend? ISO? And how about flash?

  7. yein
    yein ·

    i like night photography

  8. kingt4
    kingt4 ·

    Nice job on the article.

  9. has
    has ·


  10. itsdebraanne
    itsdebraanne ·

    what ISO do you recommend?

  11. pvalyk
    pvalyk ·

    One can use an type of ISO, but best results are achived with a slower film 100-200 because of the lower grain. Experiment with whatever ISO speed you want. Also, when shooting night traffic, its best to shoot from a point above the street, as the examples in this article. The headlights are smoother than in a exposure from same level as the street.

  12. micheal
    micheal ·

    I'll try this with my digital, but I'm not sure if my Diana could do this...

  13. robotmonkey1996
    robotmonkey1996 ·


  14. gitarre
    gitarre ·

    great to be informed how it works! thx lomo

  15. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Great photos. I've been doing a lot of night photography lately. Tripod is very important.

  16. foodeanz
    foodeanz ·

    Love it..especially the bulb setting's picture...

  17. lilo
    lilo ·

    Nice tips! And great photos.. Anyone tried this at an airport yet?

  18. chtiman
    chtiman ·

    thank you for this information. However, I have a question ... With the Bulb setting, how do we "calculate" the time of exposure if we do not have a meter or other device that does it for you? All of you, do you have any tips? Do you have a scale to determine, even approximately, an exposure time according to ambient light? For example, if we shoot in a very little enlightened street expose "X1" seconds, X2 second if it is a little enlightened , etc..
    my greatest pleasure would be to have an idea, even an approximate one...

  19. flick_orange
    flick_orange ·

    great city nightscape with b/w film :D
    mr chtiman : i think you have to try and try. something like trial and error to understand better about how long you have to bulb. try to take several photos with same object but in different time exposure. make a note after you take the picture. for example, first frame, take in 3 seconds. and take the same picture again in second frame, in 7 seconds. after you got film from the scanner, you can see which one is better for one photo with several exposure time. remember the light condition, and which ASA you used. :D

  20. iamtheju
    iamtheju ·

    I've been experimenting at random with exposure times with different cameras but i never remember how long I kept the shutter open on each :S so I get mixed results but I usually guess from about 3 seconds to 8 seconds, depending if i'm inside at night with a light on, or in the street.

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