30 Jan Fog Photography at Night with Girl Friend
I’m sure you’ve faced the problem of getting good shots when shooting at night. After reading this article, you will learn how to shoot in almost any light without the fear of ruining your shot.
The specificity lies in the fact that long exposures impose certain restrictions on a wide range of subjects. So, in the dark, it is almost impossible to shoot dynamic scenes.
The exposure is quite long, and the runner on the embankment will not have time to appear in the frame even as a ghost. Asking strangers to stand still for a long time is also not always possible. Therefore, when shooting at night, select scenes that do not involve rapid movement.
So, on the aforementioned embankment, you can shoot a couple hugging, a monument or a parked motorcycle instead of runners or skateboarders.
What sensitivity to set
Do not forget that the canons exist to be violated in the name of art, and a talented photographer can turn even outright harm in favor. For example, blurry movements can become part of your artistic design. In reportage shooting, it is the blurred contours that convey the movement. As a result, the technical defect that occurs when shooting at night turns into a “highlight” of the picture.
In the practice of professional photographers, such tasks are often posed. It can be a photo shoot for a corporate party in nature, shooting on New Year’s Eve, etc. Here it is important to show imagination and find a reasonable compromise. If quality is paramount to you, you cannot increase the sensitivity. Shoot at the lowest possible.
If you can slightly compromise the quality (for example, you are going to print small photos or process pictures with “noise reduction”), the sensitivity can be raised to 400-800. The maximum value is set when it is necessary to get a picture at any cost.
Accessories for night shooting
Even the highest sensitivity in the dark is not enough for handheld shooting. Therefore, be sure to use a tripod. You can bring along a lightweight carbon fiber model. Of course, such an accessory is more pleasant to carry with you than, for example, a Manfrotto weighing 6 kg. But any tripod takes up a certain place in your luggage.
However, it is not recommended to refuse this accessory. After all, it is thanks to the tripod that the camera will be stationary during long exposures. Just mount your camera on it and set any shutter speed. The exposure time is limited only by the capabilities of a particular device and your common sense.
But the monopod will be practically useless for a night photoshoot. Yes, it expands the exposure range by 2-3 stops, excluding smears and other defects in the photo. However, the monopod will not help radically solve the problem.
When choosing a technique for night photography, you must clearly know what each device is intended for. So, if you are able to make the camera still in other ways besides a tripod, go for it.
Obviously, in many situations, a tripod turns out to be a “third thing”. For example, when walking with a girl in a park or square, it is inconvenient to carry it with you. But you can put the camera on the parapet and make good night panoramas.
There is little light in the forest even during the day, but there are a lot of stumps. Of course, you will have to put chips or knots under the camera to fix it in the right position. But you don’t have to carry a bulky tripod with you. Thus, imagination can help out the photographer, even if he does not have the necessary accessories at hand.
The optical stabilization system is a good compromise between quality and laziness when performing night photography. Some camera manufacturers integrate stabilizers directly into the camera. Lenses of other models are equipped with stubs. This is how greedy manufacturers make consumers pay for a convenient feature whenever they change optics.
Many compact devices of well-known brands also have a stabilizer. The scheme of action of this element is as follows. The optical unit and/or the photosensitive matrix move in the right direction at the required moment. By doing this, they compensate for the shaking of the camera body. However, there are also limitations. For example, with a 10-second exposure, no stabilizer will save the situation.
General recommendations for night photo shoots
Most scenes can be shot in completely different ways using the available shutter speed options alone. So, a minute exposure turns an average black night into almost day. This is achieved by lightening the shadows.
However, when shooting at night, the night should still be itself. In the pictures it is possible to implement it with the help of incomplete processing of shadows. The latter refers to black areas where a minimum of detail is visible. Also, the reproduction of bright areas around light sources will give your pictures a natural look.
The camera does not know the intentions of the photographer. Therefore, it does not hurt to master the exposure compensation. This correction helps to trick the meter to achieve the result you want. Obviously, a night photo session should be carried out only in a completely manual mode (I wrote about it here ). In other words, the photographer independently sets arbitrary values of aperture and shutter speed independent of each other.
Feel free to experiment, because it is much easier with digital equipment than with film. At any time you can look at the pictures you have taken on the camera screen, analyze errors, take them into account and retake unsuccessful frames. Do not be lazy to do image processing in a graphics editor. Sometimes it is post-processing that turns an ordinary shot into a real masterpiece.
When shooting at night, shoot in RAW format. It is available on many hobbyists. And professional cameras all have this mode. The RAW format, also called “raw format”, provides the ability to set some parameters “retroactively” after shooting. Thus, the photographer can correct mistakes in the editor made during the photo session.
Before going to the photo session, do some exploration. This event will save time and get the desired result faster. During exploration, evaluate the night lighting, find a suitable shooting point. If you are planning to shoot architecture, pay attention to the lighting of buildings. In other words, find a place in advance where the city at night will look the best.
When choosing aperture, stick to the “golden mean”. These are values in the f / 8-f16 range. But there is no clear law here. Try to determine the sweet spot experimentally, choosing the best parameters for a particular lens. Even if night shooting will be carried out using professional expensive models, this is not a guarantee of getting a beautiful picture at the maximum and minimum aperture values. By setting the parameters to medium, you will be on the safe side and increase the chances of getting high-quality sharp night shots.