To Begin With
Beginners and enthusiasts of photography often admire the beauty of night photography. While owning very capable DSLRs, most of them unfortunately lack the basic training how to take great night photos. Beginners mostly make use of AUTO modes of their cameras and results, as you may guess, are disheartening. However, taking successful night photos is not a science. Rather, one needs to follow the basic steps of night photography.
Considering that a photographer owns the necessary equipments, (s)he need to have a to-do list before and during the shooting. Lets have a look at all the steps one by one:
This is the first thing you need to do since it is the key to be at the right place and at the right time. It means that best tones and colours could be captures only right after the sunset or just before the sunrise. If you can catch those time periods, the, you will get magnificent parliament blue on the sky rather than a simply black one. See the following examples:
It is vital to take the photos towards sunset or sunrise to get the lovely colours. Taking the photos at the opposite direction will make the colours very dark and shooting time will considerably shrink due to suddenly getting dark during the evening shooting.
3.A strong tripod.
This is mostly underestimated and neglected by the amateurs due to the fact that a sturdy tripod would be heavier and most photographers don’t want to be bothered the cumbersome of carry it throughout the day of shooting. However, a sturdy tripod definitely prevents the shaking of camera and reduces the impact of an unwanted wind. In some cases, you may need to hang your camera bag on the hook at the middle of tripod so as to keep your camera still as much as possible.
4.Deciding where you will shoot.
Sometimes it is very useful to go to the site and see the scene so as to figure out the light character of the composition.
5.Choosing an appropriate lens.
A photographer would own many lenses all of which may be suitable for different types of shooting or different views and compositions. For instance, if you know the distance of the objects in the scene, you can take some of your prime lenses (with fixed focal length) such as (55 mm, 85 mm). If you are planning to shoot indoor or in streets, you may need some wide angel lenses like Sigma 10-20 mm, Canon EF 11-24 mm f/4L USM. Yet, keep in mind that all lenses are capable in line with their optic qualities to shoot at night but each might be more suitable under certain conditions.