How to Get the Best Night Shots (Secrets Revealed)

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Night Shots

We can’t deny that night photography has a certain enchantment about it. A scene that is shot during the day can automatically transform into something mesmerizing when the shot is done perfectly after night falls. However, trying to get the best night shots can be very challenging if you don’t know how to. But fret not as here are what you can try to do when you’re on the next adventure, to get the best night shots of your lives. 

Always Go Manual 

manual settings

Source: unsplash – jeshoots

Although autofocus on modern cameras is quite reliable, there are still visible flaws present. Its shortcomings are most obvious while taking images at night, when your camera struggles to calibrate due to the darkness. When you shoot in manual mode, you have complete control over the settings of your camera.  Take your time to get the right settings as night-time photography necessitates working slowly and in a systematic manner.

During the night shoot, do not activate the autofocus feature on your camera. Otherwise, it will overrule any manual changes you made. This method may take some practise to master, but it’s more dependable than the regular autofocus in low-light situations.

Choose the lowest ISO possible

Working in low light may seem to entail a high ISO level, but this isn’t the case. When photographing at night-time, using a high ISO may increase the amount of noise in your shots. You’ll want to keep your ISO as minimal as possible because the higher it goes; the more grain is visible. Take a few test pictures at different ISO levels to match the perfect one.

The latest high-end cameras from several great brands like Sony and Canon cameras are so advanced that they can snap photos with no noise at extremely high ISO levels. In contrast to lower priced cameras, maintaining a lower ISO is the most viable method as it probably has restricted light detection range.

Always shoot RAW

Extreme dynamic range concerns arise in night photography, which refers to the spectrum of tones between pure white and pure black. Raw files are capable of capturing a considerably larger variety of information to be compared to JPEG files. JPEG files may be ideal for most casual photographers because they don’t take up a lot of space on your camera’s SD card.

However, this file format severely compresses your image files, which might be troublesome when photographing situations with a wide dynamic range. Thus, it is best to switch your image files to RAW in your camera’s settings whenever you’re out shooting at night. RAW files may take up quite a lot of space on your SD card, and your photographs will need to be edited afterwards, but the image quality will be conserved.

Try experimenting with Light Bulb Mode

light bulb mode

Source: unsplash – Adrian Schwarz

You can truly let your imagination run wild with night photography!  For most cameras in the market, the maximum shutter speed is approximately around 30 seconds. Yet, you can find yourself in a circumstance where 30 seconds just isn’t long enough to get a good exposure for your images. This is where Bulb Mode comes in handy.

Bulb Mode is usually found after 30 seconds in Manual Mode on most cameras. It effectively bypasses any camera’s automated capabilities, so you’ll need to be familiar with Manual Mode to make use of it. Bulb Mode will enable you to keep your camera’s shutter open for longer than the standard 30-second limit, as long as you’ve got the shutter button pressed. 

Make use of a Good Tripod


Source: unsplash – Insung Yoon

Long shutter speeds of 10 seconds or more are normally required for evening photoshoots in order to capture as much light as possible from your surroundings. A sturdy tripod is a must if you want to keep your camera nice and steady during the shot. Choose a tripod that can support the weight of your camera and is made of aluminium (or carbon fibre if you have more money to spend) because it is both lightweight and robust.

To conclude

Once you’ve mastered the basics, night photography can be a lot of fun to explore with. You may experiment with different configurations of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to generate intriguing photos if you grasp the exposure settings. Change up the topics you’re working with, experiment with different lighting conditions, and try fresh arrangements.

Every place illuminates its important attractions in a variety of ways, oftentimes in bright colours. As a result, a scene that could be dull during the day can provide excellent photographic opportunities at nightfall. You’ll often be astonished by what you may eventually wind up with due to the impact of the lighting. You should make the most of your experience by taking your time and using these ideas to get the perfect night shots.