Night photography« Back to Questions List

This question is for Roy! You recently put up an amazing BnW night photo and I was wondering if your able to provide the steps in obtaining a great photo like this? and do you use a software program to adjust it afterwards? As I'm a beginner in all of this I am also wondering what certain equipment is needed to take night photography or if what I have will do? I currently have a canon 70D and it came with a kits kens 18-135mm f3.5. I also have the lenses canon 50mm f1.4 and a sigma 10-20mm F4. I also have a tripod I just purchased. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciate. Thanks :)
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Asked on July 17, 2015 9:51 am
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Hey Rosie! First off thanks for the question- always helps us out but seeing what our followers want to learn and helps us gauge content accordingly. :) So I’m glad you have a tripod because in this case, it is a must! Now what you have right now is perfect! You don’t need any special kind of lens or anything to do night photography, in fact I would just use your 18-135mm. Also for pretty much any night scene of a city scape at least, I mostly always choose these settings: F/11 for aperture, 30” for shutter speed (that’s 30 seconds), and ISO 100. You can choose all these setting if you are in the M or manual mode on the your dial of modes on your 70D. I don’t want to assume anything or sound like I don’t think you’re already shooting in full manual but this is what I would recommend. If you don’t know why I’d use those settings or what those are be sure and listen to our podcast that explains the exposure triangle here: http://thefinerphoto.com/episode2/ – Now if you have not worked in M mode yet, I would suggest you try out Tv mode on your 70D and that allows you to choose only the shutter speed which again I recommend for all night scenes, you have set to 30 seconds to start out. Set the dial mode to Tv and then turn your thumb dial at the top right to the left till you get to ( 30” ). Try a shot out with that. We also have a podcast about the different modes and how to use them: http://thefinerphoto.com/episode4/ – Now lastly you need to focus. At night this can be difficult, so your best bet is to try and autofocus first on any source of light. The moon, a light on a bridge, a street lights, whatever you can find. Your camera may hunt a little but once you lock focus, quickly flip the switch on your lens from A to M for manual focus that way you can then compose your shot and not worry about the camera trying to autofocus again. I will be doing a tutorial soon about night photography and will be sure to tag you in the post when we announce it. Let me know if you have any further questions, and I really hope this helps!

Posted by Roy Dufek
Answered On July 17, 2015 10:14 am