Night Photography: Finding Your Way In The Dark
Night photography is such a beautifully relaxing way of capturing unique images. If you’ve never tried it, this video from Lance Keimig gives us a lovely insight into its art form. I hope you enjoy Lances video and feel inspired to try something different with your photography.
Our Thoughts on Finding Your Way In The Dark
I really enjoyed the storytelling element of the video, and how every image that is taken in night photography is special and unique. The advanced considerations that have to be taken into account when shooting at night mean that a little bit more planning might be needed. This is especially important when you’re trying to capture the stars as well. In the UK, during winter months a clear night sky is a rarity, so using Apps like Clear Outside and websites like Ventusky can really help if you’re planning some night photography.
The location of this video is a fascinating ghost town of Terlingua, which seems littered with interesting subjects to shoot at night and more often than not, a clear sky. The practice of adding light in photography is nothing new, it’s an integral part of portrait photography. In night photography it is more expressive and dynamic, using a torch to add light in night photography is commonly referred to as light painting. With your camera shutter open capturing a long exposure, you simply shine a torch on the subject to illuminate it.
Light painting in night photography doesn’t have to be used solely to illuminate a subject within an image. You can get some really surprising and rewarding results by using torches with coloured filters. Like this Photo by Sean Pierce on Unsplash. Where the use of a red filtered light captures the stone arch very dramatically against a Milky Way backdrop, while the light from a mobile phone illuminates the ladies face with more natural tones.
Light painting is something we can control but it also happens automatically without even considering it. Nowhere more so than in cityscapes. Take our image of a busy Dubai city junction at night, the street lights have focussed the abundance of light in the foreground and the passing vehicles have given us exciting light trails to follow.
And in this final image, we have kept with the theme of light painting and light trails in night photography. As Jimmy was capturing this night scene at Nugget point, Rachel ran on the path toward the lighthouse with a touch to create a single light trail capturing the viewer’s eye and drawing attention toward the Lighthouse and Milky Way.
Night photography can be both peaceful and exciting. When you begin your long exposure, you’re never quite sure what is going to come out of the other side. Naturally, because our eyes are not capable of processing such levels of information in darkness. Our cameras, however, are acutely tuned to finding, storing, and presenting this information to us which we would never be able to capture without them. Long exposures and light painting result in some thoroughly enjoyable post-processing and exciting finished images.
Tips for Night Photography
- Learn to navigate your camera efficiently.
- Use Apps and Websites for planning.
- Take more than one torch. A head torch comes in handy, and a torch with changeable coloured filters.
- Know your location, visit through the day where possible and recce possible sites.
- Be safe, look out for hazards and wildlife.
- Try not to go out alone. If you do, make sure someone knows exactly where you’re going.
- Take extra clothing, just in case the weather turns.
- Camera Equipment – Extra Batteries, Lens Hood, Remote control, Tripod
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