How To: Take Great Nighttime Photos

How To: Take Great Nighttime Photos

Anthony Nguyen
Jun 2, 2008

Wondering why all those night pictures always turn out too dark, blurry, and ugly? Unfortunately, many compact cameras don't have the power of a full professional dSLR, so we've thought up 5 simple steps to improve your nightlife captures.

  1. Use your nighttime setting:
  2. Almost all cameras today have a nighttime option on their cameras, so take advantage of it. It sets everything for you so you don't have to sit there fiddling with buttons.
  3. Switch to manual to increase exposure:
  4. If you're an anti-preset person, feel free to up exposure manually. More light coming in means more details at night.
  5. Maximize stabilization:
  6. Shakes are your enemy at night. Use a mini-portable tripod or a flat surface and utilize the self-timer to get yourself in the shot.
  7. Mess with aperture:
  8. Keep it low and slowly adjust upward until you get the right amount of desired light coming into the camera. These settings are usually denoted with an "F" in front of it.
  9. Up the ISO:
  10. Increasing the ISO may help increase your details, but too much can add tons of grain to your picture. So tread lightly; we suggest using around ISO 400 for optimal results.

Photo courtesy of cquintana.

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