Work the night

Take ad­van­tage of the fad­ing light and cap­ture at­mo­spheric im­ages

NPhoto - - Lead Feature -

he best time to shoot clas­sic night im­ages is at dusk when the light in the sky bal­ances the am­bi­ent light and any­thing lit by ar­ti­fi­cial lights. It will be just right for only a few min­utes; keep shoot­ing so you don’t miss the mo­ment. When the light has gone from the sky, crop closer onto ar­eas of light so that you fill the frame. Avoid mas­sive ar­eas of inky sky. Com­bat cam­era shake by us­ing a tri­pod and a re­mote re­lease. If your cam­era has a mir­ror lock-up func­tion, it can help.

If you are in the coun­try and there are no flood­lit build­ings to pho­to­graph, you can still work the night by shoot­ing star trails. To do this, I make re­peated 30-sec­ond ex­po­sures then com­bine them us­ing a free pro­gram called StarStax. This makes it eas­ier to bal­ance light lev­els in the fore­ground, and if some­one walks past the cam­era with a torch you only have to delete a sin­gle frame, not the whole ex­po­sure!

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EX­PO­SURE 0.3 sec, f/8, ISO200 LENS Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8

EX­PO­SURE 1/250 sec, f/6.3, ISO100 LENS Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4

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