Low-light & flash
Take better night shots
If you’re shooting after dark, your Nikon’s light meter will struggle to make sense of the bright lights and dark shadows. It’s often simpler to set your Nikon to manual, set the shutter speed to B (bulb) mode and time your exposures using trial and error.
Lighten up shadows
Active D-Lighting helps with very high-contrast scenes. The camera adjusts the exposure to capture the highlights, and brings out the shadows using in-camera processing. The older D-Lighting tool (found in Nikon software) simply lightens the shadows.
Balance your flash
The results of using flash are often harsh and unflattering. Try combining flash and available light using the flash’s ‘Slow’ mode. The flash fires first, but the exposure then continues to capture the ambient light too (so you need to keep the camera steady).
Lead from the front
Normally, the flash fires at the start of an exposure, but if you’re capturing moving subjects with slow flash this means you’ll get a blurred movement train in front of your subject. Instead switch to ‘rear curtain’ flash mode, so that the flash fires at the end instead.
Take control of flash
It’s not easy to get the power of the built-in flash right, as you’re reacting to what Nikon’s iTTL flash control does, but you can set it manually. Pick Flash Ctrl for Built-in Flash from the Custom Settings menu, select Manual and choose a power setting.
For night shots featuring bright lights, it’s often simpler to use manual mode and experiment