Nights Landscape Photography Tips + NEWS

This week I want to share with you my tips to successful Night Landscape Photography. This weeks shot was taken along the Brisbane City River Loop. It’s a great walk with plenty of locations for a great cityscape capture.

Canon 40D @10mm, f19, ISO400, 62sec exposure

For week 23′s photo I arrived early to scope out my location and tried a few different compositions before the day light had disappeared. Bellow are my tips to getting the best results after sun down.

Use a Tripod - I really shouldn’t have to say this. If you have been following the Landscape 52 project for long enough you will know that I’m a big believer in a sturdy tripod no matter what the time of day or subject when it comes to landscapes. Night photography requires very long exposures so hand held is impossible.

Bring a Torch - A torch can come in very handy as it not only saves tripping over something in the dark it can help with setting up your gear and making sure you take all your gear home with you once your done. Nothing worse then getting home and finding you left your wide angle lens in the park. The torch may also come in handy for setting focus. Depending on how dark it is you may be able to shine the torch on a foreground object to achieve focus.

Use a Cable Release or Timer - To remove any shake whilst taking your photo use a cable release or a 2 sec timer. A cable release that has the ability to lock the shutter for longer periods than 30sec can be a great asset with long night time exposures as some times you may need to keep the shutter open for a few minutes.

Use a low ISO - Because you want long exposures you need to set your ISO to the lowest setting. Something like ISO 100, 200 or 400 depending on your camera. The low ISO will also help reduce noise which can become more apparent in long exposures.

M is for Manual - Do not fear the M on your camera. It opens up some really creative options.  Set your aperture to something between f8 and f22 and put the shutter speed onto bulb. Bulb allows you to decide how long the shutter is open for. It is usually the options after 30sec. This is where a cable release with the ability to lock the shutter open comes in handy.

Experiment - The next trick is to experiment with different exposure lengths. I usually try 30sec, 1 minute 1:30 and then 2 minutes. Depending on your results you can try some exposure lengths in-between these or try for something longer. There is no need to be exact with your times. I usually just count it out in my head.

Depending on your subject you may also like to try painting with light by using a torch or strobe. This can give some really interesting effects.

In other news, I’m very excited to announce that come October my wife Anna and I will be having our first child. We have already received some wonderful toys and clothing so I thought it would be fitting to set up  my strobes for a photo to announce the news.

So expect a few baby photography related blog posts come the end of the year and in 2012. Any tips you guys can give me would be more than welcome.