Best Photography Tips – Shooting Night Landscapes 2

Shooting Night Landscapes Part 2

This article is in continuation to series on Shooting night landscapes. If you have not read the first part, please have a look here –  Shooting Night Landscapes Part 1


Compose Well

Composition plays a very important role in making a great picture. It is particularly difficult while taking night shots. Since you have to wait for several minutes and sometimes hours to judge your composition, it can be very frustrating at times. How to get the right composition in minimum possible time? I generally take a picture at the highest ISO with the widest open aperture just to decide a good frame for the picture. Once I am happy with the composition, I choose the settings as required.


User Narrow Apertures

Narrow apertures (higher f values) give a good depth to the picture. It also enables you to keep your shutter open for a longer time period without over-exposing the picture. To start with, f/8 is a considerable value. You can modify it depending on the light conditions and the results you get.


Make Sure You Have Enough Battery

Battery power is a big problem in the hills, especially on a trek, where you don’t have access to electricity for days altogether. You have to be very tight-fisted every time you switch on the camera. Choosing to shoot long night shots is a decision you have to take. Also, you have to make sure that you have enough battery to keep the camera running for the duration your shutter is open. You will lose the image and more important, the time, if the battery dies in the middle of the shot. To make sure that you have enough power during your shoot, you can invest in a battery pack.


Use the Histogram

Like I mentioned in one of my previous articles, histogram can be a very useful tool during night shoots. Since there is very less ambient light, even under-exposed pictures would look bright enough. Make sure your histogram shows enough data in the mid-tones area. If not, try changing the settings and try again.


Wear Warm

Shooting in the hills at night is not for the faint hearted. The temperatures may decrease to sub-zero degrees Celsius. Hence, make sure you are properly insulated from the cold winds. If you don’t protect yourself, you might fall sick and you won’t be able to take pictures.


Carry a Torch

Having a torch at night is an absolute must. Besides helping you to make your way in the dark, it will help you to place your tripod on the correct surface and level your horizon. In many cameras, the settings dial is not backlit, a torch can come very handy in these situations.


Be Patient

Night photography requires you be very patient. It takes several minutes and sometimes hours before you can see your shot.We can’t do much during the time but just wait… Night photographers often end up spending the whole night under the stars.



Know the Position of the Pole Star

If you want to take stunning pictures of large arcs made by stars, pay a visit to a Star-gazing enthusiast. This will help you getting some knowledge on the different stars and their positions. It is particularly important to know the position of the Pole Star (DhruvaNakshatram) since all the stars the circle around it.


Beware of the clouds

Clouds can be a big spoil-sport if you are trying to shoot star trails. If you see lots of clouds coming in, it is advisable to quit and go to sleep. I have lost hours of sleep without any results because of the clouds. But do come back and try again next day. You will succeed!


If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.”

Jay Maisel


Thank you for reading the post. You might like to read my previous posts.

This article is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. He is a professional photographer and a photography trainer. He strives to ‘make every camera-owner a great photographer’ through his photo tours and Photography workshops.

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