Just a couple of night time photography tips from a recent photo shoot at a local carnival. I had been wanting to see how my new Canon 5d Mark iii would perform doing some night time photography. I walked to a local Labor Day Weekend carnival to test my new camera and do a little relaxing, fun photography.
The only photography gear I carried was the Canon 5d body, a 24-105 zoom lens, my Rocketfish carbon-fiber tripod and a remote shutter cord. I also had a brand new 16 gigabyte memory card, a freshly charged camera battery, and a small, pocket, LED flashlight.
Most night time photography is done by using a bulb exposure or bulb mode on your camera. The obvious night time photography tips involve equipment choice and camera settings. First is the equipment list.
I actually used my aperture priority mode and set my exposure compensation to underexpose between 2/3 to 1 + 1/3 stops. The camera's meter can get fooled by all of the very dark areas of the night and over-expose the lights from the amusement rides.
And of course, Joe-Pro Photographer had a shutter cord that wasn't working. I had to use my camera's self-timer on all of the photos. Pushing the shutter button manually will cause camera shake and image blur during the long exposure times that are necessary with night photography.
The last of the night time photography tips is given to you with a word of caution since I am a real camera and technical geek. Use your camera's histogram to check your exposure.
You can just look at your LCD screen and get a rough idea of how your camera handles the unique lighting conditions involved with night photography. Learning to understand a histogram can really help you improve your digital photography.
I really like to use the histogram to judge the specific highlight and shadow values, sometimes even in the three different color curves for red, green and blue light, but hey, like I said-I am a camera geek.
Above all else I hope this article has inspired you to try some night time photography as well.
As my friend Walt says, let's try it: "Just for Kicks"
Happy Night Shooting!