Night-time photography can be challenging at first, but when one has learnt the tricks of capturing a good photograph at night, the results can be very appealing and satisfying. The main difficulty that arises during night-time photography is obviously the lack of natural light available. Of course, light is essential for a photograph, so the lack of it causes some problems for the photographer. However there are some techniques that the photographer can use to overcome these problems and produce stunning images.
The first and most obvious method to overcome the paucity of light is to use the inbuilt camera flash. The main advantage of this method is that it produces very sharp and crisp images. However this method is not used often as the resulting images are very ‘flat’ and lacking in character. They do not give an accurate reflection of the scene.
Another method to overcome the problem is to use a slow shutter speed in combination with a large aperture. Using these settings allow more light to hit the sensor, and so a photograph can be produced. The problem with using a slow shutter speed is that the chances of camera shake increase drastically. Therefore, the camera must be kept extremely still, by means of a tripod or otherwise.
The third method to take photographs in low light is to increase the ISO value of the camera. Increasing this value means that the camera sensor will be more sensitive to light hitting it. This means that even a small amount of light can produce a relatively bright and clear image. However if the ISO rating is increased too much, the resultant photographs will be visibly grainy. This can ruin an otherwise appealing image.
The key is to figure out what kind of scene needs to be portrayed. Generally, using the camera flash is not a good option as it takes away from the feel of the image. The shutter speed, aperture and ISO rating must all be adjusted so as to achieve a perfect balance. The image should not be blurry or grainy, but at the same time the subject of the photograph should be clearly visible. There are very fine margins for error in low-light photography. Sometimes the best way to go is to experiment with various settings until the perfect shot is achieved.