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  • Riley

Embrace the Dark Side of Photography!

Most photographers pack away their cameras when the sun has dipped below the horizon, but this can be a great time for eye-catching photos. Night photography is not as difficult as you might think. If you have a camera, a tripod, and a dash of patience, you can do night photography. Leave the flash at home!

A flash will only flatten an image, washing out the foreground and making the background disappear into darkness. This style of night photography is all about long exposures that create colorful light trails from cars, deliberate motion blur, and lots of atmosphere. And you don’t need to be wandering the streets in the middle of the night to get good photos. The best time for night photography is straight after the sun has set, because the ambient light at that hour means the shadows still retain some detail, and a hint of color remains in the sky.

You don’t have to use a DSLR to do night photography, you can also use a compact digital (or film) camera. Just remember to set it to ‘Bulb’ or use ‘Manual’ mode, so you can force the camera’s shutter to stay open for a longer period of time to allow more light to reach the camera’s sensor or film.

When taking pictures at night, the camera’s shutter will be open for much longer than usual, so a tripod will help you avoid accidentally blurred images. You will also need to set your camera’s self-timer, or a remote shutter release, otherwise you will be nudging the camera as you release the shutter.

The world looks very different after sunset. Backgrounds become less distracting and familiar scenes become more mysterious. Night photography has its challenges, but it provides great rewards for enthusiasts who are willing to step out of their comfort zones.

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