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Night Photography

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  • Night Photography

    I have a Canon T6 and was planning on taking some shots at night on the ramp. Does anybody have any tips on what settings I should use? I don't really do a ton of night photography so any advice will help. Thanks!

  • #2
    You need a good, solid tripod, use the shortest lens that you can get away with and a remote shutter release. The reason for the tripod is obvious. The shortest possible lens cuts down on camera shake as does the remote release. Using manual release can cause a fine camera shake lasting long enough to cause a blurry picture. Try to keep away from road traffic as vehicles passing can cause camera shake.
    On my one and only night shoot, for camera settings I used ISO 100, 18-135 lens, aperture priority set to f9 and a wireless shutter release. I must have done something right as my one and only screeners choice came from that shoot. Search my name and RAF Northolt airfield if you want to look at them. Actually, I’ll save you the search.....
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


    • #3
      I agree with Brian there. Ideally you want to be close to the subject to avoid any lens shake. Another thing to consider is how much time do you have? If its a pushed back plane starting engines, you have 2-3mins tops so you're better using perhaps ISO200-400 depending on how much light is actually on the subject so you can get a relativity quick shutter speed so you can have a few go's at it. Most of my night shots are the same, pushed back, so timing is critical.

      My night shots

      I pretty much always use F11 for night shots on aperture priority and vary the ISO depending on how dark the subject is as well as a 2sec shutter timer so avoid lens shake(since I dont have a wireless button).

      I hope that helps!



      • #4
        As an avid fan of night photography, here a few tips:
        - use a tripod
        - deselect IS on your lens
        - select AV
        - use anything from f/7.1 up to f/11, I usually stick to f/8
        - select mirror lock-up
        - with your camera, select ISO100 or ISO200 and let your camera work out the rest
        - if you don’t have a remote shutter release, use the timer

        I think, that’s it, have fun!!!!
        Last edited by LX-A343; 2018-01-26, 20:07.
        My photos on Flickr


        • #5
          Hi D... adding to the tips.

          Sometimes, you will have to use exposure times of several seconds, and to frame your picture it may take several tries especially if it is too dark and borders are not clear. So try using a high iso/low F to quickly frame on poor quality and then switch back to ISO100/50 and f8 and above to produce.

          The other thing, keep checking your in-camera histogram to avoid over and sub-exposed key areas.

          Move away from auto focus and if possible use Back-button focus technique to not let your camera start change focus points in between shots.

          Shoot in RAW of course.

          Don't be afraid to experiment with long expo times like here 30 seconds.

          and have fun!


          • #6
            Dear all,

            I was about to open a new post but let's continue here.

            I am looking for a new challenge and would like to take pictures of planes in action at night.
            I did it the other night with a Nikon D500 + lens Nikkor DX55-300
            I was at ISO 12800 (yes it's high, I know, you can see it on the picture) 116mm (cropped) F4.8 1/30 sec:
            Click image for larger version

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            While I'm sure the D500 is capable of doing some night photography, I must admit the lens is a bit for hobbyist (I love it though, all due respect to it )

            What gear do you use?
            I am thinking to buy a Tamron 70-200 F2.8 G2
            Would it make it in your opinion?

            Thank you in advance for sharing any experience and advice...

            Kind regards


            • #7
              Originally posted by debarpilot10 View Post
              I have a Canon T6 and was planning on taking some shots at night on the ramp. Does anybody have any tips on what settings I should use? I don't really do a ton of night photography so any advice will help. Thanks!
              As has been mentioned a sturdy tripod is a must and if you have an optically stabilised lens then turn that off, the stabilisation mechanism is expecting to see a degree of movement so it can get confused when it's perfectly still and blur the image. You don't really need a remote release as the 10 second timer most cameras have will give plenty of time for the camera to settle down as long as your tripod isn't made out of drinking straws!

              With regard to settings you can approach shooting at night in much the same way as you approach daytime shooting, if you're using Av then just leave the camera to work out the exposure but as with daytime photography be sure to check the histogram to ensure you're getting the brightest image possible without overexposing. One of the biggest tips I can give with night shooting under artificial light is custom white balance for the scene, so many people don't do this and end up with terrible colours in their images but using custom white balance will make the shot appear much more natural (and make editing much easier).

              Here's an example of mine from Madeira of how much better things look when the white balance is set for the conditions.

              TAP Portugal Airbus A320 CS-TNP - Funchal, Madeira FNC LPMA by Paul Nichols Aviation Photography, on Flickr
              Last edited by PMN; 2018-03-02, 14:04.
              Seeing the world with a 3:2 aspect ratio...

              My images on Flickr