• 5 Tips for Photographing Lights at Night

    December 13, 2016 | Brian Snyder
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    Whether taking pictures of Christmas Lights or a downtown area at night, the same tips apply to help us succeed.  The picture above was taken several years ago in December and the temperature outside was below 10 degrees.  Dressing for the weather wherever you live is the first important thing to consider, especially in cold climates.  Now in the pictures below I was staying over night in Dallas Texas and went out at night to get pictures of the hotel and city lit up.


    Here are tips to getting good pictures of decoration light at night:

    1. Make sure you are in a safe area to be out at night.  I checked with the hotel before venturing out in Dallas.
    2. Always use a sturdy tripod.  Even though there is light, there will not be sufficient light to successfully handhold your camera for the slow shutter speed needed.
    3. Use an aperture of f/8 or smaller to have sufficient depth-of-field for sharpness from foreground to background.
    4. Use a remote, camera timer, or cable release to avoid shaking the camera. Any vibration will cause blur that will make your picture look soft.
    5. Check your exposure using the cameras histogram.  The histogram will show a lot to the left because of the darkness, but pay close attention to the right side to get sufficient light for the bulbs without blowing the details of the colors.


    With these tips in mind you can successfully get pictures at night of your favorite lights, whether for the holidays or any day throughout the year.

    Do you have any additional tips or comments?  Please leave them in the comment section below.