Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Tips for taking better night photo’s.


Here’s a few pointers you can use when out camping at night to take better photo’s, especially with less starblogexpensive camera’s.

Check your camera and see if it'll do a long exposure. If it does, this makes things much easier.

I took this image when I bought my new camera. It is was a quick shot at ISO800, an 8 second exposure.


If you don’t have the option to do long exposures, try the following:

  • See if you can change the 'ev'. Increase this to make image brighter.
  • Check if you can change the ISO setting.. play with this in the daytime to find an acceptable ISO (too high and it will probably introduce noise)..
  • Try switching off the flash. Sometimes the auto setting will then try to compensate for the darker shot.
  • Use a head torch laid in the grass to highlight a tent, bothy door or person (put the torch inside the tent if you want it to look cosy). Do not get people to point their torch at the camera.
  • If you are using a stand (NB – take a stand if you can) and take as many photos as possible from the same place (the more the better).
  • If you have a few lights or stars for a program to use as reference points, try using a stacking program like Deep Sky Stacker (free) or AstroStack (demo) to create a long exposure from lots of separate shots..
  • Use software to edit the shot. boost contrast and brightness. I use Gimp. It’s free, is more than powerful enough for my needs and is simple enough to use.
  • Set your focus to ‘infinite’ to prevent focus problems in the low light.

I’ve quickly popped out into the garden. With no moonlight, using Gimp to boost , adjusting my phoneBlogStarPhoneCam to max EV, using ‘twilight’ setting and with the flash off - I got this (rather shaky) shot (it may still be difficult to see in a brightly lit room, but have a look later at home with lights dimmed and expand the picture – there are stars (and a planet) there in the image)..


Remember that any movement will be magnified and blurring will be really bad if you don’t sit still or if the camera moves.

You should get much better night shots by doing this, You may even get acceptable shots from a phone camera in the early evening this way.