We have all seen those stunning night photography images captured by the professionals, but it’s not as hard as you may think to capture some breathtaking shots of your own, all you need are a few extra bits of kit and a will to get out there and try.
I remember when I first started out night photography seemed a bit of a dark art (no pun intended!), I tried a couple of times to take some night shots but was pretty unimpressed with the results. Then I go chatting to a work colleague who was into photography as well, he mentioned that he and a few friends would often meet up and do some shoots and was more than welcome to come along.
We spoke at length during the run-up to the meet, discussing kit and camera settings, etc. At the time I owned a cheap tripod, a camera (obviously), a few lenses, an external flash, a bag and some odds and sods.
When I met up with the guys, it was quite an eye opener, and I would heartily recommend to anyone getting together with some like minded soles and go shoot something. I learned more that night than I had in the months previous and my most valuable lesson was get a decent tripod!
My cheap tripod kept moving and generally not doing what I wanted, which killed a lot of shots I tried to take. That night when I got back, I didn’t even bother to take the tripod in I just threw it in the trash and got straight online to buy a new one.
So now I have a list of night photography essentials which I always take with me which I will share with you.
Seems a bit obvious I know, but without it, you are not really going to take many photographs are you! Try to get a camera which is capable of exposures longer than 30 seconds.
In my opinion, a tripod is second only to a camera for night photography, and don’t skimp, get the best tripod you can afford it will pay dividends. A more expensive tripod will stay in the position you set, have zero vibration and no ‘creep’.
Yes clothing, it gets colder a night so you should make sure you have appropriate clothing for the conditions you will be shooting in. It’s also handy to have some snacks and water with you as you will be out for quite some time and better to have something than not.
A Flash Light
Night time means it will be dark and trying to make out what your camera’s buttons and settings are in the dark is no small feat, not to mention rummaging through a kit bag in the dark can be a right pain! You can always use a flashlight for some light painting as well so an absolute essential.
This should actually be in any photographers kit bag regardless of the type of shoot you are doing, and there is nothing worse than getting all set up and shooting away only for your batteries to die on you. Even worse you have no spares, so the shoot is a bust!!
Photography at night takes much longer than during the day, so you need to make sure you’re prepared to wait that extra time it will take to get the shot. That patience will pay off later when you see the beautiful photographs you manage to capture.
Well, that’s my night photography essentials list, hope you find it useful, use it and hopefully build on it to make your own list.