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Barb Redford

Halton Hills Camera Club

Night Shooting

General tips:

  1. Tripod… Tripod… Tripod
  2. Manual setting – Bulb… or a long exposure setting generally between 10 and 30 seconds or more
  3. Release cable or timer and lock up mirror if you have the ability to do so ( live view locks up the mirror)
  4. Use lowest ISO possible to reduce noise in most instances
  5. Turn OFF your image stabilization on your lens when on the tripod
  6. Have an alternate light source – flash, flashlight, sparklers, glow sticks etc

Aurora – aka the Northern Lights:

  1. High ISO – 1600 or more
  2. Focus on infinity
  3. Short exposures ( 5-10 sec) to get “ribbon”effects
  4. Wide angle or fish eye lens is best

Car Trails + Streaks :

  1. Low ISO ( 100-200)
  2. Watch backgrounds
  3. Longer streaks require longer exposures
  4. Streets with curves give greater interest
  5. Oncoming white streaks – outgoing red streaks

Long Exposure:

  1. Low ISO ( 100-200)
  2. Increase exposure time by 5-10 sec increments
  3. A very long exposure will create daylight effect
  4. Dawn or twilight will leave a bluish tinge to photo adjust white balance to Kelvin setting (8000K)
  5. Lights in pictures will “ star”

long exposure

Fireworks + Lightning:

  1. Low ISO ( 100-200)
  2. Manual focus on a distant object or infinity
  3. Daylight white balance to get colours in fireworks
  4. Wide angle lens is best for multiple “ explosions” on single shot cover lens between fireworks / lightning strikes while lens open

fireworks 3

Lens Spin:

  1. ISO doesn’t matter – lower ISO gives more time, aim for 5-15 sec exposure
  2. Turn lens while open, stopping at end before lens closes will put last object solidly in picture
  3. Creates streaks across picture, slow turn shorter streaks, fast turn longer streaks

Moon Shots:

  1. Moon is very bright and moves very fast across the sky mid range ISO depending on moon brightness
  2. Manual focus or some cameras will focus on edge of moon
  3. 5-10 sec exposure
  4. Telephoto lens if want just moon
  5. http://photoephemeris.com – moon rise and moon set plus times and angles

Painting with light:

  1. Low ISO ( 100-200)
  2. Use flash off camera or flashlight to light scene, can use coloured gels over light source
  3. Move quickly through your image and DON’T stop moving !
  4. Do not fire flash directly at camera unless you want a bright “ star” in the shot
  5. Use side lighting to create depth to objects



Star Trails or just stars:

  1. High ISO ( 3200)
  2. Best time is at least 3 hours after sunset
  3. Wide Angle lens
  4. Focus manually on a bright star or object
  5. For circular trails must focus on the North star as centre of shot
  6. The trick *** a series of 30 second exposures stacked in photoshop gives best shot with least amount of noise
  7. 15 min of star trails is approx 1-2 inches long in a picture

star trails