Taking Pictures At Night


Low-light conditions have always been the bane of inexperienced photographers, causing blurry and under-exposed pictures by the millions. Here are a few tips for taking the best photos possible when the available light is less than adequate for a proper exposure:

  • If the camera’s automatic focus isn’t working properly, try turning it off and focusing manually.
  • Use a tripod to eliminate camera shake. At the slow shutter speeds required for an acceptable exposure in low light, the slightest movement of the camera will cause significant blurring of the image.
  • Try using the “Nighttime” picture-taking mode if your camera has one (most modern digital cameras do).
  • Use the “shortest” lens that is appropriate for the shot in question while shooting at the widest aperture possible in order to allow as much light as possible to reach the sensor.
  • Remove any filters that reduce the amount of light passing through the lens.
  • Increase the ISO setting one step at a time until you find the best balance between “noise” and exposure.
  • Unless absolutely necessary, refrain from “zooming in” on your subject(s). Increasing the zoom (focal length) narrows the aperture and magnifies camera shake.
  • If all else fails, use your camera’s built-in or external flash unit.