The Basics of Night Photography

Photography of the Night

Night photography (also referred as Night time Photography) refers to the activity of capturing images outdoors at night between dusk and dawn. This art started as early as the first cameras photographs and has steadily grown into what it is today. Like every art form, night photography has the combination of skill and equipment.

Long exposure car light trail of Lagos city Skyline on Eko Bridge

Equipment required include:-

  • A Tripod for sturdy balance, as any movement could result in blurry images as long exposures are required.
  • Shutter Release cable, Self-timer, App, basically a device that triggers the shot-taking, instead of pressing the shutter manually. This prevents camera shake resulting in blurred images.
  • Camera Lens of wide aperture preferably one with ‘aspherical’ elements that can minimize coma.
  • Coloured Gels could be placed in front of the flash unit to provide different colours in order to illuminate the subject in different ways. It is also common to flash the unit several times during the exposure while swapping the colours of the gels around to mix colours on the final photo.
Dock Yard Night Photography by Greentrail Media

Skills required include:-

-Manual focus settings are required, because auto focus don’t handle low light properly and hence divert from our image objective 

-Image composition, which helps in the interpretation of the image. A well composed image, with all the other elements being constant tells the level of professionalism. 

-The skill of using coloured gels to deliver an image with different colour variants to achieve artistic excellence. 

-Post production skills in editing and developing the image is a necessary skill. Use of software like Adobe Light room and Photoshop are favorites in this essence. 

Greentrail Media Night Photography

Common subjects photographed at night or in low light include the following:

-Celestial bodies like the Moon, stars, planets, star trail, comets, thunder and lightning trails etc.

-Light painting

-City skylines




-Roads with or without cars and their light trails

-Industrial areas with

-Bodies of water casting reflections of e.g. the moonlight, city lights, landscape. 

-Lit  caves  etc.

Night Photographs of the high rise buildings of Marina, Lagos.

Take time out to try out some night photography and watch your creative juice get pumped up, you’ll enjoy it.



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