Long exposure photography can create dynamic, and sometimes,
surreal images full of motion. Whether there is a sense of tranquility,
apprehension with regard to the unexpected, or an element of
surprise, night images can also evoke a true sense of emotion.
Photographers who specialize in night photography are indeed a
special breed. This should not be so surprising when one realizes
how much in-depth understanding of light is necessary to capture
that perfect photograph. Additionally, there are some rather basic
tips any newbie night photographer should know. This, and more,
will be covered in this edition of “After Hours Photography,” with a
few night photography exercises tossed in to allow you to practice
that which is covered. After all, practice - and I do mean a lot of it -
will enable you to create magical night imagery!
So, there you have it - the basic tools to get you started with night photography.
It may seem a bit intimidating at first, but I guarantee, with practice, you can
produce absolutely fabulous night images. Of course, daytime is fantastic for
photography, but it is after hours when the magic begins.
Shadows become wildly different, and the twinkling lights of any urban setting,
large or small, create an ambience like no other. I often photograph London at
night. This bustling cosmopolitan city becomes almost vulnerable after the sun
goes down, and there is a tranquility about her during this time like no other. The
architecture shows off beautifully as it is illuminated in the night sky, not to mention
the mystery of what might be around the corner.
Landscapes, too, offer brilliant opportunities during the night hours. There is a bit
more difficulty as there may be very little light, unless the full moon shines brightly
above. The solitude of nighttime landscape images can evoke emotions that can
create beautiful stories. Mountain ranges, or rolling rivers, and the calmness of
lakes offer a sense of serenity that I completely adore.