Basics of fine-art photography/Creating works in night photography

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Viktor Pinchuk "Three elements"

Night photography — creating photographs outdoors at night, as well as as well as indoors without the penetration of light from outside.

About the genre and the ways of realization[edit | edit source]

Photography in this genre is traditionally carried out with a tripod, or clamp — if you use a small-format camera, as well as other devices that replace them. However you can do without accessories: the author of this text, who traveled through dozens of countries of the world by hobo touring, is an example of that.

It is enough to choose a flat support for your camera (for example, a curb, parapet, etc.) and, holding it firmly with both hands, press the shutter release button. If you don't hold the camera firmly enough during the exposure time, to get a blurry image. On the contrary, if you want to capture the "arrival of aliens" and abstract scenes, you should set a slow shutter speed and move the camera smoothly for several seconds. But that is another topic.

Usually a thirty-second exposure is enough to capture the lights of the night city from the observation deck; if it is a night street of a metropolis, — you'll need half that amount of time. In any case, you can experiment with shutter speeds by removing bad frames.

The only case when method "without a tripod" is more difficult to use - in a large area without elevations, boulders and benches, such, as Red Square in Moscow. You could try taking pictures from the floor (sidewalk, ground) placing an improvised small item under the front part of the camera's lower plane to give it a certain angle. The result will be worse than with rigidly fixed elevation, but better than with handheld photography (where the maximum possible exposure is 1/30 second, which of course is not enough). When shooting the view from the bridge, you can use the railing. In general, ultralight backpacking, you will have to sacrifice some views of the night cities of the globe. In some cases, as an option, you can ask someone for a stool, — a method were used by the author when photographing the night trade in Khan el-Khalili market in Cairo.

This should be known[edit | edit source]

Using this method, you can do without a flash when shooting a night city or a cave equipped with illumination. Moreover, the author experimented by photographing people against the background of night lights (for example, on the bridge, behind which there is the Moskva River glowing with lights), making a photos with and without flash, but in both cases using slow shutter speeds (long exposures). The result was the same. The main condition is that the person posing must not move during the exposure.

Gallery[edit | edit source]