Guest Photo Challenge: Night Photography By Cardinal Guzman

cardinal

 

Cardinal Guzman:

I’ve been asked to write a guest post for Paula on the subject night photography.

For me (not only for me, but for most people I guess) the term is self-explanatory, but here’s a definition anyway: “Night photography refers to photographs taken outdoors between dusk and dawn.”

In other words: if you can see the sun, if there’s a sunset/sunrise in the photo, it’s not night photography (I’ll shorten it to NP). On Google Plus I’ve joined a couple of NP communities and there’s a lot of people that doesn’t seem to understand this and they’re posting numerous photos of sunsets. Photos of sunsets can be visually stunning, but it’s not NP.

When shooting at nights, using a tripod is a good idea. That way you can get long exposures without camera shake. To avoid camera shake you should also use a remote control, or if you don’t have one, you can simply set your camera to self-release (self timer) a few seconds after you’ve pressed the shutter. Just remember to turn the self-release off after your session though, because if you don’t, you’ll probably be wondering what’s wrong with your camera the next time you’re gonna take a photo and the camera isn’t responding immediately… (Yes, it has happened to me too).

Light Painting
You have a whole range of options when it comes to NP. For example, if you’re using a tripod, or you have a steady place to put your camera, you can shoot a long exposure by using the timer/remote while you paint with light.Β  You’ll probably have topo try a few times to get the desired result, but it’s a fun type of photographing.

High ISO
You don’t necessarily need a tripod. You can always shoot handheld on a high ISO setting too. Your photos will have more noise, but the results can still be good.

The moon, nightlife, streets, buildings, water with reflecting lights, ferris wheels, there’s an endless list of subjects to choose from.

Good luck with your night photographing!

 

Nightscape, cityscape, train photography. Call it whatever you want.

Nightscape, cityscape, train photography. Call it whatever you want.

 

P1000276

No tripod here. I’m obvisously resting the camera on a table.

 

P1000313

Low angle and no tripod. I used the curb.

 

September: Inside

I did use a tripod when I shot these bottles, but I could have used a table or a chair.

 

f/1.8 | 30 sec | ISO-100 (of course you can click the image for a large version)

f/1.8 | 30 sec | ISO-100 (of course you can click the image for a large version)

 

The cement factory in Ramla.

The cement factory in Ramla.

 

Night Horses in The Azorean Islands, Portugal.

Night Horses in The Azorean Islands, Portugal.

 

In this long exposure you can even see the tripod.

In this long exposure you can even see the tripod.

 

60 thoughts on “Guest Photo Challenge: Night Photography By Cardinal Guzman

  1. What a wonderful collection of images, Cardinal. πŸ™‚ I don’t have the equipment to compete but I can certainly admire. Love the youngsters propping up the wall, and the tranquility of that boat. Tripod gets bonus points. πŸ™‚.

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    • Thanks a lot Jo. The youngsters against the wall was a fun shoot: it was some random strangers I met in Krakow, Poland. I was on a bender with a Polish guy I met on the flight and when we bumped into these youngsters on the street somewhere, he told them that I was a world famous photographer (or something in that order) and told them to pose against the wall.
      (I don’t know Polish, so I’m not really sure about what was said. He explained it to me later, but we were both pretty drunk by that time).

      You don’t need a tripod: you can use any obstacle to rest your camera on or you can even use a high ISO setting. The only thing you need is a camera really.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my! What a fantastic set of night shots Cardinal! The cement factory is spectacular, and I love the bottles and the shot of the two kids against the wall. And the tripod of course! I usually rely purely on luck, and it showsπŸ˜€

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    • Light weight is definitely a good choice. I have one large, heavier tripod that almost always stays at home and I have a lighter one that also stays a lot at home alone, but not always.
      The light weight, good quality ones are expensive (for me at least), so I chose one that was a bit heavier, but still small and light enough to drag around. The one you see the shadow of in the boat photo is the large one.
      One year ago I was thinking about writing a post about the difference between them, but I’ve forgotten all about it. Thanks for your comment and indirect reminder.

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. You’re driving me into the Warsaw night now I know I can operate sans tripod! Your photos are so amazing and so diverse. For me the standout is the first b&w … and the bottles … and the mountain under cloud … and the KrakΓ³w shot (does drunk help??? I need all the help I can get) … and, well, all of them. Thank you for a great post.

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    • Thank you morsel. When I shot the mountain, it was actually so dark that I couldn’t see the mountain. Of course I knew that it was there and that it hadn’t disappeared with the daylight!πŸ˜€
      I could spot the lights from the buildings, so I put the camera on the tripod, set the ISO on the camera really high, shot a few photos and adjusted the focus. Then when the focus was OK, I changed the settings to a low ISO and a long shutter.
      In retrospect, I realize that I could have used an even longer shutter and a higher f-stop (like f/16), but you learn as you go.

      The Krakow shoot was really fun and being drunk totally helps (just don’t get too too drunk to operate the camera…).

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  8. Great set of captures! I love the time lapse at the marina and the street level shot. Oh, and I learned something from you: I need to use my freakin’ tripod! I was hoping to get a couple shots of a local watering hole using it but the weather has been crap around here. Till the next time, Peace~John

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    • Good entry and setting goal is always great. I’ll set a goal to do some more night photography too: some long-exposure summer night shots. Just like you I often do night shots when I’m travelling somewhere, but there’s really no need to travel to do them (it’s just that it’s a bit more convenient to stay up late when you don’t have work or other obligations to worry about the next day).

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Awesome shots! This is one area of photography I need to work on. (Not that its the only area, just one of many, lol.) Maybe I can get out this week and do a late submission since I am just finding this in my slow reading.

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    • Thank you Michelle. Night photography is a rewarding way of photographing.
      The only minus is that you’ll have to stay up late (unless it’s the Northern Hemisphere and winter time) and dragging around and setting up a tripod can also be annoying sometimes (especially if it’s cold outside).
      The bright side is that it’s easy to get good results.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes, I’ve done many night shots in the past in which I deliberately pushed the ISO to get a lot of pixel noise. I’ve even done this in daytime with subjects in deep shadow.

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    • Noise can create a more interesting photo – it depends on the type of photo and which look you’re after. Many photographers seems to be frightened by noise.πŸ˜€
      The same goes with blur. To me, blurry concepts are worse than blurry photos.

      Like

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