Don’t Let Sundown Shut Down Your Camera

Many photo instructors profess that the way to improve your photography is to shoot every day. To quote The Daily Phoblographer, “Every photographer that has ever done a 365 project of some sort has found a way to continually progress in their craft and grow as a photographer overall. Read more at http://www.thephoblographer.com/2015/04/05/your-camera-isnt-going-to-shoot-itself/#lfIfTDulJ8xcHRpc.99.

People often take this to mean go out in daylight and shoot. But when the sun goes down, many photographers put the camera away and quit because of inadequate light, no camera support or lack of confidence shooting at night. But night is when some of the best photographic opportunities present themselves. All it takes is some simple equipment and the right attitude.

Night Photography Offers Excellent Subjects

Palace Fine Arts night

Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, long exposure night photo.

There is no shortage of subjects to shoot after dark. Buildings and monuments are magnificently floodlit offering a variety of photographic opportunities. Traffic trails on city streets and highways present another chance to create compelling long exposure night photography. Neon signs, store windows, even dimly lit back alleys and street scenes are potential low light night subjects. And the quality of light adds a completely different look compared to the same location in daylight.

And night scenes offer the chance to experiment with different techniques and processing software. High Dynamic Range is a prime example. Many night subjects involve such high contrast that no single exposure can properly record everything in the scene. A series of several bracketed exposures processed with HDR software such as Photomatix or masking layers in Photoshop can result in a very remarkable presentation. More elaborate techniques like light painting and steel wool sparks can only be done after dark.

Tripod Is Not Always Necessary

Night photography is a huge subject that greatly expands any photographer’s creative opportunity. But doesn’t it mean you have to carry a tripod and take the time to set it up and break it down? Not necessarily. Some cameras have excellent low light capability that permits hand held night photography in relatively low light. But without a tripod you are still limited to short exposures, wide apertures and high ISO settings.

What if you want to go for longer exposures and higher quality camera settings but don’t want to lug a tripod around? The answer is a lightweight tripod alternative like HandlePod. Hold it against any solid object and you can take low light exposures of seconds or even minutes.

If you are interested in taking a daily photography challenge or just shooting more to improve your skills, try to make at least some of that shooting happen after the sun goes down. HandlePod makes it possible.

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