As the sun begins to kiss the horizon, the clouds are illuminated with orange and pinks, a Nightjar calls softly in the distance and the sound of a Bubbling Cassena fills the air. Night is coming, the darkness is rising and for most, our cameras disappear, like distant memories, only to awake with the dawn. This need not be the case.
With technology and ever evolving camera set ups, ISO capabilities that are unfathomable, and image quality, post sunset, unmatched, it is not always necessary to put your DSLR camera to rest for the evening. It should be time for evolution, time to take your photography to the next level and time to become creative. For this purpose, a creative one, I have decided to enlighten readers to the beauty of night photography, side lighting and backlighting.
It can take time, and team work, but all one needs is 2 vehicles, parked opposite each other, a subject and a spot light.
On your DSLR camera, I begin on Manual Setting, “M” on the dial. A great starting point will be: Shutter speed: 1/100sec, ISO 2000, f.stop: 4.0. It is now important to assess the situation, how far is the subject and how bright is the light? If the light is very bright, then a higher shutter speed is needed, i.e: 1/125sec, and vice versa for a dim light. (The dimmer the light, the slower the shutter speed, the more stability one needs for a sharp picture.) Your ISO will also work in a similar way, where a dim light may need a higher ISO number.
When focusing on your image, it is important to place your focus on the edge of the subject, i.e: the brightest place in the picture, otherwise your camera will not focus.
Do not worry about shooting straight into the spotlight either, you will see the results.
It is important, in life, to try new things, explore, and be ready for change. It is vital that for growth one allows windows to open and let fresh air in. I have tried it and these are the results. Something very different, but beautiful in its own way. I hope you enjoy this selection of images from Night Photography, and I hope some will try it for themselves.
Written and Photographed by: Mike Sutherland