Taking pictures at night or in low-light conditions can be a real challenge, but you can also end up with some of the coolest images! Once the sun sets, get out there and experiment! I have a few tips that can help your pictures be more successful.
First, whether you’re using a point and shoot or an SLR camera, forget the flash. Flashes don’t illuminate very far in low light conditions, and they’re too harsh for subjects that are up close. Instead, keep your shutter open longer so your camera can take in more light. When your shutter is open, however, you have to make sure the camera remains very still or else you’ll end up with blurry pictures.
Second, to prevent blurry pictures, use a tripod to steady your camera or find another object to rest your camera on like a table, railing, or the ground. If you have to hold your camera instead of resting it on something, try to keep your hands as steady as possible by digging your elbows into your torso. Also try to press the shutter release button in between breaths to avoid unwanted movement. David says snipers also use this trick.
Third, try to keep your subject as still as possible or else your picture will be blurry no matter how stable your camera is. This is easiest to do with objects, harder with people, and impossible with pets. Still, experiment with different amounts of motion because it can sometimes look really cool to see where the subject has been.
Fourth, experiment taking pictures in different types of low-light conditions and of different things. I love taking these types of pictures towards the end of a sunset or around candlelight. I also love taking pictures of glass and water because they both reflect light beautifully.
Lastly, I encourage you to practice shooting in low-light conditions with a digital camera because you’ll probably go through a lot of frames before you get the perfect shot. It’s also nice to be able to review your photos as you take them so you can adjust your technique.
What tips do you use when shooting in low-light conditions?