Nighttime photography is one of the most challenging types of photography one can execute. Not only does it require more gear than daytime photography, but it also requires you to use that gear for more extended periods without getting tired.
It’s easy to make mistakes when photographing at night, and some mistakes can significantly impact your shots. And so, here are five common errors people make when shooting nighttime events so you can avoid them!
#1 Shooting In Auto Mode
When photographing nighttime events, don’t use auto mode. Auto mode will make your photos look washed out and flat, even if you’re shooting under bright lights. Consider setting it to manual mode to get the best results from your camera. By setting it to the manual, you’ll be able to control three critical settings: aperture (or f-stop), shutter speed, and ISO sensitivity.
First, set your aperture as wide as possible so that more light enters the lens. This trick will also create a shallow depth of field, meaning that most objects in front or behind the focal point are blurred out—great for taking portraits. If you’re not sure what aperture to use for fireworks, wedding, or concert shots, further reading will help.
Next up is shutter speed. The longer this setting lasts, the more likely there will be motion blur because our eyes can only process so much information simultaneously. If there’s too much movement happening on stage during an event, then increase this setting until everything looks crisp again!
Last comes ISO sensitivity which directly affects how much light enters through each pixel sensor inside each pixel. Higher numbers mean brighter pictures but also introduce noise (grainy pixels) into images without proper postprocessing techniques like noise reduction software programs.
#2 Not Using A Tripod
When photographing nighttime events, it’s essential to use a tripod. A tripod is the best way to ensure your camera remains steady and prevents blurriness in your photographs.
It can be especially true when shooting outdoors, where fewer lighting options are available to you than indoors. It’s also more difficult for your eyes to adjust quickly.
In addition, using a tripod will allow you to take long exposures without hand-holding your camera. This is important because it will enable you to capture more light and create a much brighter image than if you were shooting handheld.
#3 Moving During Long Exposure Shots
One of the main reasons photographers use tripods is to avoid camera shakes. When using a long exposure, your shutter stays open for several seconds. If you don’t have a tripod in hand and want to take your photo, it’s best not to move at all while the shutter is open.
If you need to move around while photographing nighttime events, such as weddings and concerts, find your spot first then take a photo without moving. You should also wait until after all movement has stopped before taking another long exposure shot with your camera.
#4 Only Shooting Landscape Shots
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of finding unique angles and lighting, but don’t forget that you’re shooting a nighttime event. That means there will also be people there. So why not capture some portraits of them? A great way to do this is by using an accessory flash on your camera that can be used as a fill light when shooting portraits.
Another thing to remember is that these events are almost always held in venues with lots of detail. So make sure you take advantage of this opportunity by shooting those details as well—the venue itself, the decorations, etc.
Finally, don’t forget to take shots at regular intervals throughout the event to capture every moment.
#5 Overusing Flash
Remember that flash can be harsh on the eyes. It’s too bright, distracting, and can cause red eyes. Flash photography is also not suitable for people or objects in motion.
Furthermore, they may appear as a series of frozen frames rather than fluid movements. It is why many sports photographers use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action.
In low-light situations where you need to use your camera’s built-in flash indoors or outdoors, consider turning off autofocus and auto exposure. That way, you can manually adjust your settings until you find what works best to capture that special moment without disturbing anyone else.
With this list of tips, you can start on the right foot when photographing nighttime events. If you’re new to photography, these tips might seem common sense—but they’re easy to forget when you’re in the moment and trying to capture every second of an event. By keeping these points in mind while shooting at night, you can ensure that your photos look great and tell a compelling story!