7 Beginner Tips to an Exceptional Night Landscape Photography

by Tristan Taylor June. 23, 2017 1775 views

Nighttime landscapes can make stunning photographs provided you use the right equipment and the right technique to capture the same.

In this article, we’ll discuss a few tips about night landscape photography in general. If you are a beginner of the subject, you may find this exceptionally beneficial for your purpose. So let’s begin without further ado.

1. Bring the right gear

You need to prepare yourself well for nighttime photography. So always bring the right photography gear with you which should be inclusive of things like the DSLR, a tripod, flashlight and a few extra batteries.

Nighttime photography usually invites long exposure from your camera. The longer the exposure, the greater is the consumption of power. So keep extra batteries handy.

2. Know how to use ISO to your advantage

Shooting at night usually calls for a higher ISO setting. The higher the ISO, the greater the chances of getting grainy photographs.

That’s because high ISO generates noise which is considered to be something negative from the point of view of photography in general. So is there a solution? Course there is. In fact, there are two:

i) Go for a high-end camera (now those are costly indeed) that’s capable of producing higher ISO photos at minimal noise (for e.g., full frame DSLRs).


ii) Use post production software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to remove noise in the best possible manner. The result is right there in the photograph displayed below.

3. Utilize manual focus

One of the biggest challenges of nighttime photography is directly related to that of your camera focus.

Most amateur photographers use autofocus at the initial stages of their camerawork because they are more comfortable with it in comparison to manual focus. But be careful. Autofocus might not help you out in such circumstances (it all depends on the subject of your shoot and the availability of light).

Therefore, it’s more advisable to use manual focus for nighttime landscape photography so that you gain a much better control over your camera in comparison to the one before.

Shed away your fear of manual focus even if you are a beginner of the subject. Remember, there’s a first time for everything.

Note: If you want to know about manual focus in thorough details, check this article out as per your convenience.

4. Use bracketing exposures for HDR processing

Bracketing exposures can really come in handy for blending multiple exposures in one. They can also aid a lot in HDR processing.

Bracketing exposure can give you a better dynamic range which is something you require in night landscape photography to get the best possible results. It can also help to ensure that your photograph’s properly exposed as per your requirement by keeping all issues of overexposure and underexposure at bay.

So don’t hesitate to try this out.

5. Shoot in RAW

As a general rule of professional photography, it’s always better to shoot in RAW than to shoot in JPEG especially when you consider the post processing benefits that come with this technique.

But as far as night landscape photography in concerned, you should practice it religiously to turn it into a habit. Shooting in RAW will definitely be able to give you better end results in comparison to its immediate counterpart (JPEG).

So is there something not to like? Guess not!

6. Use a tripod

Reducing camera shake is the key to getting sharper images. So if you want to click a crystal clear snapshot of the night sky accompanied by the landscape in front of you, you need to sue a tripod.

A tripod can secure your camera and prevent any form of shake in the best possible manner. So make sure you sue one during your photoshoot.

7. Know the apt conditions for night landscape photography

Keep these conditions in mind to get the best results.

  • Low pollution: Get away as far as possible from your city to reduce the effect of pollutants and artificial light interference in your photographs.
  • Go higher: The higher you are, the closer you’ll be to the stars. Such a condition can produce stunning starlight effects in your photographs which is something that can make it a standout among the crowd.
  • Shoot in moonlight: A perfect moon lit night is an ace in the hole like moment for you if you can use the effect the right way. So what are you still waiting for? Doesn’t the image below intrigue you to try this out immediately? Stop thinking and start acting.

Photograph of a beach taken in the moonlight

So that’s it then. Hope the aforementioned tips come in handy for your photographic adventures. With that, I’ll sign off finally for the day. Hope you had a good read.

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There is 1 comment, add yours!
Ram Ya 3 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the useful guide, Tristan.

3 years, 10 months ago Edited
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