Gazing at the stars is as mesmerizing as gazing at a campfire. The opportunity to give free rein to your imagination, to measure your smallness in this vast universe and to let wonder and curiosity take over. Night photography allows us to use the scenography that the infinity of the sky offers us to express an idea of the immensity of space and time.
I have been a professional photographer for twenty years and some of the photos that are most dear to me have been taken at night. Here are my tips for taking beautiful night photos.
On the day, make your plans about where you plan to take your photos. The creation of your work begins there. A subject surrounded by negative space, such as a leafless tree or a jagged cliff, can serve as a beautiful frame for the night sky. An app like PhotoPills will help you spot the path of the Moon and stars at night when you plan to take your photos.
Whether you use a smartphone or a high-end Reflex camera, bring a stable tripod, a light source like a headlamp and warmer clothes than during the day, especially in the desert. A release cable will also be useful for releasing the shutter without having to carry your camera, especially for long exposures. Finally, don’t forget your lens cover to prevent fogging.
The ability to create an entire scene from a blank canvas is one of the best aspects of night photography. It’s dark so you can adjust the brightness to your liking. This is why I prefer to take photos during the new Moon or at times when it is only a thin crescent in the sky. The Moon is a source of ambient light, like a low-power sun. So take the lunar phases into account for your creations.
After a session, the best photographers change the white balance, rebalance the shadow areas, lower the highlights, etc. But be careful not to overdo it. Ultimately, creating an image you love should be your priority. If you feel that post-production completely changes it, this is the opportunity to return to the field to take a photo that comes closer to your expectations.
Gn Fr tech