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7 Pro Tips for Crushing Your Night Photography


People ask me all the time how I get my night shots with the stars, so I made a video on the subject. Here are my 7 tips for crushing night photography.

Tip #1: Get away from the city. The less light pollution the better!

Tip #2: Take your first photo with the highest ISO and lowest aperture possible. It’s a test shot. Get your composition right and then try those settings: ISO3200, F/2.8 (or your minimum), 25″. From there adapt.

Tip #3: Focus on infinity by putting your lens in manual and turning the focus ring until you reach the ∞ (infinity sign) and come back a millimeter or two. If shooting with a mirrorless camera, use the information on your display.

Tip #4: Find a subject to shoot. A point of attention. Something that will help you tell a story.

Tip #5: To avoid blurry stars, avoid exposing for too long. Divide 500 by your focal length as a rule of thumb for the max duration. Ex: 500/24=~21seconds. I just check manually.

Tip #6: Reduce screen brightness. Why are all your shots too dark when you import? You got tricked by your camera! To avoid that, reduce the brightness of your rear screen to the minimum possible. Now the results in the body will look a lot more like what you will see on your laptop.

Tip #7: Edit your images! You need to! It’s crucial if you want to have the stars “pop” and to bring details out. The most important tools to use are highlights, clarity, dehaze, and local adjustments.

That’s it! In terms of gear, you’ll just need a stable spot to put your camera — use a tripod. Put a timer of 2 seconds to avoid camera shake with you press the shutter.

About the author: Pierre T. Lambert is a travel photographer. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Lambert’s work on YouTube and Instagram.