I think nearly every one can agree that City lights lure photographers out on the streets at dusk and in the night. There’s something magical about cities coming alive when the night falls.
You don’t have to miss your sleep or cuddling in your bed to have a great experience as a low-light photographer. In a big city just as dusk is falling, especially in Wintertime in the northern hemisphere the city wakes up early for this kind of photography and shooting at low-light level is a piece of cake.
Low light photography always has as well an element of surprise – you never know exactly what you’re going to get especially with long exposure times and that is fun in itself.
Some quick Low-Light Tips I think are a good starting point:
1. Go for a low ISO in order to get more noise-free pictures.
2. Set the camera to to your picture style if you don’t shoot raw like vivid colors.
3. Use a tripod to reduce blurry photos.
4. Use a remote shutter release or at least the self-timer.
I usually start by setting ISO to the native settings of your camera brand (Canon 100 , Nikon 200) and my aperture at f11 or smaller. Depending on the light condition you should be able to get the right setting with 3 images – at about 5 sec, 10 sec and 20 sec. This gives you a good starting point to work from.
As the sun, which we actually didn’t see the whole day, settled kind of in Hanoi we went out on a tour to get some stunning and hopefully visually fascinating images. This practical 2 hour get together gave us the opportunity to use very simple camera techniques to produce our kind of dramatic images.Working within a group and exploring the streets at night everyone could enhance their knowledge in learning or teaching about:
• how to best capture night time images,
• to understand exposure and shutter speed for creative night time shots,
• getting a grip and understand composition,
• capture movement/lights.
Apart from light trails, city lights, doing some “globe” work at Hoan Kiem lake some of us ventured out to do some double exposure at night time with various results. The best thing was that even on a rainy drizzling grey day we had a lot of fun and our creative juices where flowing.
Here my approach using double exposure in camera
And here a link to an image which is very well executed by one photographer (Đức Linh Nguyễn) from our group