Do you struggle with colour rendition and sharpness when shooting in low light? In this quick guide we run through some of the best camera settings for taking pictures at twilight.
The upside of the later sunrise and earlier sunset at this time of year is that you can set about getting dramatic twilight shots.
It’s usually best to shoot fairly soon before sunrise or after sunset, when the sun isn’t too far below the horizon.
At these times, clear skies take on a deep blue colour, and reflect fabulous light down onto the scene. Long exposures work well for static subjects.
Use a tripod and keep your camera’s sensitivity to a low value of around ISO 100 to 200. This will optimise picture quality, keeping image noise to a minimum.
Watery surfaces, which are often good to include for reflecting city lights, take on a smooth and mirror-like sheen.
However, if you’re including a river or lake with boats bobbing about on a choppy surface, you’ll need a faster shutter speed to avoid motion blur, so increase your ISO setting accordingly.
This will also be necessary to avoid camera-shake if you’re relying on handheld shooting.
A neat trick is to select the tungsten or incandescent white balance setting in preference to auto white balance.
You should get a much more natural colour rendition for artificially lit areas of the shot, while emphasising the deep blue of the twilight sky.
Night photography: 9 essential steps for beginners
Bulb mode: how to get pro-quality shots in low light
12 common errors of night photography (and how to solve them)
Night photography exposure guide: free cheat sheet