Bulb Mode: how to get pro-quality shots in low light


The longest automatic shutter speed setting on digital cameras is 30 seconds, which is fine for most subjects. However, there are some situations when you need to make much longer exposures – after dark, for example. This is where your camera’s Bulb mode – (B) exposure setting – comes in. This handy setting allows you to hold the shutter open for as long as required, enabling exposures of minutes (or hours) to be made.

Night photography settings your camera wants you to use

Night photography settings your camera wants you to use

Nothing spoils your night photos like soft subjects and odd colour casts. Below and on the following pages we’ll introduce some of the key night photography settings you should use in order to get pictures with real impact. We’ll not only show you how to set up your camera for night photography, but offer night photography tips for controlling your colours, planning yours shoots and more.

Low-light photography tips: set up your camera to shoot without a tripod

Low-light photography tips: set up your camera to shoot without a tripod

If you’re drawn to the heavy saturated colours of night photography but hate lugging a tripod – or perhaps you physically cannot carry a tripod – you’re in for a treat. Here we show you three quick and effective low-light photography tips on how to set up your camera to shoot hands-free night photography.

Light trails: what you didn’t know about this night photography favourite

Light trails: all you need to know for this night photography favourite. Tips on where and when to shoot them, best camera settings and more.

A fantastic subject to get you started in night photography is traffic light trails – long tendrils of colourful light that form wonderful abstract shapes. The great news is that it’s an easy technique to learn and you can produce really eye-catching images with some very basic gear. All you need is an SLR with a wide-angle zoom lens, a sturdy tripod, a remote shutter release and a basic grounding in tried and tested night photography techniques.

How to photograph fireworks (and how to fake it)

Night photography tips: how to photograph fireworks (and how to fake it)

Find out how to get better Guy Fawkes Day and Fourth of July pictures with our tips on how to photograph fireworks. We also dissect one of our own fireworks photos to explain why we think it works, as well as show you how to fake it by making your own great fireworks composites in Photoshop. Click to read more…

Night Photography: set up your camera to shoot anything

Night Photography Tips: best camera settings for any subject

Does your digital camera only come out during the hours of daylight? 
It can be tempting 
to wait for the sun to shine, but packing your camera away as soon as the light begins to fail can mean missing hours of great picture opportunities. Night photography can be one of the most rewarding genres you’ll shoot.

Your DSLR is more than capable of taking great pictures in these conditions – but it needs your help. If you take a point-and-shoot approach when the light gets low, you’ll end up either with blurred pictures or images where the atmosphere of the scene has been lost.

But there’s no need to be afraid of the dark; we’ve got the answers to all of your frequently asked questions on how to set up your camera to shoot night photography.

Star Trails: the camera settings you need to use

Star Trail: the camera settings you need

Shooting ultra-long shutter speeds at night can turn a dimly lit scene into something that’s full of detail. In particular, this can even capture the otherwise unnoticeable movement of the stars.

Capturing star trails is a great subject to photograph during the summer. It may get darker late, but skies are generally clearer and it’s a lot less cold!

Get the perfect exposure for light trails

Night Photography Tips: how to get the perfect exposure for light trails

You don’t need us to tell you there’s no need to pack away your digital camera just because the sun’s gone down. Night photography is one of the more thrilling genres of taking pictures, and one of its more popular sub-genres is capturing the effect of light trails.

Traffic trails are a classic example of how a long exposure can pep up a dusk shot. Find out how to do it inside…