Luckily, there are some keys to saving an image like this as long as you are photographing in RAW. If you are leaning against a shop with a lit sign behind you, like the man in the photograph above, then as subjects pass you they will be lit with a strong light that has a gorgeous color to it. But the difference is that at night the quality of the light might change dramatically multiple times over the course of a short walk down a busy urban street. Not only will all of the wet surfaces “catch” the colors of the ambient artificial lights, but puddles can also be used as mirrors. Depending on where you live, going out at night with a camera is not always the safest idea. Justin Hamilton. And that’s it. It is possible to shoot at f/4 in brighter areas, but being able to shoot at f/2.8, f/2, or even 1.8 will greatly expand your opportunities. Which brings us to White Balance. This grain looks much more pleasing to the eye than brightened, extreme digital noise and it can further hide some of the technical deficiencies in underexposed images. But let’s save my romanticism for another time. I also recommend trying out the Fluorescent White Balance setting (many cameras have a few of these) to give images a slight magenta tint, while also turning some lights a bit greener. I won’t go into the nitty gritty details of these autofocus systems, but some basic awareness of them is important, so you can better strategize what to focus on. Nout Gons. As a photographer who got his start in the streets of Tokyo, it was inevitable that I would end up photographing mostly at night. One way to do this is “panning.” In this case, we could switch to Shutter Priority mode (or Manual mode) and select a shutter speed between say 1/30 and 1/60, and then follow moving subjects with the camera while shooting. To freeze motion during the day, I prefer to use a shutter speed of 1/320th, with 1/160th as my lower threshold. Whether you are shooting street photography during the day or at night, the world is a fast-moving place, and you need your camera to be able to capture those split-second moments. This article was also published here. Experiment with slower shutter speeds, such as 1/8th of a second and take a lot of images. For street photography, it’s usually best to go handheld since you never know what interesting thing is going to happen, and where it’s going to happen. That being said, even with the best settings, some of your images will be taken in areas that are too dark to be exposed correctly. Really, really basically, in both cases the camera will be able to focus more quickly and more accurately if there are some “contrast-y” details for it to examine. Cityscapes are lit with a myriad of interesting and colorful light sources, such as lampposts, neon signs, store windows, car lights, and bare bulbs. This is good to do pre-emptively since second chances are rare in street photography. So you can try to predict how it will behave. Rain in general is great, as it brings out different behaviors in people, the most popular one being umbrellas, which look great at night in the rain (especially the clear plastic ones that are so common in Tokyo). After I do this, if I’ve had to raise the exposure setting a significant amount, the grain will look terrible. They need to be interesting and look good and that’s what counts. This is an overly general statement, so feel free to disagree, but I want to make a point here. If your lens aperture doesn’t go wider than f/4, this is a fantastic way to get around that limitation. On the other hand, if I want very strong contrast, I might shoot a “backlit” subject, where the light source is behind them, resulting in a silhouette in the most extreme cases. With modern digital cameras you can photograph anywhere from ISO 1600 to 6400 with decent or good quality. Pick the right camera settings. I shoot with a Ricoh GR II, which does not have any good tracking features, and a Nikon D4, which has an excellent tracking function called 3D Tracking. You don’t want to suddenly find yourself in a bad situation. In any case, colors are certainly your friend when doing street photography at night! I would choose a pretty wide aperture to let in plenty of light, but this does not mean we are constantly shooting at f/1.4. Travel light with equipment and be careful about where you go. Notice the difference between the light on the left and right side of the man’s face in the photo. This is because most artificial lights are not pure white. This authenticity is one thing that makes street photography so compelling. People dress in their favorite outfits to go out. To this end, I seek out directional light sources that are large, and therefore soft. Josh Sorenson. Use your best judgment on who to photograph and think about bringing a friend along. It’s important to learn how your camera “thinks.”. The reason for that is the lack of light, making photography more difficult. Stephanie Kay-Kok There are two views of a city that a photographer can capture at night: the distant view of the bright cityscape , with glowing skyscrapers and silhouetted buildings, or the street view of pedestrians, street lamps, and stretches of darkness. Please don’t expect any magic tips or secrets. At night, backgrounds can be much more beautiful than during the day, so it often works to have people become the secondary element to the scene, rather than the primary focus. Evgeniy Grozev. It took me a long time to capture the image above because I wanted the people spread out evenly throughout the entire scene and I also wanted something interesting within the foreground, which is the pose of the woman in the street and the man looking at her.

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