2013 Challenge, Week 6: Night

Welcome to the sixth week of the 2013 Challenge!

This week, we will get out and shoot after the sun goes down. Some of you have probably done some night shooting before, but if you have not, you are in for a treat! Familiar subjects look different at night. Slower shutter speeds or larger apertures are required, resulting in lines of light or starry lights and beautiful out of focus highlights in the background.

“Time Machine” by mugley

In order to make an image at night, you need to find a way to get enough light into the camera. To do this, you can either leave the shutter open longer, use a wider aperture, or add light with a flash, a flashlight, or some other means. If your camera has a shutter speed adjustment, put the camera on a tripod or steady surface, set the shutter speed, and try a few shots. If you don’t have a way to adjust the shutter speed directly, just let the camera do the work. Many point-and-shoot cameras that do not have manual shutter adjustments will adjust themselves and use a slower shutter speed or a larger aperture at night. Your camera may also have a scene setting that tells the camera you are trying to take a photo at night.

“Untitled” by Georges Petrequin

Because of the longer exposure time, the camera is more prone to show some shake from pushing the shutter button. To eliminate this problem, you can use a remote shutter release cable, or you can use the self-timer feature on your camera.

“El bosque de los dioses” by Iván Sánchez

If you think of night photography as long exposure light trails, this is your chance to try something different. Try making a landscape photograph, lighting the area with a flashlight. Or try a portrait at night, capturing your subject by candlelight or silhouetted against the lights in the background. Or you could go completely abstract by using camera motion or a deliberately blurry focus.

“Shopping street in the night rain” by tanakawho

As always, have fun with the theme! Take the opportunity to get out there and experiment. Let’s not forget that we’re posting just one single selection per theme, to our various online locations; Google+Facebook, and/or Flickr. That’s one final photo, posted to the different places.

Also, please do not feel compelled to go back and shoot the themes you’ve missed, whether you got busy or just joined us. That ends up cluttering the various groups’ newsfeeds with past week’s posts, this week. By all means, challenge yourself! And if you want to go back and shoot the themes you missed, that’s fine. But post them on your blog and to your social media profiles. Help us keep the groups and communities focused each week on the appropriate theme.

If you tag your photos with metadata, please use “2013photochallenge”.

Now take an afternoon nap, then get out there at night and make some photographs!

About Steve Troletti

I'm a Location Scout, Editorial, Nature, Wildlife and Environmental Photographer based in Malibu, California. I specialize in Nature and Urban Nature photography including Infrared Landscapes. The Bulk of my work takes place in the Los Angeles, California area, Greater Montreal Region, Canada, Switzerland, France and Varese in Northern Italy. Ethical wildlife photography is the main priority and focus of my work. A minimum disturbance of the animals, their habitat and the environment is my top priority. This applies as much to total wilderness areas as it does to urban nature environments. Ongoing education of environmental issues and building awareness for the protection of wildlife and wilderness areas around the world is what drives me to document the beauty that surrounds us.