Help – it’s night!

Grand Central, NY (Photo: Michael Willems)

It is night, as in this old shot of Grand Central Station. How do you deal with this?

Technique. A combination of techniques, actually. Use as many of these as you can:

  • Stabilize your camera. Use a tripod, or balance the camera securely on any surface (protecting it with a bean bag).
  • Use a wide lens. This makes it possible to shoot slower.
  • Use a stabilized lens.
  • Use exposure compensation (minus!), or spot meter off buildings, to avoid too-long shutter speeds.
  • Increase your ISO if you have to.
  • Sometimes I even slightly underexpose and then push the exposure later – better a little grain, if I must, than motion blur.
  • Take many shots – and just use the sharp ones!

As you see, there is no single answer. A combination of the above will work. Night is the best time for many shots – use it.

This shot is from the all-new “Travel Photography” course I just wrote for the School of Imaging, by the way. Completely rewritten and worth taking – if you are going to travel, you owe it to yourself!


2 thoughts on “Help – it’s night!

  1. Michael –
    Night rhymes with Light, which reminds me:
    As a new season of courses and workshops is opening after Labour Day, I wonder if you
    would consider posting an item about selection of e-TTL flash? I’ve been back over your archives, but would welcome some 101 guidelines!

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