amis au fil des ans

just a few good friends, sharing adventures in family, arts, and sometimes heavy machinery

december’s task – night photography

let me start by saying, night photography is probably one of the harder skills for me to work on right out of the gate.  especially given that it’s the holiday season and there are all kinds of lights everywhere…mastering the balance of light and dark to get a crisp picture is not easy!

i tried a bunch of different techniques for capturing the perfect night shot, and while i don’t think i’m there yet, this appears to be my current preferred formula:

– most important – use a tripod, and turn off auto focus (this didn’t seem right at first, but after taking a bunch of blurry photos, i’m on board with this concept)

– set camera on Tv (shutter priority) – i think eventually i’ll graduate to M (manual), but Tv let’s me manage the shutter speed which seemed to help control light

– use timer – i actually had to look this up since i’ve never used my timer, but i gotta say, i’m pretty addicted to it now.  i was going to buy a wireless remote for my camera, but why bother when i can just use the timer??

– after getting all of this set up, then it was just a matter of playing with the shutter speed and the ISO.

i tried to keep my “schooling” simple, so i focused (no pun intended) on two main subjects: my neighbors house with too many christmas lights, and friendship fountain in downtown jacksonville.  my neighbors house was an obvious choice because i was able to schlep my camera and tripod over there regularly with ease.  the fountain was also cool because while i was messing with light settings, i was also able to capture some movement.

i’ll spare you the details of checking out all the rejected photos, unless you’re interested.  here are my favorites of each subject:


friendship fountain


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4 thoughts on “december’s task – night photography

  1. Great to see a fellow Jacksonville Photog! My very first WordPress post was actually a night photo of Friendship Fountain! ( Keep up the good work!

  2. awesome! as expected, your photo is way better than mine. although i noticed you shot it at dusk…i am going to try shooting my two subjects again at dusk, i think the photos look much nicer with just a hint of sunlight. thank you for the nice comment!!

  3. Yeah – I love dusk – the deep blues you can get, even when it is cloudy, really amp up the photo. Good eye!

  4. sedwards515 on said:

    great shots, jamie! i like the two you chose and that they are different. (and…um…what is the christmas party like at that neighbors house?!?)

    can’t wait for the dusk photo!

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