Night Photography Tips (I blame Youtube Photographers)


today we’re talking about something that
most photographers get wrong when it comes to night photography so one of the most common questions I
get besides which camera do I use is what are my camera settings for night
photos and do I use a tripod now just skimming to youtube videos almost every
night photography tutorial has someone using a tripod and you know tripods are
great for like night trails star trails long exposures but you don’t need a
tripod for night street photography you know it’s like how most of people who make these
videos they’re not primarily night photographers they just kinda make a
video about everything but I am night photographer that’s primarily what I do
and there’s probably like one or two videos were actually use a tripod and
that’s because I was actually waiting in the same spot for like three hours to
get the shot that I wanted link down below but anyways today I want to talk
about shadows and highlights and exposure one thing that most people
starting night photography just get completely wrong this video is kind of a
rant but I also hope to be educational and inform people regarding a night
photography you see is I don’t understand why so many photographers
have this obsession with the shadows like they need they want to be able to
see everything in the shadows like they feel like if they’re blacks are black
they failed somehow and this is just completely wrong when it comes to
photography like well at least what I want to say it’s wrong but when it comes
to night photography shadows are your friend
people always ask me like where can I go shoot the most lights and so like I want
to take pictures like you and if you take a close look at my pictures most of
my pictures are actually really dark like I don’t like super lit up places
where there’s a lot of light actually I avoid places with a lot of light I like
really dark alleys with one or two light sources you know I actually have a video
about my night photography and in that video I actually talked
about how I like to under expose my pictures this is one of my cameras this
is the Fuji Xpro2 – I didn’t get it because of its dynamic range of its
megapixels or whatever other stuff people are interested in I just got it
because I like it I just like the way it feels
anyways I almost always keep this camera negative one EV like the exposure
compensation dial which most people don’t even know what it does is actually
quite great you see the way this works is your camera decides how much light is
going to live into your picture through metering but sometimes the camera is
wrong it’s not metering the way you want it to it’s only metering the way
the camera thinks you wanted to so you usually exposure compensation dial to
tell the camera okay you think it should be exposed like this but I want you to
make it brighter plus one EV or I want you to make it darker – one EV so I
almost always under expose my pictures at night you might be wondering why why
would you wonder expose your pictures at nights like that that makes no sense you
know no way you need to use a 1.2 lens and the latest Sony camera because
there’s like no noise or probably you know I feel it’s funny because I got a
comment from one of my other videos saying like you’re doing it all wrong
you shouldn’t be using therefore you shouldn’t be using f/4 lens you should
be using a 50 millimeter 1.2 blah blah lens stuff like that no it’s it’s always
other photographers trying to tell you what to do and how to do your own
business you know but as you can tell my little bit max I’m very sensitive about
this subject but the thing is if you are doing night photography you need to
learn to expose for the highlights now if you take a picture for example I have
here a picture of one of my students you would say it’s exposed I mean you take a
picture you can see her clearly everything is great and you got the
lights in the back yes but the highlights are all blown out I
can’t recover information that’s in the highlight that’s already been blown out
every seasoned photographer will tell you this you try to take a picture
of the lights blown out you can’t get that information back however if you
take a darker picture underexposed you save the information in the
highlights and actually you can bring back the shadows much more easily that
you can bring out any information in the highlights like if I take a picture
where all the lights are like super bright and I try to see what’s in the
lights you won’t be able to see you won’t be able to bring back that
information however if you take a picture and you take a darker on purpose
you can bring up the shadows more and you can actually see the highlights much
better you can see the colors in the highlights you know so this is why this
is why you don’t need the latest and greatest camera to be shooting at night
you don’t need a 1.2 lens to be shooting photography at night you don’t need to
do what other photographers are telling you to do this is why I you this is why
I can shoot with my phone just fine and this is why I used mainly an f4 lens on
my camera because just because because I can you know I don’t like people telling
me not to do something because they don’t do it that way I do things because
that’s what works for me and that’s how I see it fit yeah so basically when you
shoot night pictures you don’t need to see everything it’s in the shadows like
what is this obsession people have with trying to see everything that’s dark in
photography you know it doesn’t make you a better photographer in my opinion
pictures where the blacks are black and the shadows are remain shadows are
actually much nicer than if everything is just you can see everything you know
so you may be wondering how do I do this with my iPhone or whatever smartphone
you can do this with any phone I have a phone tutorial already it’s like one of
my first you just have to touch the highlights
and your phone will expose for the highlights you know and that’s basically
all I do when I take my street pictures is uh I expose for the highlights you
know it’s okay if my photo is really dark you know because I want the
information in the highlights to remain and that’s why I don’t need a tripod
cause if you’re under exposing you don’t need a super slow shutter speed you know
I mean sometimes it’s great to use it but it’s more for artistic effect for me
you know and this is why you don’t need to get the latest camera to be shooting
at night and most cameras these days can go up to 450,000 iso like what am I
ever really gonna need that I mean that’s one of those things you need if
you really really need the shot I don’t even think astro photographers go that
high you know it’s just it’s unnecessary but it’s there if you need it but for
myself I almost never go over ISO 3200 you know and my camera is from like 2011
2012 the Fuji x-pro2 – which is one of my favorites it’s I don’t know when it came
out but when I got it I didn’t really care about the specs or anything for
like tags I’m because I already know that it doesn’t really matter you know
and that’s why you don’t need the latest and greatest camera that’s where I can
shoot the pictures I take with my phone because because it doesn’t matter you
know just to underexpose your pictures and bring back the shadows when you’re
in Lightroom but you don’t have to bring them all right you know you don’t want
my cue you don’t want to make a picture to lose all that contrast so this is
just my kind of tip for you for night street photography and what most night
photographers get wrong and yeah I hope you think about that next time you’re
out shooting night pictures cuz it’s it’s one thing that changed my night
photography was like to learn to under expose you know before I was trying to
just catch everything in the shadows and had that slow shutter speed night oh my
god I need a tripod you know a total newb but no you don’t you don’t need a
50mm 1.2 you don’t need a tripod you don’t need
the latest a7 with whatever 100 iso right so yeah regarding how I keep the
camera steady is an old ancient trick where you just hold still when you take
the picture you know like you should give it a try
you’re not trying to demean anyone but I get so many comments about that too it’s
like how do you get the picture so crisp and how do you stay still just you just
hold camera still once it’s an old Ancient art anyways if you
don’t mind my rants please go ahead and like this subscribe comment zero you you

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