Camera Settings For Night Photography Advance Settings

Over the last eight years, I've spent countless hours teaching photographers how to use their cameras to produce night photography photographs. It's not as tough as you think, and by the conclusion of this essay, you'll have everything you need to get the Camera Settings For Night Photography.

Here's 6 steps Camera Settings For Night Photography

camera settings for night photography

Step 1: Switch to Manual Mode on your camera.

When taking night photography, shooting in manual mode is actually easier than any other option. Trust me on this, and switch your camera from automatic to manual mode by pressing the "M" button.

Step 2: Locate a Tripod or Other Form of Support

A night photograph will take your camera at least 10 seconds to capture. This indicates the shutter speed is at least 10 seconds. thus the shot would almost surely be blurry if you held the camera in your hand. You'll need a strong tripod or to position your camera on a ledge or something else that can stay absolutely steady for 10 seconds.

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Step 3: Lower your aperture as far as it will go.

Your lens will determine how low your aperture (f-stop) can go. Some lenses have a smaller focal length than others.Your lens may be able to go as low as f/5.6, f/3.5, or f/2.8.If you're not sure how to alter your aperture, check YouTube for "change aperture" and then your camera's model name.

If you're photographing a night landscape, you might be tempted to shoot at a bigger aperture, such as f/11 or f/16, but you need to make a tradeoff in order to capture more light. As you go, you'll discover that there are methods to alleviate the impacts of the low aperture.

Step 4: Adjust the shutter speed to 10′′ (10 seconds).

As you will learn later, depending on how much light there is in your landscape, you may need to modify your shutter speed up or down; but, 10′′ should provide you a good starting point for producing the shot.

It may appear CRAZY to be capturing the image for 10 seconds, but you'll soon discover that this is not unusual for a night photo. I've shot several night photos with exposures lasting more than 30 minutes--just for one!

Step 5: Increase the ISO to 1600.

The image increases brighter when the ISO is increased, but there is also more noise. This is simply a sacrifice you must make at night in order to obtain a properly exposed photo.However, most current cameras can capture a beautiful clear shot at ISO 1600.

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Step 6: Take a photograph and examine the exposure

It's now time to snap a picture. You'll notice that the image takes a LONG time to capture and play back on your LCD screen. That is very natural.

You must decide if the photo is too bright or too dark. Increase the shutter speed to 30′′ (30 seconds) if the shot is too dark. After that, snap another picture. If the image is still too dark, adjust the ISO to 3200.This will make the shot grainy, but it may be a necessary tradeoff.

If the image is too bright, reduce the ISO to 800.If it's still too dark, down the ISO further more or reduce the shutter speed to 8′′.

Examples of  Photography Night Camera Settings


camera settings for night photography

Manual Mode is ideal for night urban photography since it allows you complete control over your settings, especially when using a tripod. Aperture Priority is extremely useful, especially for beginners, because you can select the appropriate f-number and let the camera adjust the ISO and shutter speed.

Personally, I like to utilize Manual Mode. Here are some of the reasons why.

When I'm photographing urban night photography, I aim to capture a gorgeous house illuminated by window light and street lighting. I prefer to have complete control since I know I'm using a tripod and can maintain my shutter speed as slow as possible because there won't be any camera shaking.

But I also want to maintain my ISO as low as possible to achieve the clearest image possible, perhaps ISO 100 or 200. I could go with an aperture of f/4-f/8. Even in extremely low-light situations, I don't need to sacrifice by increasing the ISO. I check the Histogram to see whether my Exposure is accurate, and I may make little adjustments to ensure it is. In addition,

I'll bracket my images so that I have an underexposed and an overexposed image in case I need to blend out any overexposed or underexposed portions in post-production.

When I photograph individuals at night, I want to catch them in crisp focus, so I maintain my shutter speed between 1/60 and 1/250 sec, depending on the lighting circumstances. I'll use an aperture of f/8 - f / 1.8 depending on the scene, and I'll set my ISO to 6400 to reduce noise.

It takes time and experience to make Manual Mode settings become second nature, but once they are, I've discovered that they come with their own creative benefits.


When the streets are empty and you want to picture a gorgeous or eerie-looking building with a few of streetlamps outside, ISO as low as 100 or 200 is OK when the camera is on a tripod. This ensures that you obtain the cleanest image possible. However, if you know that several drunkards will be rushing out of a bar and heading in your direction in a minute, you will need to boost the ISO to 400 - 800 (and speed up the Shutter Speed proportionately) since the motivation will be to rapidly capture that vacant street.

If you're shooting night street photography, you'll almost certainly want to include those gorgeous night revelers. at achieve a crisp image, the shutter speed should be in the region of 1/60 - 1/250 sec, and the ISO should be set at somewhere between 3200 and 6400.

You can't be frightened of noise if you want to be a street photographer, especially at night.

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camera settings for night photography

You must have as much light as possible. A quick lens is ideal for urban and street photography.

Stationary window illuminated buildings, street lighting, moving people... whether using a tripod or handheld, you may shoot at any aperture between f/11 and f/5.6 to capture the majority of the building in fine focus.

I've recently been attempting to make street lighting and windows to shine in my work, therefore I've been shooting at f/5 to f/2.8. Obviously, the darker the settings, the more light you will want, so f/5 and wider will be preferable, especially if you are shooting handheld.

When photographing individuals at night, I use an aperture of f/5.6 - f/2.


When shooting buildings on a tripod, if everything is quiet, you may simply utilize a slow shutter speed, up to 30 seconds if necessary. It all depends on how long you want to wait. As I previously stated, if there are people in your area and you don't want them in the photo, or if you're shooting handheld, you'll need to adjust the shutter speed and ISO to obtain a nice exposure.

I've tried shooting stationary individuals at shutter speeds less than 1/60 sec, and let me tell you, it doesn't work for me. I've cried many a tear when looking at hazy faces in Lightroom.

If you're photographing individuals at night, you should shoot at least 1/60 sec, depending on the subject and the ambient light circumstances. Make sure your ISO is set to a high enough amount and your aperture is wide enough to produce a nice exposure.

To summarize, if you are shooting buildings on a tripod and want to retain the aperture at f/8 - f/5 (to capture the building in reasonable clarity), you may keep the ISO at 100 and use a slow shutter speed of up to 30 seconds.

If you want to catch the building before people enter the frame, boost the ISO and speed up the shutter speed to match the exposure.

If you're photographing buildings handheld, you'll need a higher ISO (800-3200) and a shutter speed that allows you to keep your hands steady (for me, 1/60th sec - 1/200 sec depending on the light circumstances).


camera settings for night photography

I just utilize Single-shot autofocus while photographing immobile structures.

If you are taking night street photography, you should utilize continuous Auto Focus in Burst Mode. That way, you may select the best composed/posed photo and/or avoid worrying about missed shots.

  • A few things that have really helped me obtain a high percentage of keepers
  • For all of my work, I always utilize a wireless Shutter.

I utilize Back Button Focus and set the focus button on the camera (as well as my wireless remote) to a customisable separate button. With rear button focus, my focus is locked in as soon as I touch the button, even before I hit the shutter. I don't have to worry about losing focus if I click the shutter button halfway or recompose. This is especially useful in low-light situations, since I was experiencing focus hunting when I focused using the shutter button. The bulk of my photos are now in focus. I only lose attention when I make a physical mistake.

My current camera is a Sony A7RIII, and the focus area I'm utilizing for my night urban and street photography is Wide, which chooses focus points from the whole scene. This has really worked for me because much of my street photography shows individuals from a distance. If I were to take closer images of individuals, I would use a focus area like expand flexible spot, which is much better at concentrating on moving things. Perhaps in the future, my Street photography will evolve and I will utilize a more complicated focusing area method, but for now, Wide is sufficient.

  • If you shoot with a Nikon, try AF-C + 3D Tracking.
  • If you own a Fuji, try AF-C + Wide/Tracking.

AI Servo and Automatic Auto Focus Point Selection in Canon Cameras


Because the camera needs to contend with street and window lights as well as dark, unlit regions, night street photography contains a lot of contrast. Whatever works for you is good, however when I shoot immovable things, I bracket my pictures on a frequent basis so that I can merge in a street lamp from an underexposed shot with a perfectly exposed shot that regrettably has an overexposed street lamp in Photoshop. Overexposed highlights can occur even in properly exposed pictures. Bracketing only provides insurance in the event that there are underexposed and overexposed regions. I usually take three shots. 2 stops underexposed / A appropriately exposed image / 2 stops overexposed.

Shoot in Burst Mode for night street photography to catch as many images of your subject as feasible. If there are street lighting in the picture, you may always select to shoot an additional underexposed photograph after you have captured the subject (human).


camera settings for night photography

If you shoot in Raw, you may leave the White Balance on Auto and adjust the White Balance and tones in Lightroom afterward. Fluorescent White Balance may be appropriate for night street photographs if you are shooting JPEG.


A wide-angle lens of 35mm to 50mm is considerably preferable for handheld night street photography, while a greater focal length may make it difficult to maintain the photos crisp.

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You Might Need Night Photography Equipment

  • You'll need a camera with manual settings. This might be a high-end point-and-shoot, a DSLR, or a mirrorless camera.
  • A tripod is required. Because you'll be utilizing a lengthy shutter speed, night photography requires a tripod. Otherwise, the image will be distorted.
  • This is a cable release. You don't need a cable release to shoot night photography, but as you progress, it might be a useful piece of equipment to have. A cable release connects to your camera and provides you with a button that you may push and lock to allow the camera to capture images for longer than 30 seconds.
  • A light source. If you ever want to learn how to do light painting, you'll need a flashlight. Light painting is when you move a flashlight about the area while taking a photograph. If you want to learn more about light painting, check out my tutorial.


Night photography is not difficult. In fact, the first thing I want a new photographer to master is night photography. It's easier than shooting shots during the day since everything goes slowly, you're on a tripod and can take your time, and the effects of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO are obvious to notice.

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