Tips To Make Better Photos with Your Phone at Night

Are you wondering how you could take surreal photos at night with your phone? Then, you are in the right place. Night photographs have a deep glimmer and capture breathtaking moments with stars and the moon. However, it requires some technical know-how as there will be low light and high contrast.

Luckily, there are some tips you can use to take better photos at night, which include:

  • Know your photo site and cast about in advance
  • Keep the camera stable
  • Learn camera functions beforehand
  • Take Advantage of the “Blue Hour”
  • Dress For Any Weather

Let’s go into details.

  1. Know Your Photo Site and Cast About in Advance

In night photography, it’s not just worth getting more or less light and detail. The framing and elements of a photograph are the same or more important than in a normal photograph in broad daylight. Therefore, we recommend that you know the place you are going to photograph. It can be a starry sky, a street with street lamps or a corner lit by a neon sign. This way you will be able to know which is the best framing or how to make the most of the little light that exists. Take a walk, try different frames and get to know the place in detail.

  1. Keep the Camera Stable

Before taking the actual shots, take some test photos to get the details of the pictures and what you may need to adjust. Extending the exposure time and the amount of detail jeopardizes the definition of night photography. And that is that the simplest movement during capture will reflect the end result. So take advantage of night mode only if you have a solid footing or tripod. In this situation, night photography in the same conditions is not only more detailed than in normal mode but also sharp.

  1. Learn the Camera Functions Beforehand

It’s far more challenging to change the camera setting or adjust that pesky button at night. So, before going for the night shoot, familiarize yourself with the camera manual and know how it works. Doing so helps you handle unexpected situations calmly and with amazing shots. Also, keep accessories that you may need in an accessible place to save you time.

Settings that usually need to be adjusted manually on the smartphone:

Although the modes included in your phone’s camera app allow you to take the vast majority of photos with decent quality, you can get the best results by setting the manual mode and adjusting the following items:

The white balance put on the value of Auto rarely offers perfect white. We set the correct value according to the scene, the light that is already present in the environment is the basis for a balanced shot, paying attention to the differences between neon and incandescent light.

The exposure value (light intensity) is one of the most important settings. We use lower values ​​outside, while we use higher values ​​inside. When there is little light and at night you can take brighter shots with a positive exposure value (no exaggeration!). Let’s try -1 and +1 right away, we’ll already have to get good lighting values ​​for all occasions.

Exposure time: This value indicates how long the shutter stays open to collect the light needed for the shot. This parameter is very difficult to configure, but once you learn the basics of photography, it allows you to take very nice shots of very fast-moving objects (such as helicopter blades, a race car, or a running athlete’s game) using values ​​greater than 1/4000 s (even better if we use 1/8000 s). If, on the other hand, we wanted to photograph still objects or achieve a slight “wake-up” effect, we set longer exposure times (1/30 s or less).

ISO sensitivity: Increasing the ISO value (200 or 400) is useful in the evening or when we are in a room with little light, while during the day and outdoors we always use 100 or a maximum of 200 as the ISO value. We advise you never to exceed the ISO 400 standard, as shots are usually very grainy and with distorted details.

  1. Take Advantage of the “Blue Hour”

The “Blue Hour” is the name given to the time of dawn or right after sunset with its unique atmospheric light. To capture moments with a stunning light effect, you need to capture the blue hour. The views of the city are especially exciting with the evening or morning sky. It is best to research first when the sunset or sunrise will occur. The combination of buildings or architecture and the sky is especially beautiful. When taking photos, make sure the sky takes up about a third of the photo.

  1. Dress For Any Weather

When going for night photography, dress to accommodate any weather outcome. Sudden weather changes like rain or extreme cold can ruin your photo session and make it unbearable. Wear thin layers that you can add or remove as the weather changes. 

Night photography is not easy because of low light and lack of contrast. However, you can take surreal photos at night with the above tips.

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