Night Photography: Lights and Movement

There are many situations in night photography where the sources of light will be in the frame without any possibility to avoid this. The main problem with these photos is how to expose to get the best results. If you will expose for the light sources the result will be a photo completely dark, except for the sources of light. Obviously this is not the desired result for most of the photos. A way better solution is to expose for the reflected light. For example, in the photo bellow I choose to expose for the walls around. In this situation the light source will be overexposed, but usually this is not a problem and it can look quite acceptable in the image.

Night Lights

Night lights

With extremely low light levels, moving subjects like people and cars will not be recorded in the night photos, as long as there is not much light reflecting on theme. A great effect you can achieve by setting your camera on a long exposure time ant shoot a road or a highway at night. The cars will not be recorded by the camera, but the headlights and taillights will be, creating beautiful white and red traces.

Night Cars

Night cars

Creating ghosts in your photos can easily be done by using long exposure and movement. In the photo below the camera was set on 13 seconds exposure time. The girl was first standing in front of the door. After the shutter button was pressed, she began to move to the camera and stayed there for the last 7 seconds or so of the exposure time. The ghost effect was obtain because both the background and the girl were suficiently exposed to appear in the photo. If she hadn’t moved from first position the transparency effect (ghost effect) wouldn’t have existed.

Night Ghost

Night ghost









3 Responses to “Night Photography: Lights and Movement”

  1. I like the third. Very spooky.. (not used photoshop?)

  2. Andrei says:

    No Photoshop at all 🙂

  3. Thank you…

    Thanks for posting…