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Nightscape Photography Tips

By Jennifer Fazekas, on June 29, 2015
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With the opening of Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective, our guests will have many fascinating subjects to photograph. However, nighttime photography poses a unique set of challenges, and requires a much different approach than taking pictures during the day. Here are some tips to avoid blurry, washed out images:

  1. Turn off Your Flash. Using your flash for evening shots will wash out the foreground and leave the background completely black.
  2. Hold Still! Capturing sharp images in low-light settings can be difficult. To get a sharp image, you will need to hold your camera as still as possible.
  3. Stay Focused. If your images are blurry, the problem may be focus. This happens more often on close-up shots. If possible, turn off your auto-focus and adjust your camera’s focus manually. Touch the screen on your smartphone to select your area of focus.
  4. Experiment and Have Fun. Look for interesting reflections in our lakes or puddles on a rainy evening, or capture silhouettes of your friends. Experiment, have fun, and capture artistic light patterns!
  5. Prep Your Equipment. Choose a camera that performs better in low light situations. Quality lenses can be set to let in more light (a fully open aperture, like 2.8 f-stop). Adjust camera to a higher ISO to allow for more light sensitivity. If possible use a fast lens, such as F2.8 through F1.4. Also, keep shutter speed between 1/50–1/80 to avoid motion blur when shooting hand-held.
  6. Enjoy Your Surroundings. Look up from your device to stop, relax, and enjoy!

Nightscape: Topiary GardenNightscape: A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective runs at Longwood Gardens from July 1–October 31, 2015.* Photo by Hank Davis.

We love to see the Gardens through our guests’ lenses—please share your pictures using #Nightscape.

*Editor's note: Nightscape returns Wednesdays through Saturdays, August 3–October 29, 2016.

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