To help you capture the best of night light, this tutorial will cover:
• How to overcome lower light levels
• Getting the exposure correct
• When to take shots
• Suggestions for photographic subjects
The digital sensor in your camera has some similarities to the human eye. As light levels drop, you need to get more light to the sensor. This is done by setting a wider lens aperture. The sensor is made up of millions of photo receptors, or pixels (short for picture elements). The sensor can be made more sensitive to light by increasing the camera’s ISO setting. This amplifies the light signals after they have been received by the pixels.
Unfortunately, amplification of the light signals can have a disadvantage. Unwanted background signals are also amplified and above certain levels these show up as ‘noise’ – coloured speckles across the image. The latest Canon compact digital cameras feature the HS System which lowers noise levels by up to 60%. Discover more about the HS System.
Even with the higher ISO settings available with HS System, you will still find that shutter speeds will be significantly slower at night. A tripod or camera clamp are the best options to keep your camera steady during the exposure. But if you do not own either of these, then make sure that you rest you camera on a flat and stable surface such as a low wall, a seat or the roof of your car.