We all love those tasty sunset photos made around the Crystal Coast of North Carolina. But have you ever hung around after the sunset was done? The beach, shore and edge of woodlands can offer some wonderful photographic opportunities after night fall. The moon can provide lovely lighting to a scene. The sight of stars overhead can be an awe inspiring element in a fine art photograph. Even artificial light may add a nice, warm ambiance to an image.
To create night time photos you’re going to have to crank up your ISO setting and/or slow down your shutter speed. Dragging the shutter can result in some nice effects. That’s especially true around moving water or fast tracking clouds. Since high ISO, dark shadows and long shutter speeds can add digital noise to an image, you may want to use a program such as Sequator to stack a number of images to help reduce noise. Another option would be to do a black and white conversion. Monochrome photos are frequently improved with there’s a bit of grain. Digital noise can simulate the grain found in old school grayscale photographs. Obviously anytime your shutter speeds get longer it becomes important to keep the camera still. A sturdy tripod is almost a requirement for making photos after dark.
Sunrise, sunset, midday or after dark, the rules of composition still apply. With night photos be sure to look for scenes or subjects with a nice range of tones… both lights and darks. Silhouettes can also work nicely for night photography if there’s a bright natural or artificial light source to provide back lighting. Texture can also play a beneficial role in the creation of a good night image. Spend a little time experimenting. You may be pleased with the results.
Below are a few of my night and twilight photographs from around the Crystal Coast. I hope you enjoy them and that the possibly inspire you to try your hand at night photography.