View of the Drew | Andrew Halpern Photography

Grand Central at Night

1/30" F3.5 iso640 18mm

1/30″ / F3.5 /iso640 /18mm (29mm equiv)

Night photography, it’s difficult. There are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, use a tripod when possible. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. You might not have a tripod with you, or sometimes you do, but there is not enough room to set it up. With this shot, I simply did not have enough room to set up a tripod, my back was against the wall of another building.

Without a tripod, you’ll need to use a higher ISO, or a wider aperture or a combination of the two. If your lens or camera has image stabilization, make sure that’s turned on. Keep in mind, with higher iso, you’ll get greater noise and less detail, and with a wider aperture, the depth of field might not be deep enough. Those are trade-offs you might have to make. Post-processing can help lessen the effects of camera noise, but it isn’t a miracle worker.

This is why a tripod allows you more freedom with night photography with better quality. With a tripod, camera shake becomes a non-issue. Therefore, you’re free to pick and choose a low clear grain-free ISO and stop down your aperture to deepen your depth of field. I like using aperture-priority mode in this case. Take note of your shutter-speed and remember its effect on moving objects in your shot.

Happy shooting and take care of yourself when shooting at night.

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