Most people take low-light photographs out of necessity. They often take them during concerts and sporting events that simply don’t have enough natural or artificial light. However, taking low-light landscape shots during the early morning or in the evening can result in some excellent images. These include dramatic cityscapes and seascapes.
You need to be prepared though since you may only have a 30-minute window of opportunity to capture the shots in the evening before it gets too dark.
Some of the most effective photos are taken about 30 minutes before the sunsets and 30 minutes after it sinks in the sky, as the sun will produce some fantastic colors in the darkening sky. You’ll often see the sky turn pink, purple, red, and orange, and these colors can also reflect off of any clouds in the sky.
When it comes to good low-light images the key is long exposures, meaning slower shutter speeds. Another key is a tripod as you’ll need a sturdy one to keep the camera steady.
A tripod allows you to decrease the noise (graininess) in the photos by lowering the ISO speed and it also lowers the sensitivity of the camera. You can open the shutter for as long as you like without having to worry about any camera shake. If you don’t have a tripod then try and find something else steady to support the camera such as a fence or wall.
If you’d like to capture the whole scene in front of you then a wide-angle or fisheye lens is a good choice. If you want to focus on a specific scene you can try a zoom lens. If you shoot the photos in the RAW mode you’ll be able to adjust the white balance later if it isn’t to your liking. A remote control shutter release or self timer is also a good option to make sure you don’t accidentally bump the camera when pressing the shutter.
If you don’t have a tripod you’ll likely have to use a higher ISO setting, but this could result in more noise in the photos. If your digital camera has a noise reduction option you can use it as it will be a bit of a help. You can also utilize noise reduction in some photo-editing software programs. When taking the photos, you can try all sorts of shots such as adding interesting foregrounds.
You’ll find you can shoot a wide variety of topics including bridges, buildings, highways, houses, trees, fences, hedges, cliffs, and lighthouses etc.
You can also try some exposure bracketing in low-light landscape photography. This can be done by altering the length of exposure. You’ll be able to see the results instantly in digital photography, so this will enable you to experiment as much as you like until you are thrilled with the results. But just remember you only have so much time before the scene gets too dark to capture.