A Shot in the Dark: 3 Tips for Stunning Night Photography

There’s nothing quite like an October night. From roaring bonfires to haunted hayrides and trick-or-treating by moonlight, all the excitement seems to begin when the sun goes down. If you’re a shutterbug, you’ll want to capture the thrill of a brisk fall evening with your camera – but it takes special skill to shoot photos with nothing to light your way.

Night photography techniques allow photographers to catch mesmerizing shots in the dark! Here are some tips to help illuminate your night photos this October:

Shoot for the Moon

Shoot for the stars...literally with these great nighttime photo tips The real trick to night photography is finding light where you can get it. Luckily, for most nights of the month, there’s a natural light source that’s visible everywhere and only comes out when the sun goes down: the moon! Moonlight is a dramatic way to illuminate any subject, especially during the full phase (here’s a calendar to help you keep track) – just be sure your subject is front-lit by turning your back to the moon as you take your photos. Sometimes, moonlight can be so strong that DSLR photos appear to have been taken in daylight! If you want that sense of nighttime mystery, here’s a post-production fix: shoot in RAW format, then adjust your white balance to reflect the color temperature you want to portray.

Photos by Firelight

Nighttime photos can make for a beautiful accent to any room.

October is the perfect month for camping and bonfires! Fire can be a beautiful source of warm, dynamic light to shoot during a fun night outdoors with friends.  Did you know there’s such thing as a “campfire magic hour?” Try setting up your camera in the brief window of time after the sun is no longer visible, but before natural light leaves the sky. This will give you a dramatic contrast between the colors of the fire, the sky, and your warmly-lit subjects. It’s also important to watch your shutter speed when shooting fireside: a longer shutter time can help blur the fire in favor of your subjects (and maybe even catch a magical spark trail).

Mirror Images

Images mirrored in water photograph well when the sun is low in the sky. If you have access to a body of water during your night shoot, you have an amazing opportunity to capture starlight, moonlight or even city lights on its reflective surface. Water shot at night takes on a deep black hue, which makes the contrast of reflected light so striking to the viewer. That’s why it’s important to choose the right printer to produce your photos once it’s time to share! Our 8×8” PhotoSquares are printed on matte-finished photo boards using the latest technology to produce crisp, bold images. We’re the perfect easy-install solution to capture your fall memories – exactly as you saw them.

With PhotoSquared, you can translate the deep, dark mystery of your October nights from camera to canvas!

Download our app and choose at least four of your favorite photos (4 for $48!) from Instagram, Facebook, Google Photos, and your camera roll – in 3-5 business days, you’ll be ready to install your beautiful PhotoSquares! If someone you love has the shutter bug, give them a Gift Code to let them choose their own photos to print.

Want to learn more? Check out more night photography tips on our Pinterest Night Photo board.