5 Night Photography Tricks With Slow Shutter Speed

If you enjoy taking photographs at night and want to experiment with different techniques, this is the video for you. Here are 5 slow shutter speed tricks to get some great-looking images after dark.

The title of this video was alluring, but the real draw for me was the thumbnail — it happens to be in my favorite place to shoot at night: Tokyo. In fact, I have stood in the exact same places as this video is shot, taking similar images. I love nighttime photography and always have, but thanks to modern cameras, it's more achievable and flexible than it has ever been.

On my first camera, I was lucky if I could shoot at ISO 800 and get an image that wasn't tremendously grainy. Now, with the most modern cameras, I regularly shoot on ISO 3,200 or higher and can scarcely tell, even before I have applied any noise reduction. This is helpful if you're a wedding photographer, for instance, but it is liberating in many other ways. Being able to shoot on city streets, at night, handheld, is something I love to do and it's becoming easier and easier to execute.

In this video, you're shown some tricks and tips for dragging your shutter and most of it is done handheld and simply requires practicing the technique.

Rob Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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One of the best tips that he didn't cover can actually be seen at the beginning of his video. If you need smooth timelapse video, slowing the shutter to 1/2 a second or so will make your timelapse images appear way more fluid and natural looking. Some cameras let you shoot video or timelapse with shutter speeds slower than the native frame rate (say 24p) while others force you to actually take photographs and build the timelapse later in Premiere or other software.

The panning shots...those are always so difficult for me to nail.