Essential Night Landscape Photography Tips from Chris Burkard

Essential Night Landscape Photography Tips from Chris Burkard

Before I began writing for Fstoppers, I spent 18 months working for the photo sharing company SmugMug. While working at SmugMug had many perks, I don't think I enjoyed any of them more than being sent to Norway to assist in the making of the film, Arctic Surf. I was hand picked to tag along with the talented videographer Anton Lorimer as we detailed Chris Burkard's work of photographing surfers in the cold and rugged Arctic Circle. It was an incredible experience, in one of the most beautiful locations that I had ever visited. I even put together a Behind-The-Scenes photo journal of the trip. 

One thing I learned after spending a week in the dark, winter nights of northern Norway with Chris is that he loves photographing the night sky. While most people will simply point there cameras towards the sky and photograph the stars over a beautiful landscape, Chris loves to add the human element and portray the adventure that his team and himself are on. This was most evident to me when we came upon a beautiful, frozen road in the middle of Norway around 2am. As a trained landscape photographer, my first thought was to just stand in the middle of the road and get that classic, 'empty road into the night sky' photo. But when Chris saw me standing in the middle of this desolate road, he had other ideas. He handed me his headlamp, and captured the photo above. Well, I should have said, it took alot of patince, and trial and error, before he captured the photo above. 

Chris has shared his ten essential tips for how to improve your night photography with the team at SmugMug. The above mentioned trial and error, adding of a subject, and where to set your camera's focus are covered, among others. You can give it a read over on the SmugMug Blog.

Chris loves combining the elements of Lifestyle and Adventure with the night landscapes.

Having been to Iceland and Norway over ten times, Chris has mastered the art of photographing the Northern Lights.

Whether in the heat of the day, or the dark of the night, Chris loves to place people within the frames of his landscapes to add a sense of scale.

Being the Senior Staff Photographer at Surfer Magazine, Chris loves to use his surfing friends as subjects whenever possible, even in the cold Arctic night, under the Aurora Borealis.

Did you miss the SmugMug Films Photographer Profile on Chris Burkard? No worries, you can watch below! 

[via SmugMug]


Michael Bonocore's picture

Michael is a full time photographer, traveler and workshop teacher based out of San Francisco, California. Michael's passion lies in international photojournalism, which has brought him to lead photography workshops around the globe. Michael has written guest articles for companies such as Matador Networks, SmugMug, and Borrow Lenses.

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That was a great watch! Thanks for posting!

Thanks Matthew! Imagine how much fun it was to be a part of! Most of that super slow mo footage was mine. I got to use a Sony FS700. Such a sweet camera!

Very slick sir! I'm gonna use that video to pump up some of my camera operators and editors for our new season. Top notch.

Amazing photography, such a great viewing experience, thanks for sharing...

What a wonderful video!! Thanks for sharing!

Story, cinematography and a lot of passion! Love it from every aspect.