Skip to main content

How To Take Pictures At Night

Night pictures can offer different lighting and cool effects. Here’s how to shoot by the moonlight.


  • Step 1: Focus on your subject or set your focus adjustment to infinity (∞) if taking a star trail shot.
  • TIP: Star trails begin to appear in exposures 30 seconds or longer.
  • TIP: Illuminate your subject temporarily with a headlamp to get a focus lock or set your camera to manual focus.
  • Step 2: Using your shutter release cable, begin the shooting process. Depending on the length of your exposure, you won’t hear the second shutter door click until the total time has elapsed. Don’t bump the camera in the interim!
  • FACT: Pluto has been demoted from planet status and is now only considered a dwarf planet.
  • Step 3: Select your shutter speed and aperture, based on your readings. Because metering will be different at night, experiment with different settings.
  • Step 4: Take a light reading by metering the subject.
  • Step 5: Set up your camera on a tripod to reduce camera shake.
  • TIP: Shooting long exposures can drain batteries quickly. Make sure you start off with a fresh charge and always have a backup ready.
  • Step 6: Set your ISO.
  • TIP: Long exposures tend to have more noise or digital grain than shorter exposures, which can be made worse by the higher ISO settings. Select the lowest ISO possible to minimize the effects.
  • Step 7: Compose your desired shot.
  • Step 8: Decide on what type of night image you want to shoot: long exposure, star trails, blurred lights, light painting, etc.

Popular Categories