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6 tips to practice nature photography at night


6 tips to practice nature photography at night

It is not easy to practice nature photography at night. To become a professional in this discipline, you will have to be very invested and passionate, even if the most important thing is the investment. It will not be enough to develop incredible photographic skills. You will also need to be patient and knowledgeable about the animals you wish to photograph.

If you aspire to capture breathtaking images of nature, such as those you usually see in magazines, books or documentaries, it is essential to know how these pictures were made. First, of course, you will need to familiarize yourself with the techniques that will help you achieve your goal. Nature photography is a very rewarding discipline, but before that, you will have to work very hard to make your pictures stand out from the crowd.

6 tips for nature photography at night

If you need to take nature photos at night, the first thing to keep in mind is that the process is more complicated than during the day. And besides the safety factor, you’ll need to adjust your camera settings appropriately to produce excellent photos, even in the dark. That’s why we’re giving you these tips, so you can improve your practice of nature photography at night.

1. Study the animals you want to photograph.

Photographing nature at night is not as simple as it sounds. If you don’t have any knowledge about the behaviour of the animal you want to photograph, you will certainly end up with a failed photo shoot. Hence the need to learn how to decipher the behaviour of this animal, its usual places of passage and the places where it usually finds its food.

One of the most effective ways to study the animal to be photographed is to get information from an expert photographer or someone who knows the environment in question. Find out how they approach the animals so you will know how to move around the area when you are ready to venture out on your own. And you can always find out more, simply by reading books or searching on Google.

2. Use the right camera to photograph nature at night.

You can choose from a wide variety of cameras, but you’ll need to choose a camera that is practical for capturing images of nature, especially at night. You can opt for a mirrorless or DSLR camera. Choose a camera with an interchangeable, waterproof lens. And that also gives you the option of using the settings manually.

If you have a camera with an interchangeable lens, you’ll be able to photograph animals at different distances. The main reason for choosing a waterproof camera is that nature photography is usually done outdoors. If you want your equipment to last you longer, it should be able to withstand the elements such as water or dust. And to have complete control over your camera, it’s best to choose one with manual settings.

3. Use a reliable tripod for nature photography at night.

If you are used to photographing outdoors and this is a discipline you practice often, then you will not hesitate to choose a tripod of acceptable quality. Do not rely on a tripod with weak feet if you are using your camera with a large or heavier lens. To insure your equipment, it would be ideal to invest in a tripod made of carbon fiber or aluminum. It may cost a little more, but at least you won’t have to worry about your camera falling or the tripod tipping over.

In addition, it is advisable to have a tripod with legs that are placed at different angles, so that you can set it up in different ways on the ground. Remember to lock the feet after placing them to ensure that the tripod does not move.

Read More : 10 tips for photographing your family

4. Take a headlamp for nature photography at night.

As you will be moving around at night, having a headlamp on you will be of great help. It will prevent you from stumbling in the dark. And you’ll be able to take pictures more freely because your hands will be free, so you can explore the area more easily.

And it will be an equally useful tool for macro photography. It’s best to use a red light headlamp. Not only will it help you make better macro shots, but it will also be less distracting for animals.

5. Do not use the lamp too long

Practicing nature photography at night is not only awkward for the photographer but also for nocturnal animals. Using artificial light can frighten these animals or even affect their night vision. Hence the usefulness of using a continuous light such as an LED torch or a more intermittent light such as a flash, so you won’t use it for long.

And it’s even more necessary if you need to photograph a quiet animal, like an owl on a tree branch: you don’t need to take hundreds of pictures. Turn off the light immediately, until you need to shoot again or move around or find a better location.

6. Use a remote shutter release for nature photography at night.

Being able to control your camera remotely is an advantage, especially when taking nature photography at night. Hence the importance of using a shutter release so that your camera can be controlled remotely. In addition to being able to take pictures more easily, this will also be welcome for nocturnal species. You will be able to immortalize them without disturbing them since you will be able to take the picture from a hidden place, without producing movements that could distract them.

You can choose a trigger such as the Miops Smart, which has several activation options such as sound, light or laser and which, moreover, can be controlled from your smartphone. Really handy for nature photography at night. You can read more about the use of Miops Smart in this post of our blog.

Bonus tip: stay safe

As a nature photographer, your highest priority, even more important than making great pictures, must be your safety. Think about this before you go to the place where you are going to photograph. Make sure you have the necessary permits to be in the nature park you have chosen. And for your safety, it is always better to practice nature photography at night in a group and don’t forget to take all the necessary equipment with you.