5 Creative Night Photography Ideas for Beginners

Light trails such as traffic is one of our night photography ideas for beginners

As we all are aware, photography is entirely related to light and shadow. The phrase "painting with light" has often been used to refer to photography. There is something really different about low level and night lighting that such a large number of photographers strive to shoot in.

In this article, we take you through some creative night photography ideas for beginners and experts alike.

Beginners are at a stage where it is very difficult for them to find some inspiration. Experts or regular night photographers sometimes also need new inspiration, or an awareness to try out the basics again, so to make things easy for you, we are here with five awesome tips.

Light trails

Once you start getting more specific to night photography ideas for beginners, you will find light trails among the list of most fascinating ones. The right way to do it is by slowing down the shutter speed of your camera so as to create long exposure. The long exposure in these photos ensures the formation of long light streaks in the photo.

Here are some fine tips to make the light trails phenomenal.

  • You have to keep the object in focus all the time. You can do it very easily by keeping the aperture between f/8 to f/11.
  • The ISO needs to be at the lowest possible value. Keeping it at or around ISO 100 would work the best.
  • The ideal value of shutter speed in this case lies somewhere between 1/10th to 1/40th of a second. You may choose any value in between based on your specific needs.

There is a large number of values lying in between the specified range. You will need multiple trials to choose the perfect setting for a given condition. Make sure you shoot these images in RAW to get a detailed photo. Apart from that, RAW photos are very convenient for post-processing.

Don't forget to use a tripod in this case because slow shutter speeds are very sensitive to the slightest motion. It is almost impossible to shoot better photos at slow shutter speed while holding the camera in your hands.

You can use any moving light source, such as the traffic in our main image on this post, or someone with a torch, a ferris wheel, planes, and the like.

Want to earn money from your hobby?


Sign up free as a Stockphoto.com contributor today!

Capture the city lights

City lights with the blazing night sky above are the best portrayal of nightlife in the field of photography. When you are on the hunt for the best shots in the night, having a camera with a larger sensor, high ISO abilities, and a wide aperture lens works as an advantage.

In order to get it done more conveniently, reach the destination around the sunset so that you can easily set things up. Being in the manual mode is necessary for this category.

New York and London-like cities are not the only places for capturing the best night shots. You can shoot the best photos in almost any urban area around the world. All you need is a spot lying somewhere outside the city that gives a nice view.

Sit there for a while and observe. If you want to capture the life of the city, just get on the streets and start shooting photos. There is much more to know in terms of night photography ideas for beginners. Let's get to the next one. 

Silhouettes work better

Silhouettes are already quite popular as you simply portray the outline of the subject. The subject is mostly black in all cases and there is a light coming from the background. Things can be really interesting when you are doing it at night.

Set the light source just behind the subject and place your camera at the right angle. Doing things here in the manual mode gives you enough control over what you are doing. You can have a look at some of the popular photos of this category for more inspiration.

The ability to do it indoors easily makes it one of the best night photography ideas for beginners.

Creative night photography of fireworks and lake

Fire and fireworks

Fire is one of the most amazing things you could capture in the night. Whether you are camping with your friends or you are feeling comfy near the fireplace indoors with the family, you can get amazing results. Fire has varying and deep emotions associated with it.

There are several ways to portray fire in association with a person or anything else to express some emotion. Apart from all that, the beauty of fire in the night when captured rightly is just surreal. When a subject is a person, make sure they are active or doing something to get the best candid effects.

Now comes another interesting thing in our list i.e. fireworks. Doing so is now easier as fireworks are used a lot rather than just on occasions. There is nothing that works better than fireworks when it comes to getting colourful and vivid shots in the night. Having your shutter speed in between 1/15th to 1/20th of a second works the best.

You don’t have to make arrangements for it on your own. Just have a look at the calendar to find the events like this. Then all you need is your gear and patience. You can buy small sparklers to learn the basics in your home. The best thing about capturing nice shots of sparklers is they will teach you a lot about light and its movements.

You need a guide or a little bit of research online. Get your camera on long exposure settings and start the journey. No matter how many times you have visited that place in the daytime, you will be mesmerised by its beauty in the nighttime.

Such tourist attractions are meant to grab people’s attention. They are well-illuminated at night hence adding more to their already beautiful looks. Keep on doing it very often and you will learn the art of incorporating more diversity in the photo like kids running around it, etc.

Final words

Though it is not all it is enough to serve as the best set of nighttime photography ideas for beginners. Photography is more about applying than learning. Books, articles, etc. will give knowledge only but you need to apply these techniques to develop skills.

Grab your gear and step out in the night whenever possible, it is going to be a wonderful journey.


About the Author

Andrew Conway is an amateur photographer and keen writer. Andrew is in his last year of his Journalism degree in University.