Night Photography Question
I just watched a youtube video from the guy about how to handle night shots. Of course he recommended using a tripod, using a timer/remote/cable-release to trip the shutter, and turning off IS - all standard advice I have heard before..

He also recommended a wide open aperture. Why would this be necessary with a tripod, when you could just set a longer exposure time instead? Wouldn't you lose DOF?..

Comments (5)

If depth of field is not an issue, having a large aperture will reduce the exposition time, thus the risk of long esxposure noise..

But I agree with you, if you need the DOF, then you have no choice.Claude Carrier..

Comment #1

There are no rules. The aperture used needs to match YOUR desired outcome. Generally speaking, night shots tend to be of generally non-moving subjects. If so, then stopping down for sharpness and DOF would usually be desired. If there are trees and it's a little windy, you might prefer to open up to raise your shutter a bit, but like as not you won't be able to shoot fast enough to stop that motion and still be able to see anything..

My night shooting starts at f8 and adjusts as needed for effect..


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Comment #2

Czeglin wrote:.

He also recommended a wide open aperture. Why would this be necessarywith a tripod, when you could just set a longer exposure timeinstead? Wouldn't you lose DOF?.

I suppose that depends on your subject. Certainly for dimly-lit interiors, where it is already too dim to shoot hand-held, I would use a tripod and suitable aperture for depth of field, even when that means even longer exposure times..

But night shots for me typically are outdoor street scenes where DOF is not very important, as the entire subject is quite distant. At any rate, there is a risk of noise build-up during long exposures. Some cameras offer dark frame subtraction which can cancel out some or all of the noise, at the expense of waiting time while the camera carries out this process..

Sadly, this is one respect in which digital sensors don't mimic film. Film begins recording light from the moment it is manufactured until the time it is processed. That could be an interval of several years. Digital sensors don't yet have that sort of capability.Regards,Peter..

Comment #3

It will also depend what lens you are using of course. If 'wide open' = f3.5 or f4 and you're using a focal length of say 18mm then you will have fairly good DOF anyway - certainly sufficient for most street scenes at night..

Confused of Malvern.

'The greatest fool can ask more than the wisest man can answer'..

Comment #4

You don't always want to keep the shutter speed to a minimum as the effects of a longer exposure can be interesting.....


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Comment #5

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