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Shooting Photos at Night with Max Seigal

Having received second prize for a photo in the National Geographic Traveler 2013 photo contest, Max Seigal has earned himself a reputation for excellence in the industry. His-prize winning photograph is a show of splendor and overwhelming uniqueness that leaves the viewer wishing for the skill involved in such photography. I am simply baffled at the incredible beauty he captured here.


Seigal has produced an array of gorgeous shots, a number of which were taken at night like his award-winning shot. I’d like to introduce you to some of these amazing pieces of art and then give you a few tips on taking your own nighttime photos.


Seigal’s Late Nights Blog Post


If you look on his blog, you’ll find a recent post about his nighttime photoshoots. With the stars twinkling and the moon shining, he’s found a niche in capturing the magnificent aura of the evening. Using exposure skills and other techniques, Max Seigal has mastered this area of photography. I want to use his pictures as the standard to explain a few of these techniques.


How to Take Photographs at Night


Taking perfect pictures after dark doesn’t happen by accident. There are a few tools you’ll need and a couple things to keep in mind, the first of which is this:





This is the most important aspect of night photography to keep in mind. I know that sounds bizarre, but it’s true. The goal is to let in enough light so that the picture is bright enough while also capturing the beauty unique to nighttime. This is primarily done by increasing the exposure time on your camera. This allows more light to reach the lens, brightening the picture.


Now, the only way you’ll be able to capture pictures like these is to use an SLR camera of reasonable quality, but from there you’ll still need these extras:


  • Tripod - Taking a good photo in the dark is all about the light. In order to get the lens enough light, you’ll need to increase exposure time. However, with the shutter open longer to let more light in, it’s never been more important to keep the camera steady. That’s why a tripod is so critical to nighttime photography.
  • Cable release or wireless remote - This is one more element of keeping your camera steady. These tools both allow you to take a shot without wiggling your camera at all. Less wiggle means better results.
  • Manual mode - You can’t count on your camera being able to automatically take a nice shot in the dark. Adjust your setting manually for best results.


These are just a few basic tricks for nighttime photography. Perhaps better than any tips is the inspiration of Max Seigal’s epic photos!


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