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Nightscape Photography Techniques

This page has nighttime photos of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Las Vegas, Nevada, Cusco, Peru, Detroit, Michigan, Quebec, Canada, Death Valley, California, Giza, Egypt, Saguaro National Park, Arizona, Joshua Tree National Park, California, and Seville Spain. See these night-time photos using the Slideshow below.


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nightscape photo of the Detroit skyline with lights reflected on the Detroit River
Detroit At Night
This nightscape photo of the Detroit skyline was taken from across the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

nightscape photo of Amsterdam with lights reflected on a canal
Amsterdam at Night
This is a nightscape photo of Amsterdam - a great city! Easy to explore entirely by foot, but also with an excellent mass transit system. And perfectly safe to roam at night - even while carrying expensive camera gear.

nightscape photo of the Paris Las Vegas Resort
Las Vegas #1247
Las Vegas with all of its many colored lights makes for great opportunities for nightscape photography.

nightscape photo of the moon rising over the desert of Death Valley in California
Moonrise Over Death Valley
While hiking back from distant sand dunes after sunset in Death Valley, I witnessed this beautiful moonrise.

a night time photo of an Amsterdam canal
Canals at Night #3033
The canals of Amsterdam offer great opportunities for nightscape photography. The lights of the bridges and streets reflect beautifully off the calm waters of the canals.

a photo of the Detroit skyline at night as seen from Windsor, Ontario
Detroit At Night #2
This night time skyline of Detroit was photographed from across the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

photo of the Paris Las Vegas Resort at night
Las Vegas #1248
This nightscape photo of Las Vegas was taken near the Paris Las Vegas Resort and Casino.

photo of statues in Rembrandt Square at night in Amsterdam
Rembrandt Square
This photo of the statues at Rembrandt Square in Amsterdam was taken just after sunset.

photo of The Dam in Amsterdam at night
The Dam at Night
This nightscape photo of Amsterdam was taken near the area known as "The Dam", named for the dam that was built on the Amstel River in the 13th century.

photo showing the lights of the Magere Bridge in Amsterdam at night
Magere Bridge
The Magere Bridge is illuminated by hundreds of lights at night time.

night time photo of the fountain in Cusco, Peru
Cusco At Night
This is a night time photograph of the fountain located in the Plaza de Armas of Cusco, Peru.

photo of a sunset over Lake Michigan near Holland, Michigan
Lake Michigan Sunset
This is a photo of a sunset looking out over Lake Michigan from Holland, Michigan.

photo of horseback riders at sunset near the pyramids of Giza in Egypt
Riders at Sunset
Horseback riders on a ridge of sand dunes near the great pyramids at Giza, Egypt.

a sunset photo of a Saguaro Cactus in Arizona
Saguaro Sunset
The majestic Saguaro Cactus in profile during a sunset at Saguaro National Park in Arizona.

sunset photo of a Joshua Tree in California
Joshua Tree Sunset
Joshua trees backlit by a sunset at Joshua Tree National Park.

night photo of the Carcassonne Castle
Carcassonne Castle at Night #6790
See more day and night photos of Carcassonne, France here.

night photo of the Chateau de Frontenac in Quebec
Chateau Frontenac #3325
The Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, Canada is lit at night so it's possible to enjoy its beauty even after dark. More Quebec City photos can be seen at the Quebec Photos page.

photo of the Seville Cathedral at night
Seville Cathedral At Night #0678
See more daytime and nighttime photos of Seville, Spain here.




First, remember that the camera's light meter is designed to provide exposure for 18% gray. This means that any scene darker than an average - for example, a typical nighttime scene - will yield an overexposed photo if using the camera's meter. The camera wants to convert that dark scene to a lighter "18% gray". So, not only will a night scene be overexposed when photographing it using a typical light meter, but the point sources of lights - such as lights on buildings - will also be overexposed to the point of being totally burnt out. The solution to this problem is to use the light meter to measure exposure and then shoot the scene with exposure compensation or set the camera to manual exposure and underexpose the scene relative to the meter reading. For a dark night scene, try starting with two full f-stops less exposure and adjust accordingly from there. For good night time photos, keep your ASA setting low. To accomodate the necessarily long shutter speeds, a tripod is a must. This, of course, means that any moving objects in the photo will be blurred. To prevent camera motion during long exposures, we recommend using a remote shutter release. Further camera stability can be achieved by exposures that use the camera's mirror lockup function.

Beam Carvings in Mirepoix, France

Paris, France Sculpture Photos



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TheWorldinLight Photographic Gallery
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All photographs are the property of Robert Stephens and TheWorldinLight Photographic Gallery. Unauthorized reproduction or use is prohibited by US copyright law.