Wednesday, December 15, 2010

HOW TO Night Shoot

I suppose I should introduce myself, I'm Shaunna from Captivus Living I'm the newest "lady" amongst the ladies, and I'm honored. I was so excited when Paper Mama asked me to join them, perhaps too excited that it was obvious... So here I am! You can find out more about me here if you're interested.

My first post will be somewhat simple--indoor night shooting. 

What you will need:

(if you want really sharp night shots, but if you can stabilize your hand somewhere then you might not need this).
An idea.
A setting (obviously).

Alrighty then....

Here are some I took in my daughter's bed one night, messing around, being a dork with her nighty nite light Sea Turtle... 

My idea & setting?
The Sea Turtle Night Light that illuminates stars out it's shell and onto my daughter's ceiling in her room--and shoving my face right there.

My camera?
My Canon 7D that my daughter still keeps asking to use and play with, evening during this little spontaneous shoot. 

What I did...
I did NOT use a tripod for the above shots. I rested my hand on the bed to stabilize it while giving my setting a low shutter speed. Speaking of settings, the setting I started out with was this:

Screen shot courtesy of Lightroom 3

Horrible ISO! I know.

Now, a low shutter speed is better to have than a higher ISO because of the noise that you will get in your images with the high ISO. However, it all depends on keeping your camera steady for that low shutter. As you see in my settings, my ISO was somewhat high, but with my 7D I can do that because it is known to have GREAT ISO power, but I still do not like to use it high.

Just mess with your shutter speed and remember that the lower/slower the shutter speed, the better/sharper the shot will be for night shots IF you have the camera steady.

Don't turn on any other light in the room if you have an object like this [the turtle]. I wanted the stars to be the main focus/source of light.

I moved my hand behind the turtle and rested it on the bed/covers. It was firmly positioned there and very stable; therefore, I was able to get a somewhat of a sharp shot with my shutter setting. I was guessing and hoping that my face would be in the shot, LOL. It takes practice, but eventually you know where to point the lens to make sure you capture what you want.

As for the editing that I did in Photoshop CS5, I used a free sample action called Lemon & Honey in the Sweet Treats collection from Paint the Moon. It brightened up the shot even more.

Here are some great, helpful sites to learn more on night shooting and/or tripod setup if you choose that route:


  1. I'm so glad you've joined the group - you're a genius with your creative shoots and I'm so looking forward to your content. Love it!

  2. I want to get better at shooting in-doors with less light. I'm never happy with how they look at times! Thanks for the tips!

  3. Very nice tutorial! I've been wanting to play with night shooting. I love these star photos of you.

  4. I love the way the stars look on your face; very cool!

  5. Great job on these low-light self-portraits. Very creative.

  6. Good job on this! You made it very simple and easy to understand. While I've messed with shots like this before, it's always nice to know how someone else does theirs and to have the reminder to play around - it's ok! :)

    And I love all the colorful stars!

  7. Great job! Thanks for the thorough explanation! :)


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