Night Photography Settings

Last Updated on April 8, 2021

Without a doubt, night time photography is one of my favorite genres of all photography. I love grabbing my best camera for night photography and going outside in the Stillness of the night and taking pictures that capture the epicness of the night sky.

starry sky

Like most genres of photography, getting great pictures of the night sky take some practice and fine-tuning of your cameras settings. some even equate nighttime photography opposite of shooting landscape pics. So if you don’t get your settings right you just might not get that epic sky capture just how you wanted.

When you get your camera settings just right you’re going to have your aperture and your ISO and shutter speeds set to be ideal level for the night sky.

Night Photography Aperture Settings

Most photographers will use a narrow aperture for standard landscape pictures. And this makes sense as it helps  get sharpness front to back. But when shooting at night you will need a faster aperture than you do during the daytime.

if you want to take pictures with epic Clarity at night, you will need a wide-angle lens. A fast aperture of f/2.8  is popular loans utilized.

 ISO Settings

pine trees and starry sky

If you do not have an f/2.8  wide-angle lens you can still achieve great nighttime shots with an f/4 lens.

Because night time photography settings are quite different than you utilize during the day, a slow iso is going to be a much better setting as you have less noise and grain  During the day. But if you utilize the setting at night you’re just going to get nothing but blackness in your picture. In order to compensate for this you will need to utilize a high ISO. this means that the image sensor is going to be much much more sensitive to light making it much easier to capture stars and other celestial bodies. The trade-off is that this adds more noise and grain to your image.

Depending on how many nights guy bodies that emit light, you will want to adjust your ISO settings anywhere from 1600 up to 3200. you can play around with this and you may find that an ISO setting lower can still achieve great shots. I would not go any lower than 800 but feel free to experiment and see the results.

 Night Photography Shutter Speed

woman standing looking at starry sky

Shutter speed with night time photography can be a little tricky. If your shutter speed is too  slow then stars and other Bodies In The Sky can be quite blurry when shot. Now this can be used to your advantage if you wish to get star Trails, but this is done with an incredibly slow shutter speed of minutes. If your goal is to keep the stars in your shot clear and Chris you need to find the maximum shutter speed for your particular lens. Define this number for full-frame sensors, take 500 and just divide it by your focal length.  if you have a crop sensor then you take 300 and / your focal length instead. This number will be your maximum shutter speed that you can utilize that will make sure that all the stars in your shot are sharp and clear. If you want to experiment with different outcomes of Life of your Stars play around with your shutter speed but this is a great Anchor Point to start from.

With this baseline for night time photography settings you are well on your way to capturing some of those epic night sky pictures that are also fun to shoot. As with everything in photography feel free to experiment once you have all these basics down and see what your imagination in art and come to life with.