©Wolfgang Kaehler

Night Photography



Whenever you open a magazine or travel brochure, you can be sure that you will find a night photo published. If done right, night photography always catches the eye of the viewer. What is the trick to get impressive night photos? The best night shots are actually not taken at night, they are taken at twilight when there is still ambient light present.


Let’s say if you take a photo of a city skyline in total darkness, the contrast between the city lights and the dark sky and buildings is way too high. The cameras can’t cope with such a high contrast and you probably will be unhappy with the result.

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At night (with no ambient light) if you meter for the shadows, the highlights are being overexposed and the shadows would be underexposed if you meter for the highlights.


Most of my night photos I take right after sunset. The ambient light still illuminates everything not lit by artificial lights and gives me some details in the shadows. Many times the sky turns into a beautiful purple or cobalt blue which adds color to your photo.

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You are going to have long exposures, so a sturdy tripod is a must. When releasing the shutter a wire release is necessary to avoid any camera shake. To avoid a vibration I also flip the mirror up before I release the shutter.


Any questions?  Please use the comment box below and I will answer.

Upcoming Workshops and Photo Tours:

May 20-22, 2011 Orcas Island Weekend Workshop;

June 18-24, 2011 Palouse Workshop;

July 4-20, 2011 Brazil & Pantanal;

November 8-21, 2011 Patagonia;

December 9-19, Antarctica;

Sept. 2012 Madagascar;

I am teaching several one day advanced photo workshops for the Digital Photo Academy in Seattle. For more information please check my website at:


For more photos please visit:  www.wkaehlerphoto.com

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