Night Landscapes for Beginners

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

I have returned from Walt Disney World and I have lots of new photos to share with you all in upcoming blogs. Based on the feedback you gave Barrie, Scott, and myself in the survey, I will go over the topics you requested to learn more about. Let’s get this party started. C’mon!

There are icons on every point and shoot camera dedicated to night landscapes . night%20landscape.jpg.gif This mode may be found on a dial, in a menu or under the title, scene. What it does is slow down the shutter allowing light in for a longer amount of time than it would normally. Since the shutter is open longer, any movement will cause the image to be blurred. While you may think you are holding still, the fact that you are breathing means that you are moving and so is your camera. The best ways to shoot a night landscape is to use a tripod, set your camera down on something flat and stable and if available, use a remote.

What should you use this mode for? Scenic landscapes, architecture, and people but only if you want a blurred effect. When shooting with the night landscape mode keep in mind that any lights will look as though they are glowing brighter and you may see streaks.

Here are some examples for you. These were all shot with the Nikon Coolpix 7600 on Night Landscape. I was without a tripod so I set the camera on the balcony railing of the Grand Floridian and kept the wrist strap wrapped around my wrist in case of any mishaps.

I tilted the camera down so the center was on sand, pavement or plantlife and pressed the shutter button down halfway as to lock in the autofocus and without lifting my finger, gently put the camera back down and pushed the button all the way to take the photo.

You do not have control over ISO, shutter speed or aperture when using this mode and not all cameras will shoot with the same specs as this one did. I was able to check each photo once they were loaded onto my computer and see what the Nikon Coolpix 7600 shot at.

7600_grand_fl_lake.JPG
f2.8, 1 sec., ISO 200, Pattern Metering
7600_grand_fl_beach_chairs.JPG
f2.8, .83 sec., ISO 200, Pattern Metering
7600_grand_fl_pool.JPG
f2.8, 1/2 sec., ISO 200, Pattern Metering

Each shot has a different shutterspeed according to how much or how little lighting the camera’s meter recognized. Notice the blurred people walking in the last shot? Unsuspecting models. Muah ha ha ha haaaa.

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