April 2021 // The Travel Edition

The Best Settings for Night Photography | Jennifer Wu

COMPOSITION

Scout your shooting location during the day. Look for interesting foreground elements like trees, mountains, boulders and bodies of water. Take some test shots to determine what focal length you like the best and the ideal camera location. This will eliminate the need to take test shots at night when you won’t be able to see as well and when it can be much colder. Photograph the foreground and a large area of the sky in your test shots. The foreground provides a sense of scale to the Milky Way. In addition, it creates a grounded feeling in the image.

settings: f11 @ 1/125 iso 100

This behind-the-scenes shot shows what the trees looked like during the day. I scouted locations in daylight and by using apps I was able to easily locate where the Milky Way would be at night. Then I composed some test images to find where I wanted to return to at night. I photographed these trees with 35mm and I imagined them as silhouettes, noticing their shape against the sky. Photographed at Bryce Canyon, Utah, f/11, 1/125 second, ISO 100, EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

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