Night photography – beautiful images, new ways of seeing

Night image, night introduction.

Taking photos at night is interesting. Photographers normally deal with light. Night photographers deal with the lack of it. Everything is done in minutes, not 100ths seconds. Understanding night photography takes a new approach to dealing with light.

What is it all about?

Instead of working with the instant click-and-capture of light, night photographers manufacture light pools over many minutes. These light pools are often created by simple sweeps of a torch or the use of several lights over several minutes. By sweeping and re-sweeping the light intensifies. The camera picks up a building emphasis of light in the areas of the sweeps. Sweep many times and the final exposure in that sweep radius becomes bright. Lesser areas where the sweeps are few, or the light has just spilled are much darker.

The low light intensity over long times adds up to a full exposure in the lit areas which rapidly falls off to the dark of the surrounding night. This sort of light dark contrast leads to some striking imagery. However, we see things which are unlike our everyday experience. The result is both unworldly and at the same time a fascinating insight to our own world.

The video documents a Night Photography Workshop at Big Bend in West Texas led by photographers Scott Martin and Lance Keimig. In the film the leaders and their students create images of desert places. Some stunning shots are produced in the lights of the night photographers.

The video is six and a half minutes long. And, after the video some news about a forthcoming attraction…

Night Photography: Finding your way in the dark from Mark & Angela Walley on Vimeo. Made by

Sparks will fly!

The post on Friday will be a guest post from photographer Steve Maidwell. His website is He is very interested in night photography. The tutorial is about some great night photography effects. Make sure you have time to read that one!

Steve has done a tutorial for us once before. You can find the previous tutorial here: Creating a Fake Smoke Effect. Enjoy!

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