10 Easy Night Photography Subjects for Beginners
Night photography sounds like something only highly skilled and experienced photographers undertake. As a beginner, you might be daunted by the thought of photographing under meager light. Luckily, there are a couple of easy night photography subjects that you can practice as a novice.
If it’s your first time doing night photography, starting with a human subject can make things easier. The thing with doing portraits is that you can easily manipulate your subject to achieve the desired effect. All you need is a location, some direction, and a ton of creativity.
With the right position, location, and movement, your model can catch the available light that creates the effect you were aiming for. You can even experiment with different angles and settings to create artistic and out-of-the-ordinary outputs. You might also come across a technique that uniquely reflects your creative vision.
Another easy target is famous landmarks. It can be a museum, a big building, a monument, or a statue. These structures are often well-lit at night for aesthetic and security reasons. They look breathtaking in photographs and are simple enough to capture.
Another thing about landmarks is that they are not that difficult to find. Whether you’re only looking around in your own community or are visiting another city, finding a monument can be as simple as looking at a city map or a city directory. You can hop around landmarks and capture each one that you like. You can start off with the classic frontal shot, and then work your way out on different angles to see what effect it has on the image.
Another favorite among night time photographers is city lights. The sheer visual appeal of city lights comes collectively from buildings, streets, cars, signs, and other sources of urban light. Overviews are breathtaking and capture an image from a bird’s eye view.
A skyline is also a brilliant way to outline the cityscapes against the night sky. The outline of buildings coupled with lighted windows against the pitch-black darkness may feel a bit cliche as many artists go for this look. However, exploring this type of imagery as a beginner can help you develop your skills and artistic trademark as you get to know yourself better as a photographer.
The night sky
What better subject for night photography than the night sky itself? You might argue that all night sky photographs look the same with the stars and the moon. However, with a bit of creativity, you can make stunning images out of it. Besides, night skies can differ a lot depending on your location and the weather. Try experimenting with shooting from different places, in different situations, and different seasons. You might be surprised just how unique your outputs are.
Roads, streets, and pathways
In cities and communities, you can rarely find a road or pathway without street lights. Street lights provide a distinct aura that is immediately evident in night street photography. At the same time, roads can vary greatly depending on the location, traffic, and amount of light.
A busy downtown street can be bustling with neon signs and give off a fast-paced commercial vibe. Full highways can bless you with the bright headlights of oncoming traffic and red tail lights of vehicles going the other way. Quiet walkways such as those in parks can exude either a romantic allure or a spooky and solitary feeling.
Follow that road far enough, and it might just lead you to a bridge. Bridges are one of those structures that are always well-lit. You don’t need to have a Golden Gate or Tower Bridge to get great images of bridges. Any well-lit bridge can transform into beautiful imagery when captured with great thought and creativity.
Plants and trees
Nature might be the last thing on your mind when you think of doing night photography. After all, flowers and trees look most vibrant and beautiful under bright and natural sunlight. However, if you take the time and effort to shoot them at night, you might be surprised that they can be just as beautiful too.
Tree outlines, leaves, and stems can look very different at night compared to how they “normally” look during the day. They tend to have an eerie charm when captured in the dim. You can create poignant portraits of nature when you photograph them at night.
Just like monuments, fountains are usually well-lit at night. The difference with fountains is that it creates movement along with the light. On top of that, they can come in different neon colors that look like dancing rainbows. Although fountains have moving components, they are still reasonably easy to shoot since the fountains themselves are stationary. Try different techniques to capture the light and the moving water to achieve different effects.
If a festival is coming up and you’re up for a challenge, why not attempt shooting fireworks? It does not only potentially produce beautiful images, but it is also a fun shooting activity if you want some excitement and action with your photography session.
The key to shooting fireworks is timing. You might just get a couple of good shots on your first try if you have quick hands. Try out different shutter speeds and take some advice from veteran photographers on shooting fireworks.
Finally, if you’re shooting fireworks, chances are, there might be a carnival nearby. The busy movement and wild lights can easily translate noise into imagery. This is an even trickier feat to accomplish for budding photographers as different components of the scene move in different paces. In this type of setting, you can have adequate practice with the right mix of exposure and shutter speed.
To learn more about night photography and improve your overall photography skills, take this Night Photography Masterclass from Skill Success. It involves techniques, composition, camera settings, and even post-processing tutorials to improve your night photography images.