Late Night Photography

Doing some late night photography lead to something I almost never do: using a tripod.

Taking out the trash late one night, I noticed the (nearly) full moon shining down on my backyard and felt inspired to take some photos.

I knew that I wanted to shoot at a lower ISO (for better image quality) and higher aperture (for more depth of field), so the only way to do that was to use a tripod to keep the camera steady for exposures that would be up to 30 seconds long.

I spent about 30 minutes shooting, came inside to check out my photos on the computer and realized I had left my camera set to JPG and not changed it back to RAW. Dammit!

Why does that matter? Well, RAW is an uncompressed image file that offers better quality. This is especially noticeable when shooting things like deep shadows at nighttime. So I went back out to get my primary shot again.

This also gave me a chance to compare the two images side-by-side to see if I could tell the difference. And I definitely can! Can you? Look at the two images below that are cropped in close to see detail.

Night Photography: Color vs. Black & White

Also, all RAW images are color, so I ended up with a color version that I didn’t have initially because I had the camera set to black & white. I think the tones in the color image are nice, but interestingly, because this was photographed at night, the black & white looks closer to what I saw in the moment of taking the photo.

Related Posts

Here are a couple posts about other things I shot at or near the homestead.

Author: Zach Dobson

Zach Dobson is a documentary and commercial photographer based in Indianapolis. He holds a degree in journalism from Indiana University with a concentration in photography. Since starting his business in 2006, Zach has focused on documenting people’s lives and businesses in action. Zach’s client list includes the Indiana Pacers, Coca-Cola, the AARP, ZipCar, Indiana University, Visit Bloomington, Hamilton County Tourism, Land O’Lakes, RIOT LA Comedy Festival, Indianapolis Public Schools, Indiana High School Athletic Association. Zach is a Professional Member of the American Society of Media Photographers [ASMP]. He resides in Carmel, Ind. with his wife and business partner, Courtney, and their five children.

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