How To Tuesday #27 - Long Exposure Night Photography - MORE Tricks of the Trade / by Zack Smith


Membership Has it's Privelages!

Congratulations! By being faithful followers of this How To Tuesday blog thread, you are the first to know about a slew of NEW photography workshops offered RIGHT NOW on my Workshop Page. Before we get into this week's HTT which is all about long exposure photography, you can jump on over to the workshops if you like. Thank you again for following this blog and I hope you are learning from it. Be sure to sign up for the workshop that works for YOU...there's really nothing like a hands on, fun filled learning experience with a Zack Smith Photography Workshop!

Click the Links to Learn More!

July 4th : Firework Photography Workshop - learn how to capture those bursting balls of colors with the City of New Orleans as your background! Space is running out!

July 23rd : NOLA@Night - French Quarter/City Parkour most popular workshop, New Orleans night photography in the historic French Quarter and majestic oaks of City Park with me as your guide and a group of creative, eager shooters!

August 20th : Art of the Photographic Portrait - learn to use natural and artificial light photographing professional models at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art. This is a 1st time course and will fill up fast! Learn how to pose, edit, and use first hand all of the gear needed to make your best portraits!

One on One Tutorials with Zack Smith - do you need more help? Sign up with Zack for a One on One video tutorial to answer your specific questions and get more out of your photography!


Simple techniques to navigate the Night


Who doesn't love great long exposure night photography? I can speak for myself, I love looking at it and I love making it happen. There's an unexplainable joy that comes from creative night photography. I have been teaching New Orleans longest running Night Photography course called NOLA @ Night since 2002 and each outing reveals something totally different and exciting. Why do you think I still teach it!?


From the multicolor subtleties that exist in the dying of the light, to the glow of civil twilight I am perplexed and in awe at each sunset. As the city lights fight off the day you can see there's a new sheriff in town as the hum of the human night sky wins over the glow of twilight.


A Few must have's to get the Best Night Shots

Go HERE to learn some initial pointers for shooting at Night in How To Tuesday #8....

1. Location Scouting Beforehand - All of my best night photography is planned. I rarely walk around with all of my gear "hoping" to find a good composition. Over the years I have taken the time to find the best places to shoot at night because there are so many factors that play into a good night photography. Background, light, location of the sunset, location of streetlights and much more. These factors will play into your shots later one when the sun sets, and knowing where they are before can help speed the process of location selections.

+ Pick Your Location/Subject

+ If you want BLUE/dark behind your subject at Twilight, then your back must be to the setting sun. If you want more REDS/yellow, then your subject should be west facing

+ Spot our your street lights and lamp posts. These will NOT be on during the day, but at night they could take over your shot and cause lens flare (SEE HTT#8)

2. Using Speed Lights - I like to think of long exposure photography as making a mini-movie with a still shot. You have thirty seconds to multiple minutes to create, carve, and cast your light and shadows around a single. No matter what you do sometimes, you have compositions with varying degrees of Exposure Values, meaning: there are some areas that receive too much light and some that don't get enough. You can combat this by using a hand held flash (even battery powered studio strobes!) to illuminate the shadow areas. Try this a few times by setting your camera on it's self timer to give you time to walk to the shadow area.

Photo by Elodie Chaubert NOLA @ Night participant

Photo by Elodie Chaubert NOLA @ Night participant

Photo by Bryce El - NOLA @ Night participant

Photo by Bryce El - NOLA @ Night participant

3. Bring a Friend and have an Adventure - the best thing about photographing at night is that no two nights are the same. The sun will set differently, the trees and the city will respond in a way you never imagined. This is a good opportunity to bring a fellow photographer with you to be your second shooter, lighting guru, or just to have someone to enjoy the journey. As always, be aware of your surroundings at all times: watch for cars at night and don't venture off to areas you are not 100% familiar with. When you are constantly behind the camera, your wits aren't exactly in the right place - bring a friend!

I hope this blog post gets you excited and interested in taking my NOLA @ Night French Quarter and City Park Workshop! Click the link to learn more!