Technical Aspects of Night Photography

Jurgen Lobert gave an image-rich and information-packed presentation on night photography at our January 23, 2018 Technical Series meeting. He went over equipment and techniques, with specific recommendations, and examples of the kinds of images you can make at different locations. Some of the main take-aways:

  • White Balance can be challenging with varied light sources in the image, and it is helpful to at least get close 'in camera'. This may involve trial and error. Read about this on Jurgen's website.
  • Use your RGB histogram. With richly colored lights in an image it is very possible for one of the color channels to be saturated while the overall 'average' histogram looks fine.
  • Use your 'blinkies' to highlight blown-out pixels so you can adjust as needed.
  • Use low ISO for lowest noise and highest dynamic range, select f-number for artistic choice, and adjust exposure time as needed.
  • Test exposure by the technique of High ISO Preview. Set the ISO at 6400, experiment to find a good exposure (in seconds), then switch to ISO 100 and adjust the exposure time to minutes - 1 second at ISO 6400 translates to 1 minute at ISO 100. Read about this on Jurgen's website.

You can download Jurgen's list of equipment and settings at

There is of course lots more! You can find more info at Jurgen's blog page and via the list of resources on Jurgen's web site, where you can see a variety of his images. If you want to get out to shoot with him, Jurgen also runs the Greater Boston Night Photographers meetup group.