Capturing the Atmosphere in Night Photos


One of the changes coming with my «new» blog this year will be a complete new layout. This is still work in progress. However in addition, throughout the year, I will add new features to my blog, and today I introduce one of them.

Every so often, I will publish practical tips about how to get better photos. This blog, though, is mostly about creativity and although it’s based on my approach to photography I hope it have relevance to other creative disciplines as well. Thus, very concrete tips on shooting don’t really belong here. Instead, I will post them on the educational blog for Blue Hour Photo Workshops and only make a reference with a link here on In Flow.

This is the first tip I will present this way:

When you want to capture photos in the night, there is in particular one thing you should be aware of. Obviously everything is going to be darker and thus you would most likely need to use a tripod or at least amp up the ISO-setting significantly. Otherwise, the captured photo will be very blurry—which of course can be used creatively if that’s your intention.

However, what I really have in mind is quite something different. Look up this super advise for better night photos.

On a different note: As announced a couple of times I will draw a winner who will be able to participate in my online photo workshop «Finding Your Photographic Voice» later in May. The deadline is now passed and the drawing will take place later this week. The winner will be announced in my blog post on Monday.


53 thoughts on “Capturing the Atmosphere in Night Photos

  1. Otto, I love night images … sometimes I’m lucky – if I take my time and not rush. And Prague is one of my favourite cities for me and my camera. Going to Budapest this month and I have been told it’s even more beautiful. Love old cities in winter and hopefully, I will find some snow there.
    You always deliver stunning images.

  2. I don’t get to indulge in photography like I used to, but I still hope to one day, so I appreciate your tips. And as always, I love seeing your photographs. Thank you!

  3. I like the way you included the full tip on your other page — and a good tip, it was. The photo above is remarkable for the varieties of light it contains. I can count at least five colors and intensities of light, and yet everything works together nicely. It’s an intriguing image.

  4. The photograph is great, and so are the tips for taking pics at night… Look forward to the new layout and more from you, dear Otto… All the best! 😀

  5. Regardless of how you format your blog, Otto, I will always appreciate your thoughtful advice — and your beautiful images to back it up. Thank you for this tip.

  6. Excellent post, Otto. Night photography is a challenge but I find it a thrill when there are good results. Your image is wonderful. Looking forward to future tips from you. Thanks.

  7. I think this is a great idea, Otto. I especially love tutorials like this and I make notes in my book and save the posts. I feel a bit frustrated because I was not able to bring my tripod to Norway this time. I wanted to make some long exposure shots on the riverside at night time so I’ll have to push my creativity or do something else. 🙂
    I’m sure your new layout will look stunning!
    Ha det bra.

  8. Good evening Otto,
    20:40, you noticed that I had relaunched a blog WP, which will be the blog mirror, Blog Blogger of Google, launched January 7.
    I intend to analyze the two products, step by step.
    Thanks for your visit.

  9. Soooo you are going to change your layout hmm? Mine used to change all the time! but the layout i have now, i had to pay for, and so i keep it around 🙂 Good luck finding the perfect layout! I’m off to your night photography page!

      1. i was reading a book that said to change your problems in life to ones you don’t mind solving 🙂 and for me, changing my web presence was a problem i didn’t mind solving lol but that could be ‘just me’ 🙂

  10. Hello, Otto. This is your not-so-smart student… I was so happy when I read this post because I want to start doing some night shootings. But when I tried this, it didn’t work quite as well. If I focus on the sky, the foreground would be totally dark, but if I focus on the foreground, the sky wasn’t quite good. What have I missed? Maybe my timing was wrong? I mean I took the photo a little too early of the day?
    Thank you for all the great articles. I don’t comment often, but enjoy reading all.
    Have a wonderful day.

    1. First of all, I don’t agree with your characteristic of yourself. As for you attempt on using my advise, it sounds like there is to much contrast between the sky and the foreground, that is, the sky is too bright in relation to the foreground. So, yes, you might well be out shooting too early. You would normally try to shoot these kinds of night photos just before the night sky turns black. Otherwise it won’t look like a night shot. So give it another try a little later in the evening, and let me know how it works. Or send me the photo, which makes it easier for me to see why it didn’t work.

      1. Thanks, Otto. Tried again tonight and it worked! Thank you so much. The timing window is not big though. I kept staring at the sky and waiting for that moment 😉
        There are so much for me to learn, but one thing for sure is that I have found my photographic voice. And I thank you for that!

  11. Otto, nice image for sure. It interesting how the blue hour and night images have become very popular these days, especially with the advancement of the ability of camera sensors. I conduct several night workshops myself that seem to fill up right away. Thanks for your contributions.

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