I am starting to LOVE night-time photography!
I was always under the impression it was “too difficult” and I would have to use a flash (which I hate) – but I tried it when I was in Dubai, and now I am thoroughly HOOKED!
Last night, I took my dear Hubby to a slap-up dinner at Monte Casino, in Fourways Johannesburg, in exchange for his body-guard duties and patience while I indulged myself in some outdoor shots of the beautiful Casino and Hotel complex (which Glenn was partially responsible for building about 10 years ago.) Glenn is a Landscape Architect and a Director of Landmark Studios. He was involved with the fountains, gardens and lighting of the Casino. I am very proud of him – the place is stunning 🙂
The entrance to Monte casino:
Once inside, you are instantly “in Tuscany.” The complex is inside a huge warehouse structure, with buildings that imitate Florentine architecture to the “T” – right down to washing strung across balconies (even bloomers, bras and a g-string!), pigeons nesting on ledges, dozens of Italian restaurants, and a “sky” full of stars. The detail is truly impressive!….
My favourite part of Monte Casino is the outdoor (for real) Piazza, with its fountains:
On the hour, every half-hour, visitors are treated to the beautiful musical fountain, accompanied by Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, or some other dramatic piece of music:
We wandered back across the road to the Pivot hotel and office complex, which was another one of Glenn and Landmark Studios’ beautiful projects.
In case you’re curious about that tall glass and steel structure, here’s a close-up:
And, in an alcove, this statue entitled “Autumn”:
Getting good night-time shots is really pretty simple. Here are a few tips:
- Use a good, sturdy tripod. Hand-held will not work at exposures shorter than about 1/40th of a second, and even then only if you have EXTREMELY steady hands
- Exposure times should be between one and 10 seconds, if there is enough ambient light in the scene.
- If it’s really dark, use your “Bulb” setting and a remote release so you don’t bump the camera during the exposure
- Use a LOW ISO. to avoid graininess. You want the blacks to be black – not full of little coloured spots! Start at about ISO 100 and gradually increase it if necessary.
- I tried to include some watery reflections in every shot to add movement and colour.
I hope you give night-time photography a go, if you have never tried it before. It’s very rewarding 🙂