4 Simple Tips For Photographing the City at Night

Award-winning photographer Lewis Kemper shares 4 simple tips for photographing the city at night, along with a few great examples of his work. Check out his upcoming workshop in San Francisco, where Kemper will be teaching both camera and post-processing techniques for night photography around the city. This December workshop will feature the festive glow of the city’s Christmas lights, though San Francisco is a perfect location to photograph after dark in all seasons.

Lewis Kemper

All images are copyright Lewis Kemper.

Tip One: A sturdy tripod

The key to getting good night photography images is having a sturdy tripod. Nothing ensures sharp images better than a good, solid tripod.
Lewis Kemper Tip 1

Tip Two: White balance

Having the proper white balance to render your night scene in a realistic fashion is a key element. The white balance can be set either when photographing, using the custom white balance, or in post processing if you shoot in raw.
Lewis Kemper Tip 2

Tip Three: HDR photography for best dynamic range

Night photography features extreme differences in brightness between your shadows and the bright lights found in the city. The only way to capture that range of information is to bracket your exposures and use HDR software to combine them for a full tonal range image.
Lewis Kemper Tip 3

Tip Four: Have fun!

Night photography lends itself to some creative experimentation. Try creating multiple exposures or zooming your lens during a long exposure. Think outside the box!
Lewis Kemper Tip 4

Lewis Kemper has over 30 years of photography and teaching experience with his work exhibited and published in magazines, books, and calendars worldwide.

Shortly after graduating from George Washington University with a BA in Fine Art Photography, Kemper got a job at the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite. Those couple of years at the gallery allowed him to observe, learn, and interact with some of the most talented photographers at the time.

“The experience of working at The Ansel Adams Gallery was very influential in my development as a photographer,” Kemper states.

Join Kemper for his upcoming photography workshop in San Francisco where he’ll teach techniques for capturing amazing night photographs.

What you will learn:

  • Composition techniques for landscape and travel photography
  • Shooting and processing HDR for realistic looking images
  • Workflow tips and techniques for both photography and digital processing
  • Proper technique for shooting and stitching panorama images
  • Classroom critiques to open your eyes to different possibilities and improve your nighttime photographic skills

Visit the EOS Canon Destination Workshop page to learn more about Kemper and this event.