How I got this shot on my Nikon D3000

9 Dec

For those of you with a Nikon D3000 who are experimenting with night shots, here are a few tips. At least they worked for me the other night when I walked on the pier at Manhattan Beach, in Los Angeles, on a chilly night.

First, don’t be afraid to change the ISO. It’s one of the three easiest things to play with when you are trying for an artful shot. The other two things, by the way, are shutter speed and aperture. The ISO for this night shot is 1600, which allowed me to shoot at an f-stop of 5.6 and a shutter speed of 1/8 of a second. I went tripod-less and rested the camera on my other (gloved) hand. Also, I braced my elbow against my waist. So my second tip is, don’t be afraid to try it, even if you don’t have a tripod or a solid surface to rest the camera.

Third tip: Think about your composition, and here I am using an obvious leading line — the lights and railing leading to the tree. In retrospect, I see it was helpful to have all that lighting for a decent shot at ISO 1600, without a flash.

Have fun shooting holiday lights! Comment below if you have other helpful tips for night shooting with a Nikon D3000.

Experimenting with night shooting


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