Rick's List: Nighttime Photography Gear

© Rick Sammon
Want to have some fun tonight? Take a nighttime shot.

Above (New Croton Dam) and below (Niagara Falls) are two of my favorite scenic nighttime photographs.

© Rick Sammon
I also like to photograph city scenes at night.

© Rick Sammon
 And even people are fun to photograph after the sun goes down. Below is an HDR shot.

© Rick Sammon
Here's a list of the gear that I recommend for serious nighttime shooter, and why I recommend it.

Powerful spotlight - for painting with light, as in Croton Dam shot.

Headband flashlight - so you can see what you are doing in the dark without holding a flashlight.

Variable density filter - for extra long shutter speeds, as in Niagara Falls shot.

Sturdy tripod - for steady shots in at long shutter speeds, as in all shots.

Ballhead for tripod - for easy composition.

Wide-angle lens - to capture wide scenes.

Cable release - so you don't shake the camera during exposure.

And if you are very serious:

Lightning trigger - to capture lightning strikes.


Think safety first. Wear white at night, as you mother advised.

Use in-camera noise reduction when using long shutter speeds. It's the most effective way of reducing noise.

Experiment with long shutter speeds - five to 30 seconds . . . and even longer.

Try to photograph when there is still a bit of light in the sky.

We shoot at night on most of my workshops. Good fun!

Explore the light,

P.S. Here's another Rick's List: Nature and Landscape Photography Gear.