Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Day 7: Night Photos {10 Days of Disney Vacation Photography Tips}

There is nothing better than a Disney park at night! Taking photos of the park at night can be tricky though. Often it requires a tripod or a camera and lens that can handle low light photography. A tripod works for any camera you have. Amazon has some great lightweight tripods if you ever want to go that route. Let's be practical though - you probably don't want to bring a tripod around with you all day at the park. So let's talk about what kind of lens you should look for if you have a DSLR. This is me going off on a bit of a tangent but buying the right lens makes such a huge difference with all photography. I am a Canon gal so these will be canon lenses, but there are Nikon equivalents. 

My favorite lens is always a 50mm. Canon has a very affordable starter option - 50mm 1.8. It is $125 on Amazon and will do amazing with low light. It is great for portraits and details creating a great bokeh (you know, that beautiful blurry background). 
If you are using an entry level DSLR like the Canon rebel with a crop sensor you might find the 50mm to be too tight of a crop for a lot of indoor situations. Another great option is the Tamron 28 - 75mm 2.8. Since this one has a range of focal lengths offering great flexibility for taking around the parks all day. It is a little more expensive than the 50mm but again, much more flexible. 
Ok, now that we have talked about lenses let's talk about using them to take photos at night. There are two things you need to do to take photos in low light (this will apply to tomorrow's post too when I talk about taking photos on rides!). One is raise your ISO. On a rebel I wouldn't go past 800 ISO if at all possible as the higher your ISO, the more grain you will get in your photo. Second you want to lower your aperture. I always recommend shooting in Aperture Priority mode if you have a DSLR. To learn a little bit about aperture and shooting in aperture priority mode (so this post doesn't become a novel) here is a WikiHow post.  Aperture priority mode is great because you choose the aperture and the camera will choose the shutter speed that will properly expose your image. A simple way to remember it is you want your aperture (or f stop) number to be low when working with low light. You do have to be careful as it will lower your depth of field as well so be careful when focusing. 

Let's get to some photos! 
Fireworks photos are almost always better with a tripod but I have gotten some pretty great results without one. Here are some more of my favorite night shots. 
At night there are some pretty great reflections going on in the waterways around the parks. Very fun to photograph! 

That's it for today. Tomorrow I will continue with low light photography and talk about taking ride photos. To catch up on the rest of the series follow the links below. 

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