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PMH Photo Challenge #9 – Night Photography

Welcome to the Project Motorhouse Photo Challenge!

Are you 19 or under and living in Thanet? Then you are eligible for the Project MotorHouse Photo Challenges where you could win £50 for 1st place, or £25 each for two runners up! The December/January challenge is NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY. Follow us on Instagram at @pmhramsgate, and tag your photos with #pmhphotochallenge9 to enter (or you can email images to jm@projectmotorhouse.org.uk). The deadline for the competition is midnight on Monday January 31st. Photos taken with any type of camera or phone are allowed. We’ll be judging your photos on criteria such as relevance to the theme, creativity, composition, lighting, and so on. (This is a challenge to practice your photography, not your Photoshop skills or crazy filters, so please no excessive post-production). 

Night Photography: Now that the winter nights have drawn in, it’s a great opportunity to capture some nighttime photos. Christmas lights, moonlit landscapes, illuminated shop window displays, or car light trails with slow shutter speeds – there are many ways to create great images in the dark! 

Here are some tips and ideas to get you started:

TIP #1

1 – MINIMISE CAMERA SHAKE Cameras and smartphones usually require longer shutter speeds to capture low-light images, so holding your device steady or even better, using a tripod, is a must. 



TIP #2

2 -TRY MANUAL SETTINGS Auto exposure might produce images that are too bright, so try using manual to ensure that the end result is how you want it. Manual focus is also an option as cameras sometimes have a hard time focusing in very low light situation 


TIP #3

3 – PLAY WITH DIFFERENT SHUTTER SPEEDS Darkness provides a great opportunity to play with slow shutter speeds. Use Shutter Priority mode on your camera, or a Light Painting mode on your smart phone if it has one, and you can play with creating spectacular images that can’t be achieved during daylight hours. Somewhere steady to rest your device, or a tripod, is a must. Do test shots at different speeds before finding one that works best. 

TIP #4

4 – SEEK OUT SIGNS Neon signs can make for dynamic photos if done right. Think about the composition of your photos and try a few different ways of shooting the same sign. 



Using neon, christmas lights or street lamps to light your subjects can create really cool looks for portraits. Or you could make silhouettes by positioning your subject infront of a light source! 


TIP #6

6 – USE FLASH Although flash will ruin most of the above examples and so will need turning off, there are some situations it can work. Use it to light a near subject where there is an interesting background (that the flash won’t reach), or to light up a tree against the night sky for example. Here 


Here are some additional resources to help you:

Night Photography Tips and Settings for Beginners

13 Camera Settings Every iPhone Photographer Should Know

How to take good photos with a phone

10 Top Photography Composition Rules 

Most of all, have fun and experiment