Past Meetup

Lecture: Introduction to Night Photography

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By Jürgen Lobert

This lecture will kick off our winter program, a series of eight events, all indoors to combat the cold in February and into March.

This is an introduction to night photography. Think of it as a fast-paced, in-depth and technical guide on how to get started with night photography exposure. With the knowledge given here, you are assured to be able to take good night photos, from which you can then stray and develop your own approach.

The lecture is both for those members who are just starting out to shoot at night or those who think they can hone their craft some more. It is a dense lecture filled with lots of examples and details about exposure and camera settings, equipment and how-to guidance and, most importantly, WHY certain settings are suggested.

Prerequisites are basic knowledge of your camera and how to change settings. A 2-page summary on how to adjust your camera settings can be downloaded here ( The lecture is primarily for digital shooting, but much can be applied to film shooting.

This event is for paid members only and it is a member benefit free of cost. If you haven't done so yet, please make sure to pay your membership online, there is a link to the left to do so.

We will be doing the entire winter program at MIT in Cambridge, in the same room for all events. See the section "where to find us"

Parking near the main MIT entrance is sparse on the streets, but there is a small parking lot that often has empty spaces at night: 139 Mass Ave Visitor Lot, look for the Bank of America ATM. Parking garages are on Vassar street to west of Mass Ave.

To make the lecture less dense, show more examples and allow for enough time for questions, I decided to split my standard lecture into several parts. This part 1 here will be about basic camera settings, in-depth exposure guide and what we can do at night. Part 2 will follow later and will be specifically about astro-landscapes (star points, trails, image stacking, moon, aurora....) and part 3 will be about light painting.

The lecture will cover these topics:

• Introduction: What and why

• Technicalities: Equipment & settings

• Correct exposure (ISO, f-stop, time), why and how to use and interpret the RGB histograms

• Light: desired and sacrificial highlights, light sources & colors, white balance

• Capturing the Element of Time: The most compelling part of NPy

• Tips & Tricks: focusing in the dark, high ISO preview etc.

• Types of Night Photography

• The Output: Editing your photos (brief)

• Resources: Books, websites, workshops & software

Please be on time, leave early enough and count on having to search for parking.