Tips To Take Pictures At Night
Taking pictures on an action camera such as a GoPro at night for the first time can let you down, the pictures probably didn’t look as good as how you expected them to be. Action cameras normally don’t do well in low-light situations but newer sports cams such as GoPro come with Night modes to achieve better night pictures.
Most cameras have multiple settings to mess with which help photographers get great-looking pictures, action cameras don’t have many settings and some settings are better left on automatic, GoPro does have Protune which gets you access to extra settings and gives you a bit better quality.
GoPro’s photo mode is separated into 3 categories: Photo, Bursts, and Night modes, we can also shoot Time Lapses. Each photo mode has different settings that can be changed. The latest GoPro model can take pictures up to 20MP, older GoPro’s can take pictures up to 12MP.
Most cameras have multiple settings to mess with which helps photographers get better pictures and help with night pictures, action cameras don’t have many settings and are better left on automatic, GoPro does have Protune which gets you access to extra settings, and will help you achieve better night settings.
Photo mode is the default mode for pictures, it allows us to take a single shot or a continuous capture. While taking pictures you can change different settings to achieve different results.
With the shutter button, you can take a single picture by pressing it once or take multiple pictures by holding down the shutter button to shoot up to 30 photos.
If you want to take the best quality pictures you should try shooting RAW pictures and edit them in post-production.
The Night mode is the best mode to capture night pictures works by shooting long exposure pictures to capture more light and get clear night photos. When taking a night photo the camera will take some time to finish taking the picture depending on what you choose for your shutter option, so it’s best to use a mount such as a tripod.
The Shutter options are: Auto, 30s, 20s, 15s, 10s, 5s, 2s.
All the same settings from the default photo mode apply to Night mode as well.
Another useful tip when going somewhere with a GoPro is to carry extra batteries so you can quickly exchange the first battery for a fully charged one. You will also need a good SD card to store all your pictures and have enough space.
If you want to get an extra battery we recommend getting the originally produced battery from the brand, as they are the ones that perform the best and last the longest, even though the white brand’s ones might cost a little less.
Use the Weather and Light Pollution to your Advantage
The best time to take night pictures is when the weather is clear so you can clearly see the stars, another thing to watch out for is the light pollution.
Shooting in clear skies with no light pollution will get you much better results.
Use Presets to Stand Out
Presets are a great addition to your pictures, easy and fast to use, and will give you great-looking results. For a Blogger, Presets are a great way to get your pictures on another level and stand out from everyone.
Every preset pack is different and every picture will look differently because of lighting and white balance settings, dominant colors, etc. If your photo doesn’t look perfect, you may need to make small adjustments to the Presets. Check out our presets here!
Understanding the protune settings.
The Shutter controls the time during which light arrives inside the camera. The shutter options are Auto, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000.
The White Balance controls the temperature of your photos and videos. Lower values such as 3000K will give your photos much warmer tones and higher values like 6500K produce cooler tones.
The Sharpness consists of increasing the apparent sharpness of the image, using software or the firmware of the camera itself, the details will appear more clear, GoPro comes with 3 settings: Low, Medium, and High, I suggest not using High since it will look too sharp and not too good, the best settings are Medium for those who don’t want to do any post-production and Low if you want to sharpen the image later with Lightroom or Photoshop.
EV Comp is the exposure or brightness of the photo, with GoPro you can adjust up to from -2.0 to +2.0, I find that 0 to -0.5 give the best results.
The ISO setting sets the GoPro sensor sensitivity to light. On the GoPro, the ISO ranges from 100 to 6400, the higher the ISO setting the more grain/noise it will produce in the image so it should only be used for low-light such as night setting even though I still don’t recommend going at the max.
GoPro comes with 2 Color configurations, Flat and GoPro color, GoPro color gives great results for those who don’t want to do any post-production and the Flat profile is great to work with on post-production on Lightroom or Photoshop.
How to capture a Night-Lapse
Capturing a Night-Lapse on a GoPro is pretty easy thanks to Night Lapse mode on the newer GoPro’s. The night-lapse is great to capture low light environments, such as when capturing the night sky for a specified period of time.
There are many different settings you can change to get different types of results, such as:
- Shutter: Auto, 30s, 20s, 15s, 10s, 5s, 2s.
- Interval: Auto, 1n, 2m, 5m, 30m, 60m.
- FOV: Wide, Linear
- RAW: On, Off
Choosing the Best Settings
To access GoPro’s settings you need to enable Protune. Protune is an advanced configuration that allows the camera to save much more information, thanks to Protune we have more advanced tools and can obtain better results of color, sharpness, exposure, or ISO. If you’re more familiar with photography the Protune on GoPro cameras would be the equivalent of RAW mode on SLR cameras.
An advantage that GoPro has over most other cameras is that it’s very easy to carry anywhere and use in situations where you cant use another camera. There are many accessories you could use for underwater photography we recommend checking out this 50 in 1 accessory-kit by clicking here.
- FOV depends on what you’re going for, we recommend using Wide for good resolution and image quality, but you can also shoot linear for more typical camera looks.
- SuperPhoto I recommend turning off SuperPhoto since it will slow down taking pictures and will look great without it and much better if you choose to edit pictures in post.
- Raw On
- Shutter on Auto
- EV Comp 0.5
- White Balance Auto
- ISO Min 100
- ISO Max 400
- Sharpness Low
- Color Flat