If you’ve been around the photography world for a short time, you probably have at least a basic grasp of the technical skills. You know how to manipulate depth of field with aperture, where to focus in a portrait, and how to compensate your exposure for extremes in shadows and highlights. Even knowing things like that, you’ve probably stumbled across some incredible portfolios or magazine spreads and asked, “How did they do that?” Or even “What’s their secret?”
Not too long ago, the path to choosing your gear was very clear. If you wanted to take professional quality images, the DSLR reigned supreme. Yet, the landscape of available camera gear is constantly evolving, and today there are more options than ever before. Instead of just one or two dominant companies, you now have outstanding systems from no less than seven manufacturers. Mirrorless cameras have matured from a niche product to a complete solution, while DSLRs have been further refined. This may sound daunting at first, but with a bit of research, it’s possible to find a model that meets your specific needs. Here are the main points to review when considering whether you get a DSLR or mirrorless camera next.
Buckingham Fountain, Chicago (Shutter Speed: 10 seconds; Aperture f/18; ISO 100; focal length 21 mm)
Louis Pasteur famously said that “chance favors the prepared mind.” This statement definitely applies to photography, as there is always an element of chance, with the odds of success growing with preparation. The quote seems particularly applicable to night photography, which has unique requirements for exposure and stability. Preparation is everything.
Your odds of getting a great night photograph are greatly improved if you have taken the time make sure you have the tools needed to get the job done. In this article, you’ll learn the tools of the trade for the night photographer. You many not need all of these, but you will find most of them helpful – and some essential – for getting great pictures at night.