DSLR Night Photography Settings

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Updated November 18, 2022

If you are new to the world of digital cameras, you may want to learn the best DSLR night photography settings. Many of the best digital cameras are DSLR models, and these cameras shine in low-light scenarios with some know-how. So why learn to properly set up the best DSLR cameras for night photos and how to get started? Keep reading to find out.

Why Properly Adjust Settings for Night Photos?

After picking the best camera for night photography, you need to know how to adjust the settings. This allows you to make the most out of low-light scenarios, especially after choosing the best low-light DSLR. It can be frustrating to take photos in low-light scenarios, leading many to learn how to fix a blurry DSLR camera lens. However, it is not the lens, as it is the absence of light.


  • Taking photos in low-light scenarios, such as during the night, can be frustrating to beginner shutterbugs.
  • Don’t be afraid to use a standard flash, but choose one that allows you to adjust the brightness to account for the night sky or star trails.
  • You should also attach the full-frame camera to a sturdy tripod, set the ISO to its lowest setting, adjust the shutter button, and edit the photos in a software app. Using a wide-angle lens also helps.

Once you have accounted for low-light scenarios, you can move on to DSLR portrait settings and anything else to help you zero in on the perfect photo.

Insider Tip

Make use of any light available, such as street lights, lamps, or even a particularly bright moon.

DSLR Camera Settings for Night Photography

There are a number of tips and adjustment procedures to ensure you take fantastic night photos with your DSLR.

Use a Flash

Just like when using point-and-shoot cameras or compact cameras, a standard flash is your best friend when taking night shots. Purchase a flash that integrates with your setup and affix it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This flash should add a bit of light to the proceedings. As a tip, choose a flash that allows you to adjust the various light levels so that you have control over the end product.

Grab a Tripod

Tripods are helpful for night photography because you want to be able to access the camera’s settings without moving the camera around and, thus, impacting the light levels and white balance. You don’t have to get a pro-grade tripod; just choose something that allows the camera to rest steadily, even with your hands on the buttons.

STAT: The key to creating a great picture at night is a long shutter speed (to take in light) and a low ISO (to maintain a clear image). The longer the shutter is open, the better the picture. (source)

Actual Camera Settings

It is not just additional hardware that brings your night photos to the next level, as camera settings also matter. Set your ISO to its lowest setting, around 100, and start with a slow shutter speed, moving up if necessary. Once finished taking photos, do not sleep on photo editing software. These apps are crucial when turning regular night photos into gorgeous night photos.

Night Photography FAQs

How do I shoot street photography at night?

If you are taking street shots underneath the night sky, enter manual mode, set your ISO settings to 100, and try to use light pollution, such as city lights, to your advantage.

Which camera is best for night photography?

There is no best camera, but there are some best settings. Access manual mode, take any local light sources into account, set the exposure times, and rely on a slower shutter speed.

Where should I focus for night photography?

Many experienced photographers suggest using a wide-angle lens and focusing on something in the distance, even if you are taking a shot of the night sky with a full-frame camera.
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