Planning for your Halloween costume usually starts months in advanced. Whether you design your own costumes, your kids or both, you won’t want to miss a moment of the special costume’s reveal!

Over the past 5 years of Trick or Treating with my son, I have learned a thing or two about taking photos after dark. And with my help, you will catch every Trick or Treat or Halloween party moment of the exciting night.

6 Tips for Taking Photos at Night

6 tips for taking photos at night

1. Bump up your ISO.

When photographing at night, you are going to need to bump your ISO. I know that over ISO 1600, my photos get very noisy so I try to keep it around 400 or 800 when photographing at night. The higher the ISO the more sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light. However, if you go too high, you will have a lot of noise in your photos. Take some photos at different ISO settings to find the one that works best for you.

6 tips for taking photos at night

2. Focus.

When photographing at night, your camera may have a hard time finding something to focus on. Try switching over to Manual focus if you have the option to do so. If your camera does not have manual focus, you need to find a light source. Auto focus only works when there is a light source. Don’t have one? Use a flashlight! Shine it on the area you want to focus on or use it to illuminate your focal point.

3. Use long exposures.

If you are trying to capture lights at night, you want to make sure you are using a long exposure. More light is let into the camera when you use a long exposure. It is perfect for capturing motion. However, you may encounter camera shake when you use long exposure. This can result in poor pictures. To help with camera shake, you may want to use a tripod. Want to get super camera savvy? Use a wireless remote with your tripod to ensure that your camera does not move at all. When you use the two together, it will improve the quality of your photos and allow you to slow down the shutter speed as much as you want since you won’t have to worry about camera shake.

Point & Shoot Tip: If you are using a Point and Shoot, try out your Handheld Twilight or Handheld Night scene settings. These settings works like panoramic stitching. When you take a picture using them, you take a series of shots quickly with different exposures. The camera then takes all the photos and combines and optimizes them into one well-exposed photo that will result in a long-exposure night shot!how to take photos at night

4. Try out different apertures.

If you are playing around with different shutter speeds, you want to also keep your aperture in mind. If you are using a long exposure, try using a small aperture {f/ 11 and higher} to avoid overexposing any lights that are in your photograph. If you are using a short exposure, use a larger aperture {f/ 6 and below} to avoid motion blur in your photo.

5. Turn on Image Stabilization.

If image stabilization {or Vibration Reduction} is available on your camera, make sure you turn it on, especially when taking photos at night. This feature will reduce the effects of camera shake which help you achieve sharper images.

6 tips for taking photos at night

6. Drag the Shutter.

Last week, I explained how to drag the shutter when using your flash. This will help you not only capture your little one trick or treating but it will also capture the background.

how to take photos at night

Your challenge this week is take photographs at night! It’s a challenge for me since I am so used to only shooting during the day. As always, make sure you share your photos on Facebook!