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My hubby needs some help. He is having trouble taking awesome pictures of my outdoor and indoor scenes in the dark. (They are lit my various spotlights, string lights etc.)

How do you guys achieve such amazing pictures of your scenes? Any tips on settings for a digital camera?

Thanks in advance!
 

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I have a NIKON digital camera on a Tri pod. I us "M" setting to take time laps pictures and the "A" to control how much light I want. Being digital I don't worry about how many it takes to get that one nice picture.
Hope this helps
 

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What kind of camera is it? Does it have any sort of manual control on it? Ideally you want to be able to shoot the pics keeping the "shutter" open for a longer period of time if it has a shutter priority mode. To do that with your average point & shoot, the easiest thing to do is put it on a tripod. or, try setting it to "night" mode. You could also use aperture priority and set the aperture to the lowest value (depending on focal length, that might vary). f3.5 is probably the lowest you'll get on a consumer camera.

Check out this...

http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-get-better-digital-photos-in-low-light-conditions-without-using-a-flash/
 

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Another thing to try, if the camera supports it, is to set the ISO to a higher setting. You will get more "noise" but you can take shorter exposures. A lower f-stop also helps.
 

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I use my iphone cam this time without flash. I normally use my nikon dslr using the aperture mode but has to be steady using tripod to achieve a great photo. I added some blue spotlight last night to my graveyard props but did not take a photo yet.
 

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Nighttime shots are going to be hard to do really well without some fancy equipment.

That being said, the following will all promote higher quality night pics.

1. A tripod - camera shake is your enemy. It's all but impossible to hold a camera steady for long exposure times.

2. Basic camera settings - As others have posted already, you need to understand the pros and cons of the 3 main settings of your camera. Changing one up or down directly effects the other two.

3. Shoot a ton of shots, even at settings you think won't work. You will be amazed what post production can do. Especially underexposed shots. Since you are shooting dark things with random bursts of light source, underexposing tends to yield the best results.

In general I use the following settings as a starting point, and then tweak as needed.

ISO - 400 or less (I get too much noise above 400)
Aperture - 2.8
Shutter Speed - Whatever the camera tells me I need to use in order to get a neutral exposure.

From there I adjust everything up and down a couple of clicks and shoot a few more times, again focusing on underexposing most of the time.
 

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After setting the camera on the tripod, you might also set the timer to 3 seconds. That way the picture is taken completely hands free. Sometimes, even the act of pushing the button can jiggle the camera.
 

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After setting the camera on the tripod, you might also set the timer to 3 seconds. That way the picture is taken completely hands free. Sometimes, even the act of pushing the button can jiggle the camera.
Yep, and mirror slap too if the camera is a dslr.
 

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I take time lapse nightime photographs all the time and stitch them together to make time lapse movies. If you have a Nikon camera, use the Bulb setting, a slightly higher ISO and most importantly a tripod with NO FLASH. The shutter stays open longer but uses ambient light to flood the picture. Unfortunately it takes longer for a single picture but the end result is worth it. If you want faster pictures, use the "night shot" pre-programmed settings on your camera. What this does is it throws the flash micro seconds before the shutter opens and catches this light as it travels over objects.
 

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I saw a post a few years ago where they set the camera on a timer and used a longer exposure. After they pressed the button they shook a flashlight beam over the area which created a nice soft light on the subject. It might wash out colored lights but if you absolutely can't get a good image, or don't have a lighting on the subject, this is a good alternative.
 
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