Field Photography - Taking Night Camp Photos

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Canon EOSM f5 s30s ISO 1600 22mm f2Lens

When I head out hunting, taking good photos of the hunt and the scenery is as important to me as the animals that I am hunting. You can get impressive camp photos at night that really capture the moment when the hunting is over for the day. 

Night shots require a tripod (or something to rest the camera still on) and a camera that you can set to manual. Most cameras have this ability now or have a night mode. 

There are several ways to take these shots. I will go through the process that works for me. 

Full moon lights up the mountain

1. Find the angle and distance that you need to be from the camp as to capture the sky and surrounding bush terrain. Full moons will add daylight like affects to photos whilst still showing the stars.

2. Set the camera to M or manual mode. I like this mode as I have full control over the camera settings. 

3. As a good starting point use the following settings on your camera. 

ISO 3200

Aperture f4 - f5.6

Shutter 20 seconds

4. Manually focus the lens on the camp, tent or person that you want to be the primary focus. If it is the stars you want to be the feature in the shot, pick the brightest star and manually focus on that. The camera may find the focus point itself but once again I like to take control of this step. 

5. Taking the shot. This part is the make or break. Pushing the shutter button will break the shot every time. You should use the cameras 2s or 10s auto timer so that there is no camera shake when taking the 20s exposure. If you have a remote release use it for these shots. 

6. Play around with the settings until you find the shot you are after. Longer shutter and higher ISO will quickly show you what the camera is capable of. 

Very simplified:

Higher ISO = More stars and brighter shots but this comes at the price of more noise (random colour less detail) in the shot. The better the camera the higher the ISO you can generally use without quality loss. 

Longer shutter = Brighter photos. If you include stars they will start to appear as lines (star trails).

Aperture = depth of field and how much light is let through the lens. For now stick around the f4 – f8 to start as we will play with this in later articles.

 Extra Tips

To get your tent glowing put a light source in the tent. 

The more you play the better you will get

Put headlamps on objects that you want to highlight

Fire ambers add movement to your photos.

 If you have any questions please send them in and I will try and cover them off in further field photography tips. 

Camon EOSM f5 s10s ISO 800 22mm f2 Lens
Sony A6300 f4 s20s ISO 6400 Lens 16-35mm f4

Once we get the hand of this we can look at joining a stack together to get this

Stacked Photograph
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