Written by guest photographer: Deborah Sandidge

• Scout out locations first. It’s easier to determine and set up compositions before the sun goes down. You may want to shoot a golden sunset first, then wait for blue hour of twilight or night.

• Exposures will be long, you’ll need a sturdy tripod. I use a Feisol carbon fiber tripod, which is perfect for travel and everyday use.

• Keep it level. Use Live View or place a bubble level on the hot shoe of your camera

• Cable release or self timer feature. Using a cable release helps prevent vibration being transferred to the camera by pressing the shutter. You can also use Mirror Lock-up if available on your camera.

• White balance. Try starting with 4000K, or Daylight (5000K) to see how it looks with your scene. The “correct” measured white balance may look a little lackluster, experiment, and see what works best for your composition.

• ISO Use the lowest ISO needed for the scene. For any needed noise reduction, use DeNoise first in your workflow.

• Manual exposure. Set the aperture for the desired depth of field, and determine the shutter speed for the exposure.

• There’s an app for that. Light Tracker, Helios, Velaclock, Sunrise & Set, and for tracking stars on the iPad try Sky Walk.

• Lost the light, no worries. Go for a classic black and white image with B&W Effects.

• Be inventive. Think about creative lens choices, angles and perspective. Make your shot unique and different.

More from Deborah Sandidge:
Pro Insights: Creative Nightscapes…From Twilight to Starlight
Nightscapes portfolio: http://www.deborahsandidge.com/Photography/Nightscapes
Website: http://www.deborahsandidge.com
Blog: http://blog.deborahsandidge.com

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