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What should I pay attention to when shooting at night

If you’re planning to take ultra-long exposures lasting longer than 30 seconds, you’ll need to utilize what’s known as the camera’s Bulb mode. It’s an option for exposure commonly used by photographers at night that gives complete control over the exposure.

In this guide, we’ll teach you how to operate Bulb mode with just three easy steps. Alongside, we’ll provide guidelines on best practices to ensure you achieve outstanding outcomes. Let’s first address…

What’s Bulb mode in your camera?
Bulb mode can be described as an exposure setting that your camera has which permits you to keep the shutter in place to the length you’d like. If Bulb mode is selected the shutter will remain open as long as you press the shutter button in the camera itself or through an external remote release.

Photographers usually utilize Bulb mode in the nighttime when photographing subjects like photography of astrophotography because the movement of the stars cannot be captured with very high shutter speeds.

Image Top Image (c) Muhammad Al-Qatam from our Color Contest at Night

How do you find Bulb mode in your camera
Some cameras provide the option of manual adjustment for exposure, there will be an option to change the B setting on the dial for exposure. Turn the dial until you reach the B setting and you’ll be in Bulb mode.

Some cameras will require an additional step. If your camera doesn’t possess a B option, then you’ll probably need to pick the manual exposure option – which is called the M setting of the dial for mode – and then move through the settings for your shutter speed until the option ‘Bulb’ shows up in your screen.

Make use of a remote release
As when using Bulb mode, you’re shooting very long exposures that last 30 or more seconds and it’s extremely likely to happen. However, it’s only actually possible to achieve this when you’re using an tripod. Since any movement of the camera can result in camera shake during the long shutter speeds, it is important to stay clear of damaging your camera as much as you can.

That’s why the need for a remote release comes into play to shoot in Bulb mode. Remote release is a cable that connects your camera by screwing it into the shutter button, or connected through a designated port. This lets you operate the shutter with no contact to the camera.

The majority of remotes have the option of locking so that there is no need to press the trigger for the entire duration time of exposure.

It is possible to find a good remote release for a bargain today on sites such as Amazon UK as well as Amazon US.

How do you calculate exposure when using Bulb mode?
The camera’s LCD that tells you what the ideal timing for exposure is However, in Bulb mode, all controls are in your own hands. This can be a bit daunting! If you’re using Bulb mode, you’ll need to determine the timing of exposure by your self.

For a precise exposure using Bulb mode, the best method is through testing and trial. Take a test shot for 30 seconds and observe how it appears. If you think it’s too dark, increase it to one minute. Then, and so to go. When you begin to notice your subject in a clear way, you will be able with fine-tuning in 1-second intervals.

Certain Olympus cameras come with unique functions that are known as Live Bulb and Live Composite modes. They show your photo’s development in real-time when you leave the shutter open, allowing sunlight into the camera. This feature is extremely beneficial for night photographers as it provides an immediate indication of what the best exposure is.

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