Taking pictures at night can be a challenge on a camera phone, especially when the camera has only basic camera settings. Though camera phones are great at snapping photos at weddings, taking pictures with friends at parties, and capturing the radiant glow of the sun, it can be difficult to master night photography. You need to first understand your camera basics so you can learn how to take pictures at night. You’ll capture the summery feel of patio lights, wedding lights, and beautiful lanterns in no time at all.
Camera Phone Photography 101
- Make sure your camera lens is clear of dust and specks.
- If your camera has settings, such as a Night one, use it. These settings can usually be found once the camera is booted up under Settings or Mode. If your camera phone has an ISO setting, night time photography is best using settings 400-800.
- Touch the screen to focus the picture.
- Take the photo.
We shot using an Apple iPhone, one of the most common phones on the market, and taking pictures really is that simple! There are some additional steps if you have editing software or apps like Instagram. Instagram, a free app for those on iPhone and Android products, can add filters to the photograph to enhance, change the hue, crop, and more. Here are the results when using two filters from Instagram on the same picture:
On the left we used the Amaro filter, which lightens, and on the right we used the the Kelvin filter, which brightens the intensity of the lights. There are over a dozen filters in Instagram and even more with Instagram support apps like InstaCollage, which creates a collage of two or more images.
Many prefer the look of photography without the filters. If that’s the case, edit the picture after it’s taken as opposed to using a filter on Instagram. iPhone photography can be improved by downloading a better photography app, such as Camera+, that gives more photography settings to iPhone users, such as white balance and a night mode.
Here are some examples of what a good camera phone and Instagram can do when taking pictures of Christmas lights at night: