Best Night Mode Photos: Tips from a Pro Photographer for Any Phone | Trending Viral hub


Phone cameras used to be useless at night, but best camera phones that you can buy today are capable of taking truly magnificent photographs, even after the sun goes down. The best flagship phones like the iPhone 15 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra They have night modes that allow them to take bright and sharp images even in the middle of the night. Even more affordable phones like the Pixel 8 They are equipped with surprisingly capable night photography skills.

This type of night photography used to require a DSLR camera mounted on a tripod to take long exposures over the course of several seconds. But today’s phones can take excellent quality images at night without the need for any additional equipment. And that’s great, because it means you don’t need to lug a heavy camera and tripod into town every time you want to get a good photo after sunset.

Boat on a river at night

Samsung’s recent Galaxy S range of flagship phones have incredible night mode cameras.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

But get an image that you like enough to print and put it on your wall It’s not just about waiting until dark and taking out your phone. You’ll still need to put in some effort to take photos you’ll want to remember for years to come.

I have been a professional photographer for years and often take images at night with my professional camera and phone. Here are my top tips on how to get great pictures at night on any phone.

Read more: Best camera phone

1. Know how to activate night mode

If your phone has night mode, it’s important to make sure it’s activated before you start shooting. On phones like the iPhone 15 series or other recent iPhones, Night Mode will automatically activate when the phone detects that you are in a low-light situation. Some Android phones also have automatic night modes, while others will require you to use specific night shooting modes (on the Galaxy S24 range it’s simply called Night; on the Pixel 8 it’s Night Sight).

Different phones may have different options or naming conventions, so if you’re not sure how to use yours, or if your phone has one, then a quick Google search for the model and “night mode” should answer your questions. . Night modes have increasingly become a must-have feature on camera phones, so chances are that if you bought a new phone in the last few years, it has some sort of night mode built in.

Example shot of building columns covered in festive lights

This night photo has become even more vibrant and dazzling thanks to these incredible Christmas lights adorning the columns.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

2. Look for the light

Although recent iPhones and Galaxy phones can take amazing images in low light conditions, it is still necessary to have some light into the shot to create a compelling image. Therefore, going into the darkest part of a forest will probably not give you good results. Instead, try going to populated areas like city centers, where you’ll find light sources in the form of street lamps, storefronts, and maybe even some festive lighting during the holidays.

Read more: Best iPhone Camera Accessories

3. Wait your moment

Good city and street photography often includes a person as the subject in the shot, and nighttime can be a fantastic time to take those images. However, when light is limited, you have to make sure that person is exactly where you want them to be, and that can take some patience.

Two examples of night mode photographs, taken on dark city streets

Both night mode images are highly time dependent: on the left the lone figure was seen walking in the main pool of light on the ground. On the right it was about capturing the cyclist who was passing at full speed.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

For example, imagine you are taking a photo on a street illuminated by streetlights. Each lamp projects a pool of light, and when someone walks through it, it temporarily lights up before becoming effectively invisible again in the dark. In that situation, my advice is to have the shot ready, with your finger on the shutter button. You may have to wait a few minutes, but eventually someone will walk exactly through that pool of light and you can take the photo. Patience can really pay off.

4. Calm down

Although night modes on phones don’t require a tripod in the same way that a multi-second exposure would on a DSLR, you’ll get better results if you keep the phone as still as possible while taking the image. If you don’t have a tripod with you, find a low wall, trash can, or anything you can hold your phone on while taking the photo.

If there’s nothing nearby, you can help stabilize the phone by holding it firmly in both hands, holding it fairly close to your chest, and bending your elbows toward your stomach. This will help reduce some of the natural wobble of your hands and can make all the difference in getting a sharper image.

Long exposure photo of a car with light stripes.

A long exposure night image taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

5. Use movement modes, if you have them

The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro (as well as the previous Pixel 7 series) can take great regular photos at night, but they also have a long exposure mode that allows you to get some creative shots that could normally only be achieved with a tripod. . While the mode works well during the day for blurring things like waterfalls, it also works great at night, especially for subjects like cars driving down city streets.

The long exposure blurs the headlights and taillights, turning them from static balls of light into ethereal lines, meandering across the scene. You’ll need to use the phone’s motion mode to get this effect and make sure long exposure is on. Long exposure photos like this work best when you keep the camera still and take a photo that includes both static subjects (like buildings and streetlights) and moving subjects (like cars, buses, or cyclists). It may take some practice, and the results can be unpredictable, but when it works, it works very well and adds an extra creative element to your night shots.

However, not all phones have this as standard, and while there are some third-party apps that try to replicate it, I haven’t found many that actually work or come close to the quality I’ve achieved with the Pixels.

Before and after editing image examples.

I love this black and white edition of a night photo. The natural contrast of bright street lights against dark backgrounds translates well to monochrome.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

6. Edit your shots

As with any good photograph, taking it is only half the story; The way you edit it can be the best way to transform it into a true work of art. I use Adobe Lightroom Mobile for most of my editing, but Google’s Snapseed is also very powerful and completely free on iOS and Android.

By their nature, night photographs can be dark, so you may want to start by increasing the exposure. But be careful; Low-light images, even good night mode shots, will have image noise (a blurry grain) that looks increasingly worse the brighter the image. You may need to reduce some of the highlights (especially if you’ve captured bright street lights) and increase the shadows a bit to balance things out. Pay attention to the details and make sure you don’t go too far.

From there on out, it’s all down to what you think looks good, so spend some time playing with the tools available and see what you come up with. Personally, I think night scenes can often look great as black and white images, because the natural contrast of bright lights and dark backgrounds lends itself well to a monochrome conversion.

See this: Review: iPhone 15 Pro, 15 Pro Max are impressive


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