06. Night photography

Just down the road from the Champs-Elysées Karl and the team set up for a night cityscape using a telephoto lens to compress the perspective of the shot. These sort of shots can be trickier than you think but in this chapter Karl explains what can make your shots really pop and when it isn’t necessary to use a filter in your shots. On top of that Karl also takes another stunning photo of the Eiffel Tower and explains exactly what settings to use for such a simple, effective shot.


    1. Hi Peter, generally for this type of shot as it’s on a tripod I would focus manually and then check the focus by zooming in on the preview image. Once I was happy it was sharp then I would leave it in manual focus to avoid the focus moving around trying to track traffic.

  1. Hi Karl, thanks for your reply, what I should have made clearer was I am wondering what method would you use to figure out where to focus to get a sharp image throughout the shot.

  2. Hi Peter, OK I get it. First off with the Arc de Triumph shot it wouldn’t really be feasible as it was a 400mm focal length – 200mm with 2x convertor – and in low light the settings I was using wouldn’t have permitted it. The range of focus probably wouldn’t have permitted it. As you can see in the shot above the depth of field ‘runs out’ at the cars in the foreground and for me it suits the shot as it draws emphasis to the main subject. On the other shot I’m on a wider lens so it’s not an issue as they inherently have greater depth of field. If though I am wanting everything as sharp as possible with I generally focus on my main subject – so say the Eiffel tower – and then pull back the focus one third of the distance back into my shot. But I must say I don’t always do this often I focus on my main subject, set an aperture of f16 stop the lens down with the stop down button and look through the lens to see how far the depth of field extends, if it looks OK I just go with that.

  3. Where I live there is not a single school of photography. I want to thank Karl and his entire work team for teaching me so much in photography. I subscribed two days ago and the knowledge acquired has been invaluable. God bless you

    1. Hi Rollen, thanks for joining most people like to jump in and take a look around but please remember that our course chapters are numbered so if you are new to photography start at the beginning of the ‘Essentials’ section and work your way through. Many experienced photographers have been happy to have watched our ‘Introduction’ course as it reinforced some new ideas! All the best Karl.

  4. Hi Karl
    I believe that you need permissions to photograph any major landmark in France, especially if you might be thinking of selling any of the said images.

    How do you go around doing this in various countries?

    1. Hi Graham, I ignore it. To me if it’s a landmark then it’s there to be viewed. Although I don’t tend to sell those type of images so I just have them on file.

  5. Off to Berlin today and planning some night shots. Will go through the video on the train. Would it be possible for you to review the images which I click?

    1. Hi Mayank, I’m afraid we are unable to review individual students work one on one as our workloads would be too high. We do however run picture critiques for our members during some live shows, look out for those in the live shows section.


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