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Dark nights

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After the glory of autumn colour has subsided and the long dark nights ensue it can be tempting to pack away our camera equipment for the remainder of the year.  For those reading this who have a full-time job, I know from past experience that winter is always a more difficult time to get out and about with your camera after work - mainly because by the time you've finished work it's already dark. It can also be difficult to get motivated to go back outside when the weather is generally colder. However, winter months can be a much more rewarding time to take photographs - particularly at night.

In order to motivate me at this time of the year, I always set myself a night-time photography project. This usually entails choosing a nearby town or location with sufficient light and interest to come up with a cohesive set of images. Night-time photography can be more challenging in practical terms and it's a good idea to use a head-torch so that you can see the settings on your camera. For added safety, consider running a joint project with a fellow photographer friend, who can come with you.

Shooting architecture also comes with its own challenges; making sure verticals and horizontals are straight where necessary and what to include and exclude from your composition. Personally, I prefer to make dark, sinister and moody images which create a feeling of tension and emotion. Exposure bracketing can also help to keep highlights and shadows in check. If that technique is new to you what better time of year to learn how to do it.

A byproduct of shooting during the winter months means that your compositional skills don't go rusty, so when the more pleasant weather and lighter evenings return you're in the best position to take full advantage of what the new year has to offer.

Also remember that most, if not all, your images will require some amount of post-processing to get the best out of them, so why not use the dark nights to polish up on your post-production skills? Better still, consider going one step further and learn how to create beautiful giclee fine-art prints to adorn your wall or coffee table.

Of course, if you need any professional tuition to help you achieve your goal or project I have many practical and online workshops always available to help you. Full details can be found on my Workshops Page here and you can check out what some of my past participants have said about my courses on my Testimonials page here.