View Full Version : Night time photography tip

16-01-09, 09:12 PM
Hey all,

My question is fairly simple. I'm wondering what methods people are using to keep the redness down on long exposure photos at night time, particularly when you're photographing a city-scape where there are multiple light sources in the composition? I'm finding it difficult to control the colour of the sky, so instead of being black, it comes out very red. What combination of changes are being made?


16-01-09, 09:28 PM
White balance maybe? Can you post an example?

17-01-09, 12:35 AM
White balance maybe? Can you post an example?


What mike.v said :) try out the different white balance settings on your camera to get the desired result you are looking for.

Or if you have a photo editing program such as photoshop, you can adjust the colours if your clever enough.

17-01-09, 04:06 AM
The problem with color in the sky is generally to do with the clouds reflecting the lights off buildings and can be quite hard to control. As Mike and Pockets suggested, try adjusting your white balance settings. If possibly shoot in RAW mode for more adjustment latitude.

Also, have a go with Image --> Adjustments --> Selective Color. Pick which color you want to manipulate and have a play with it. Good luck and have fun! :)

17-01-09, 05:25 AM
Cheers, thanks for the tips guys.

I've tried a bit with the white balance, but still have to learn to get it right more. I've played around with the preset white balance settings but still have to learn and understand how to use the one touch and the manual kelvin metre properly.

Justin, you're right that it's quite tricky especially on a cloudy night.. I'm in London at the moment and it hasn't been the clearest nights.

I can't play around with photoshop yet, as I don't have it on this computer, but once I get back to Aus, I can play around with some photographs.

This is an example of what I am saying. I was playing around with some long exposure, no flash photography at night but kept experiencing really red skies (and water) or a colour that ended up being quite unnatural when I adjusted the white balance - for example shooting under tungsten lighting conditions.


17-01-09, 10:16 AM
That does look pretty bad.. shit-stained harbours! I'm having trouble with that as well and found that using the "filter" option under "mode adjustments" helps a little. I suppose try shooting in RAW and play around with colour temperature settings until it comes out right.

Another question slightly related - would using a graduated ND filter work for night shots? So the sky looks more black? I suppose this would only work for city shots, seeing as you want to capture the stars if you're taking shots from outside the city.

17-01-09, 11:02 AM
You can fix that in photoshop, Image > adjustments > colour balance

Play with the three sliders/radio buttons.

It's the poor mans White Balance.

17-01-09, 11:03 AM
Using a tungsten/incandesent WB should help remove the yellow/orange/reddish but then everything has a blue'ish tinge, if there's no clouds you could get away with a blacker sky

the colour temp for that range was around 2500-3500k??

20-01-09, 04:58 PM
Use a filter champion

13-03-09, 12:54 AM
Something tells me your sky is red because you have angered it with slanted horizons...Crop tool!