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Shooting the night with a compact camera

Published on Jul 2, 2014 6:34 AM

You do not need a DSLR to capture Singapore's extraordinary nocturnal urban landscape. You can do so with a digital compact camera, such as the Casio Exilim EX-100, and TREVOR TAN shares some tips on how to go about doing it.

Use a tripod
With much less light to work with at night, you will usually have to use very slow shutter speeds, ranging from 1sec to 30sec.
To ensure that your pictures are sharp, mount your digital compact camera securely on a tripod. Make sure the tripod is set up correctly and steadily.

Mode: Manual, Focal length: 57mm, Shutter speed: 8sec, Aperture: f/8, ISO: 80.
Shot with Casio Exilim EX-100-- ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

Use the two-second timer shutter release function
Even with a tripod, the slightest movement will cause camera shake and lead to a blurry photo, especially when you are pressing the shutter release. To prevent this, use the two-second timer function.
Alternatively, many digital cameras now allow remote control via a smartphone app. Use such an app to activate the shutter release.

Use as wide an angle if possible
The wider the angle of view, the less impact camera shake will have on your photography. Even slight movements get magnified as the angle of view narrows. If you need to zoom in, move yourself or move the tripod closer to your subject.

Mode: Manual, Focal length: 28mm, Shutter speed: 15sec, Aperture: f/8, ISO: 80.
Shot with Casio Exilim EX-100. -- ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

Use manual mode
If you want to capture light trails, you will need a long exposure of at least a few seconds. For a starburst effect, keep the aperture at around f/8 or smaller. To avoid image noise, shoot at lower ISO settings.
You may not be able to achieve this if you use modes such as Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority. Use manual mode instead and experiment with different settings to get the best results.

Mode: Manual, Focal length: 28mm, Shutter speed: 30sec, Aperture: f/8, ISO: 80.
Shot with Casio Exilim EX-100. -- ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

Plan your shots
Scout for good locations in the daytime and imagine what it will look like at night. It does not always need to be the Singapore skyline at Marina Bay.
You can just walk around your neighbourhood to find interesting scenes, intriguing architecture or compelling places with a different juxtaposition of elements. Most importantly, enjoy the whole process of shooting at night.

Brought to you by Casio Singapore

Enter the "Hit me with your best shot" photo contest over at Casio Exilim Singapore Facebook page and stand a chance to win the Casio Exilim EX-100 worth $1,299!