Tips on capturing that winning shot in the dark with a compact camera

Picture 1: A tip to keep images sharp when taking them at night is to increase your ISO settings to use a fast shutter speed. This picture is taken with a Fujifilm X70 with a focal length of 28mm, aperture of f/16.0, shutter speed of 13sec and an ISO
Picture 1: A tip to keep images sharp when taking them at night is to increase your ISO settings to use a fast shutter speed. This picture is taken with a Fujifilm X70 with a focal length of 28mm, aperture of f/16.0, shutter speed of 13sec and an ISO setting of 200.ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN
This picture was taken with a compact camera mounted on a GorillaPod coiled around a bridge railing.
This picture was taken with a compact camera mounted on a GorillaPod coiled around a bridge railing.ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN
This picture was taken using a wide aperture and you will notice there is not much action going on with this funfair ride.
This picture was taken using a wide aperture and you will notice there is not much action going on with this funfair ride. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN
A tip to keep images sharp when taking them at night is to increase your ISO settings to use a fast shutter speed. This picture is taken with a Fujifilm X70 with a focal length of 28mm, aperture of f/16.0, shutter speed of 13sec and an ISO setting of
But if you increase the exposure time to 1sec, you are able to capture its motion to give viewers a sense of its speed (above)ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

An amazing night skyline deserves the best camera to capture it, but it doesn't mean that a compact camera cannot do the job. Trevor Tan has two tips on how you can achieve great results at night with a compact shooter.

USE A PORTABLE TRIPOD

Photography requires light and there is not much light at night. Under such conditions and in order to keep images sharp, you have to increase your ISO settings to use a fast shutter speed. But with higher ISO settings, your photos might become too grainy.

Using a tripod will solve this issue. It prevents camera shake, and this allows you to use a longer exposure time and still have sharp images. It also means you can keep the ISO setting low.

A tripod does not need to be one of those big, bulky types. You can use something portable, like the Joby GorillaPod. The flexible legs of the GorillaPod means it can be mounted on any place that is stable.

This picture was taken with a compact camera mounted on a GorillaPod coiled around a bridge railing.

To prevent camera shake when you press the shutter release button, use the 2sec or 10sec self-timer function to take the picture.

GETTING THAT POSTCARD SHOT

If you want to get that postcard-worthy image with starburst effects and interesting light trails of moving objects, try using a smaller aperture size along with a longer exposure setting.

This picture was taken using a wide aperture and you will notice there is not much action going on with this funfair ride. But if you increase the exposure time to 1sec, you are able to capture its motion to give viewers a sense of its speed.

By further increasing the exposure to over 10sec with the aperture closed down to f/16.0, you will get this delightful picture (picture 1) of the light trails left behind by the individual pods of the ride, as well as the starburst effect of the lamp.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2016, with the headline 'Capturing that winning shot in the dark'. Print Edition | Subscribe