Photography Cheat Sheet: Memorize These Night Photography Settings

There’s more to night photography than shooting star trails or Milky Way photos. This photography cheat sheet will serve as a quick guide for shooting various situations at night.

Thinking of exploring your town tonight for some interesting street stuff to photograph? Night photography comes with its own set of challenges, especially since you’re often forced to work in low light. You’ll also need to adjust your camera settings for every subject or shooting situation. That can be laborious if you’re still getting acquainted with your camera, not yet used to shooting at night. Fortunately, we have a photography cheat sheet ready to help you figure your settings out.

The cheat sheet below, by PhotographyPro.website (link no longer available), shows us the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings for some of the most common subjects shot at night. Write it down or save it on your smartphone and keep it with you at all times. Better be ready when the mood strikes or the circumstances allow you to shoot!

Some of these shooting situations are more challenging than others, especially the ones that require shutter speeds slower than 1/30 seconds. To avoid camera shake and motion blur, you’ll need a sturdy and reliable tripod, especially if you’re shooting fireworks, light trails, or astrophotography.

We also suggest pairing this handy photography cheat sheet with Digital Camera World’s complete A-Z guide for night photography. Of course, we all want to take great pictures after dark. So, Digital Camera World put together a comprehensive collection of 26 tips and tricks to help you get the best results, whether it’s astrophotography, star trails, Milky Way photos, light painting, or long exposures of your favorite spots in the city.

Want more night and low light photography tips? We have another photography cheat sheet for you to check out. Or, if you’re specifically interested in astrophotography, we have a cheat sheet for that as well!