Taking pictures at night can be very frustrating. Red eye effect, washed out faces, dark background – these are a just a few of many horrors that you’ll have to face. Snapping a great photo after the sunset is definitely tricky, but it’s not impossible! Here are some great tips for taking pictures in low light:

1. Keep your camera still.

It is one of the most crucial rules of the nighttime photography. When there’s not enough light in the shot you’ll have to set the camera on your phone to long exposure. That way pictures won’t come out completely dark. However, if you shake the camera just a little bit while taking a picture in the dark, the shot will be blurry and horrible. So, if you don’t want your photos to turn into indistinguishable mess get yourself a mobile tripod or be creative and use your surroundings. Just place your smartphone on a solid surface and you’re good to go!

2. Take long exposure photos.

You can take gorgeous abstract photos if you set your phone on long exposure. If you can’t change the shutter speed in the settings of your phone, try using the apps like Slow Shutter Cam or Average Cam Pro that simulate the effect of long exposure. Moving objects in the frame come out blurry on the photo and that creates an interesting effect, which you can experiment with. When you’re taking this kind of pictures, it’s better to use a tripod. Try photographing moving cars or airplane traces.

3. Use the flash wisely.

Turning the flash on seems like the most logical thing to do while taking photos at night. However, it can be very tricky. The flash creates a very harsh light that makes people’s faces look shiny and washed out. Moreover, there is a high possibility that the subjects of the photo will look like a bunch of bloodthirsty vampires with horrific red eyes. There is a trick that can help you avoid this. Try covering the flash with the soft tissue or a paper. This will soften the light of the flash. As for the red eye effect, there are plenty of red eye removers online that can solve this problem. Also, remember to never use flash around mirrors. Reflective surfaces will not look good on photos taken with flash.

4. Use an outside source of light.

If the flash isn’t enough, you can always look for a source of light on the street. Neon signs and street lights can create a perfect lighting for your picture. They will also give it a unique mysterious vibe. You can get completely different results depending on the angle from which the light hits the subject of the picture. It’s best if the light strikes the object or a person on the photo from the side. However, don’t limit yourself when it comes to experimenting with lighting. You can also take very cool shots, when the source of light is behind the subject of the photo. People and items come out as dark silhouettes on the picture, which is a great opportunity for an artsy shot.

5. Edit your pictures.

Use the power of editing! Even if your nighttime selfie didn’t turn out that great, a little bit of photo retouching can do wonders. Just upload you photo to RetouchMe to make it lighter and red eye free.

6. Black&White.

Photos that were taken at night usually look good in black and white because of the stronger contrast between the light and the shadow. Sometimes black and white pictures come out more dramatic and expressive than photos in color. Try to experiment with this while you’re editing your photos. For example, if your picture turned out grainy, you can use that to your advantage. Edit the picture in black&white and enhance the grain effect to make the shot more atmospheric.

7. Don’t use digital zoom.

If you’re taking pictures with your smartphone camera, never use zoom. The digital zoom doesn’t do anything apart from ruining your picture’s quality. You can just zoom in on the part of photo that you feel is the most important later, while editing.

8. Take photos of the moon.

We’ve all at some point tried to take a beautiful picture of the night sky. It never works out! However, there are a few tricks that will help you get a flawless shot of the moon. First, you’ll have to choose a place that doesn’t have any additional sources of light. Then set your phone to a low shutter speed and put it on a tripod. Don’t use digital zoom and flash and your Instagram followers will be amazed by your stunning shots of the night sky!

9. Take photos during “golden hour”.

The “golden hour” is the time of day when the sun is very low in the sky. It usually comes one hour before sunset or one hour after sunrise. There are plenty advantages to taking pictures during “the golden hour”. The subjects of the photo will be practically bathed in warm soft light. It’s a perfect time to take romantic couple pictures.

With this simple tips you will be able to take impressive pictures even if there’s not much light in the shot.