The Mystery of Night Photography – 35 Images of the Night


By Billy Wilson

One of my favorite classes that I teach is on night photography. I find that many beginners haven’t yet ventured out into the dark of night and I love introducing them to the wonders of night photography, and showing them the possibilities. Things like light painting, orb making, fire spinning, zooming exposures and star trails are some of the exciting things possible at night.

Let’s take a look at a few night photography images to get fired up!

By Dustin Diaz

By H. Raab

By DomiKetu

By earsaregood

By Alexander Kesselaar

By Lotus Carroll

By Jeff P

By David Kingham

By Kevin Cole

By Logan Brumm

By Kris Williams

By Chris Luckhardt

By Toby Keller

By Bala Sivakumar

By Joe Penniston

By Howard Ignatius

By Howard Ignatius

By Lotus Carroll

By William Cho

By ben matthews :::

By Andrea Costa

By Joe Penniston

By Adrien Sifre

By Simon & His Camera

By Carl Jones

By Cedric Lange

By Riccardo Francesconi

By photophilde

By Viewminder

By Duane Schoon

By Justin Brown

By Luz Adriana Villa

By William Cho

By john curley

Learn about how to do night photography here:

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Darlene Hildebrandt is an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and hobbyists how to improve their skills through articles on her site Digital Photo Mentor, online photography classes, and travel tours to exotic places like Morocco and India. To help you at whatever level you're at she has two email mini-courses. Sign up for her free beginner OR portrait photography email mini-course here. Or get both, no charge!

  • Jeff E Jensen

    Not much better than spending a night under the stars doing a little painting!

  • Phew .. I am feeling inspired ! 🙂

  • Guest

    Could any one tell me how the rotation of the star effect is done? in 2nd 7th and some other pics

  • Muthu Shanmuga Rajan

    Impressed !!!

  • ccting

    excellent photos, click the star…

  • sam

    Its bout 30min exposer the earth rotates so that where the rotation comes from

  • Jaywalker

    would love to see those photos before Photoshop. I miss the days when you had to shoot a perfect shot to get a perfect shot. This stuff should be called Computertography noy Photography.

  • Tim Jagoe


  • Tim Jagoe

    Rotation will center around North Star.

  • Adolfo

    I don’t agree with you. No amount of editing will make a bad picture look good. You have to get the “perfect” shot first. So its not just Computerography. Its actually getting out there and using skill. Editing is another artistic skill that (for me at least) enhances the viewing pleasure of a photo.

  • d.w.hartography

    You should read about one of the greatest photographers who ever lived, Ansel Adams, famous for his work in Yosemite. He met with frustration because when he first viewed his images they would not cause him to feel what he felt when he was viewing the scene. He labored in the dark room altering the images until they would at least remind him of what he had seen. Today with digital photography our darkroom is in the computer! Your fighting an inevitable force, the progress of technology, which includes photography.

  • Mikey

    There’s a few bad one’s there, couple of great one’s, and some alright one’s 🙂

  • nigel

    Checkout starstax tutorial

  • Duncan Gibson

    I must agree with Adolfo in his sayings ..I’ve notice a person must start of with good work in photography..I done the old school film /negative and believe me it was no picnic me I started back in 1949

  • Dieter

    @d.w.: I coudn’t agree more: Ansel Adams wrote books (!) on how to “optimize” the negatives and the positives, how to push or pull, how to dodge and burn (yes, this function existed before lightroom, too. It was done with …. light).
    Pictures have always been altered to show what the photographer was hoping to catch, be it only by cropping!

  • Which ones do you think are overly photoshopped? I honestly don’t see a lot of them that are with exception of the star trails, and a couple that could be HDR

  • SusanBM

    First learned to improve an image in radiology darkroom tanks as a student back in the 60s. Same idea, just so much easier on a computer

  • Night photography if fun but extremely challenging too. And i think that is why every time one give full effort to try it, it turn out to be very spectacular.

  • Daniel M

    have you ever been in a dark room? :/

  • Intruder56

    No PP whatsoever. It’s not perfect, but it was my first serious attempt…

  • Rye

    I still wanted to learn how to make the human subjects sharp while having the entire composition under long exposure. 🙁

  • anyone know how was the spiral star trail was made by Kris Williams? It’s the 12th photo from the top. This is the second photographer I have seen who has done a spiral star trail.

  • Barry E Warren

    You can get some pretty good photo with out editing, Just go out in the dark with your camera. Put it on a tripod, an then do a long shutter speed say 15 to 20 sec’s. You might be surprised what you get. Just experiment with shutter speeds to you get what you want.

  • Benja

    I used to think the same thing till I learned about dark rooms. You know all those tools in photoshop (dodge, burn, blur etc) this are all tools designed to recreate dark room processes. There was/is a lot of editing that takes place in a dark room. Now it’s just availible to a bigger audience and more powerful

  • Mikey

    The ‘proper’ way is to use a motorised zoom control that slowly adjusts the zoom 🙂

  • do you know of the make of such a motorised zoom? I would like to take a look at it. Have you used the motorised zoom before?

    Thanks for the replying

  • David

    I believe they are a whole heap of pics taken on a 30 second shutter speed that are then layered in photoshop… It’s in one of the more recent DPS Facebook posts…

  • belinda wildfire

    I use twenty-thirty minute exposures. Point your camera facing the north star to get better rotation in the sky. Stacking multiple shots just does not do the same thing for me.

  • Mikey

    No worries! I haven;t used one and can see it being a pain to implement. Have a chat to this guy though, he does awesome work:

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