The sun goes down, let’s go to work: taking pictures in a night city

Evening has come. The sun had already dropped below the horizon, giving the photographer a few minutes of “magic time” when the brightness of the sky is comparable to the brightness of the background. The most spectacular evening shots are taken exactly at those moments.

In order to capture all that beauty you have to use slow shutter speeds. So in order to take good pictures, you need to have a firm grip on your camera to avoid the slightest hesitation. The easiest solution is to use a tripod, but you can also use improvised measures, placing the camera on a rock or a parapet. Under the lens you can put a prop, anything that fits. But we are not going to use tripods, let’s try to make a night photo using the Nikon D600’s ability to work at high sensitivities without loosing quality.

Master Class – Andrian KOLOTILIN


If the camera lens is pointed at the place where the sun was recently, the sky will be evenly colored. Photo 1.

ISO 2000, aperture f/5.6, shutter speed 1/30 sec. The shutter speed is good for getting a blur-free shot. You can reduce the hesitation to a minimum by delaying the shutter for a few seconds and giving the mirror a preliminary lift. All of these features are available in the Nikon D600.

Photo lenses

In the next scene we are going to make it more difficult. The river is starting to freeze, and we’re going to try and capture this movement with slow shutter speeds. Photo 2.

The ice moves slowly, and to turn the river into a solid slip road, you need to set the longest shutter speed and the lowest sensitivity. So you have to use a tripod.

AF-S Nikkor 24-70 2.8 G ED lens, shutter speed 20 seconds, aperture f/18, ISO speed 50. It’s great that the camera has a feature to keep the sensitivity down to such low levels, otherwise you would have to use a neutral gray filter. Note that the camera itself sets the auto white balance very accurately, making the picture visually natural, as seen by the human eye. .


The climax of the city walk is the fireworks for the holiday. Photo 3.

To shoot the fireworks you have to set the exposure and aperture pair correctly. In order to make the fireworks look natural and not frozen, the distant flashes should be shot with a shutter speed of 1/15 to 1/30 seconds. If the flashes are closer, the shutter speeds can be slower. There is no point in using much aperture, and there is no point in using auto focus either.

So we set up in manual mode the necessary exposure parameters and focus point. The AUTO ISO sensitivity setting is responsible for the correct exposure. We’ve set the upper limit of the sensitivity to 3200 ISO. This sensitivity allows you to take crisp, high quality shots without any loss of quality. AF-S Nikkor 24-70 2.8 G ED lens, 1/25 second shutter speed, f/5.6 aperture, 2200 ISO.


Thousands of townspeople cheerfully disperse after the festivities. Let’s try taking some reportage pictures under night conditions. It wasn’t always possible with previous generations of amateur cameras. The Nikkor AF-S 80-200 2.8 D long-focus lens is focused on the subject in tracking mode, the streetlight is quite enough for it. Photo 4. ISO 3200 gives good image quality in reportage photography, shutter speed of 1/400 sec. Doesn’t cause a shift or a smear when combined with the f/3.5 wide open aperture.

SLR cameras

The other, wide angle lens also gives great image quality without using flash at night. True, I had to correct the influence of a bright light source in the frame by setting the strong plus correction +1,2/3 eV. The auto color balance was perfect again, the focus sensors set the sharpness very precisely on the eyes of the girl, and the wide open aperture made it possible to blur the background and separate the figures from the background. Photo 5. AF-S Nikkor 24-70 2.8 G ED, ISO 3200, shutter speed 1/100 sec, aperture f/3.5.


The Nikon D600 gives great results in evening and night photography. The result is more up to the photographer’s luck and training, because the camera lets you make all kinds of dreams come true.

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