Discover the extremely useful functions when taking photos at night with the camera

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Do you love taking photos of the city at night, but looking for a new way? Here are two camera functions that will help you expand your creativity when taking photos in the dark: Multiple Exposure and Multi Shot Noise Reduction. Discover the extremely useful functions when taking photos at night with the camera.

Photo taken with the EOS 6D Mark II.

Technique 01: Use the Multiple Exposure function to bring unreal illumination to the city nightscape

EOS 6D Mark II / EF70-200mm f / 4L IS USM / FL: 121mm / Aperture-priority AE (f / 4, 1 sec, EV-0.3) / ISO 100 / WB: Auto

Create layers of light out of focus using the Multiple Exposure feature

Taking pictures of the city at night, with all its lights and liveliness can be very interesting, especially when you own a camera with a full-frame CMOS sensor such as the EOS 6D Mark II and EOS 5D Mark IV. The photos in this article were taken with the EOS 6D Mark II, which reproduces color gradation perfectly and is also capable of depicting fine details with 26.2 megapixels, resulting in beautiful night scene photograph.

With the right equipment combination, solid knowledge of the basics of the camera and, of course, the experience, you can get some excellent photos. But have you ever wanted to explore a new way of photographing, layering multiple photos into a single image in a photo with multiple exposures? Practicing this technique when photographing nightscapes will allow you to present the light in a way that makes them unreal.

One way to create photos with multiple exposures is to take multiple shots and then use photo editing software to combine them. However, some Canon cameras have a Multiple Exposure function that you can use to combine images in the camera *. All you need to do is indicate the number of shots to combine, and then press the shutter button with the same number of times. You will monitor the combined progress after each photo is taken, I recommend using a tripod to ensure that the images are aligned.

Including EOS-1D X Mark II, EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 5DS / 5DS R, EOS 6D, EOS 6D Mark II, EOS 7D Mark II, and EOS 80D. (The information is correct on the date of this article’s publication.)

Turn on Multiple Exposures from the shooting menu.

You can set the Multiple Exposures function from the shooting menu. For settings, select ‘Additive’ if you line the photos taken at different locations. If you line up the pictures taken at the same location, choose ‘Average’.

When using ‘Additive’, the image becomes brighter as you increase the number of image layers, so you need to apply negative exposure compensation accordingly while shooting. See below for some recommended exposure compensation settings based on the number of images to be folded.

Recommended exposure compensation for the number of sheets to be folded:

  • 2 plates: -1 stop
  • 3 plates: -1.5 stops
  • 4 plates: -2 stop

Adjust the size of bokeh

After taking the first shot with the camera in focus, turn the focus ring to the shortest focal length to defocus the light source for the next shot. If the bokeh circle is too large, the image will appear too messy; if they are too small, their effect will not be strong. Therefore, it is a good idea to adjust the position of the focus ring to create medium sized bokeh circles.

Small bokeh circles

EOS 6D Mark II / EF70-200mm f / 4L IS USM / FL: 106mm / Aperture-priority AE (f / 4, 1.3 sec, EV-0.3) / ISO 100 / WB: Auto

Large bokeh circles

EOS 6D Mark II / EF70-200mm f / 4L IS USM / FL: 106mm / Aperture-priority AE (f / 4, 1.6 sec, EV ± 0) / ISO 100 / WB: Auto

Try this: Use multiple exposures to capture light trails from car lights

If you want to capture light trails from car lights, I would recommend shooting from a pedestrian bridge. However, vehicles do not always pass at the right time. You can also enhance photos with light trails using the Multiple Exposures function. You can make the final image even more flexible by stacking multiple light trails and placing them throughout the composition.

EOS 6D Mark II / EF16-35mm f / 4L IS USM / FL: 16mm / Aperture-priority AE (f / 11, 8 sec, EV-0.7) / ISO 100 / WB: Auto
EOS 6D Mark II / EF16-35mm f / 4L IS USM / FL: 16mm / Aperture-priority AE (f / 11, 8 sec, EV-0.7) / ISO 100 / WB: Auto
EOS 6D Mark II / EF16-35mm f / 4L IS USM / FL: 16mm / Aperture-priority AE (f / 11, 8 sec, EV-0.7) / ISO 100 / WB: Auto

To create a panning effect and extend the exposure time to prolong the light trail, I narrowed the aperture to f / 11. The top photo was created by lining up the two upper panels. With both panels, I waited until the street light turned green, and released the shutter as the cars departed and entered the frame.

Technique 02: Capture beautiful nightscapes with the Multi Shot Noise Reduction function

EOS 6D Mark II / EF16-35mm f / 4L IS USM / FL: 16mm / Shutter-priority AE (f / 4.5, 1/20 sec, EV-0.3) / ISO 3200 / WB: Auto

Reduce noise with the Multi Shot Noise Reduction function

To shoot noise-free nightscapes with low ISO speeds, a tripod is required. However, it is difficult to always carry a tripod. Sometimes, you may also want to shoot handheld, but when you increase the ISO speed when you want to take steady pictures with minimal camera shake, your images will be noisy.

The Multi Shot Noise Reduction function is a useful feature for such situations. It takes 4 pictures in a row with the press of a shutter button, and produces a low noise image from those photos, right on the camera itself. This allows you to shoot confidently, even for nightscapes where you might have thought twice before.

Use the Multi Shot Noise Reduction function to eliminate irregular sky conditions

Photos are more susceptible to noise at high ISO speeds when we take handheld shots of nightscapes. Such noise becomes clearer during normal shooting. However, this effect is reduced if you turn on the high ISO speed noise reduction function. And if you select the Multi Shot Noise Reduction option, noise reduction can be even further. The difference is obvious when you zoom in and compare part of an image.

High ISO speed NR: Off

EOS 6D Mark II / EF16-35mm f / 4L IS USM / FL: 16mm / Shutter-priority AE (f / 4.5, 1/20 sec, EV-0.3) / ISO 3200 / WB: Auto

High ISO speed NR: Standard

EOS 6D Mark II / EF16-35mm f / 4L IS USM / FL: 16mm / Shutter-priority AE (f / 4.5, 1/20 sec, EV-0.3) / ISO 3200 / WB: Auto

Multi Shot Noise Reduction

EOS 6D Mark II / EF16-35mm f / 4L IS USM / FL: 16mm / Shutter-priority AE (f / 4.5, 1/20 sec, EV-0.3) / ISO 3200 / WB: Auto

Composition trick: The image appears flat if there is no object in the foreground

When you add depth to a fairly large image, the image will pull you in. To make the image appear deeper, simply place an object in the background as a highlight. In the image below, the image appears flat because there is no element to the right.

EOS 6D Mark II / EF16-35mm f / 4L IS USM / FL: 16mm / Shutter-priority AE (f / 4, 1/20 sec, EV-0.3) / ISO 3200 / WB: Auto

>>> Discover more interesting sharing of Hoi An Photographer on how to take photos and edit photos to create the most unique photos.

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