Tips to help Swindon photographers capture perfect night images

By Barrie Hudson – 17 January 2024


  • Ian Jones of Great Western Cameras says good night images can be captured on both cameras and phones

    Ian Jones of Great Western Cameras says good night images can be captured on both cameras and phones

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The owner of a well-known Swindon camera business has issued some seasonal advice for photography enthusiasts.

Ian Jones owns Great Western Cameras on Market Street. He said: “Winter offers endless opportunities to capture the night sky in all its glory but without the right techniques, some stargazers are missing out on the perfect interstellar snap. “Before taking out your mobile phone or digital camera to take a picture, there are a range of factors to contend with to make sure your photo is just as out of this world as the stars you’re snapping!”

Ian advises: – Battling low lighting. “The night sky has its drawbacks – the main one being that it’s dark, which makes photography tricky when not using a digital camera such as the Fujifilm X-S20. “A lack of lighting makes it hard even for the most up-to-date smartphones to capture high-quality imagery.

Getting out of the bright city lights is key to removing ambient light, which impacts what the eye can see in the night sky. “Take yourself away from the busy streets and head somewhere with minimal artificial lighting, such as a green space, which will show you what the night sky really has to offer.” – Say no to zoom. “When we take a picture of something small with a smartphone, our instinct is to zoom in to make it look bigger and more visible.

However, when it comes to the stars, your zoom setting needs to be kept away. “Small objects like stars can become heavily pixelated when zoom is used. Once you view the picture on a screen larger than your phone, you’ll be disappointed with a grainy image – and even more disappointed if you print your image.”

– Apps to help you. “For those that don’t know, the shutter speed is the length of time that the digital sensor inside the camera is exposed to light when taking a photograph – it’s the key ingredient to achieving balanced brightness levels. “Unfortunately, you can’t control this function on the majority of smartphones but that’s where camera apps can help. There is a range of apps to simulate the shutter effect for both iOS and Android, taking multiple photos in a short span to recreate long exposure.

“On some mobile devices, like newer Apple iPhones, the camera app often features built-in software as standard, such as Night Mode, which is designed to capture more detail and brighten shots in low-light situations automatically.” – Ready, steady, go! “Contending with low light is a lot easier with a steady hand. Using a tripod ensures you have a stable surface which reduces shake and avoids UFOs (Unidentified Fuzzy Objects) in your photos.

“With a steady set-up, you might find yourself capturing a real-life UFO – you never know when photographing the unknown up above!” Ian added: “Once you’ve got the perfect photo, don’t hide it away in your camera gallery only to be forgotten. As a PHOTO by Fujifilm retailer, we offer the latest and greatest in photo printing technology that can bring your night sky photos to life.

“Whether you want to hang your photo with pride, or use it to customise a gift, our in-store printing services make it easy using one of our printing kiosks – because a photo can never be brought to life on a mobile phone screen!” Great Western Cameras offers a range of photo printing services in-store and online, using the latest technology by Fujifilm. PHOTO by Fujifilm retailers offer a wide range of services – such as personalised gifts to restoring old and damaged photos, and professional printing.

Fujifilm has been supporting local business owners since 1996 and boasts independent retail partners throughout the UK and Ireland, from Nottingham to Newhaven.

For more information about Great Western Cameras, people can call 01793 537436.