Capturing and Processing Night Photography

Lesson 3/20 - Photo Pills App


Capturing and Processing Night Photography


Lesson Info

Photo Pills App

So when it comes to scouting, there's one thing I absolutely can't do without and that's an app called Photo Pills. Photo Pills is a fantastic application for finding out when the moon is gonna rise, when the moon is gonna set, sunrise, sunset, times for golden hour, blue hour, or astronomical twilight but in addition to that, it also allows me to use augmented reality which means I can overlay the scene behind me over the screen to see and track the moon and the sun or find out even where the Milky Way is going to appear and what time it's going to appear. I can go on and on about the app, it's absolutely fantastic, and it's only about $10. So let me show you guys how to use this. What you're gonna do is when you first get in there, you're gonna find this portion of the screen that allows you the different access points into sun, into moon, exposure, you can calculate your depth of field, or even do a night augmented reality to find your Milky Way so very, very useful. Let's start wit...

h the sun for example. You pop up on this sort of homepage in this area and it's gonna go from sunrise all the way through nautical and astronomical twilight and it gives you the times right here and you're able to see very clearly what time that's gonna be. If you wanna change your date and your time, you can go up here and hit settings and put it to anyplace in the world, but right now it's auto-calculating for us here in San Francisco and it's telling us that sunset is at 7:35. Alright, so we are right now at 7:42 so we're about minutes after sunset, although this is a great time to be here, early in the night still a little bit light for scouting, we're not gonna be able to start shooting for a while but we wanna be able to get our gear ready. So astronomical twilight tonight starts at 8:33. So we've got about 40, 45 minutes. Alright, but what else can this do? Well, if we tap on this little button down here called augmented reality, what we're going to get is the overlay and we can put that out over the scene and it's gonna tell us exactly where the sun is setting, of course, the sun has already set and if we keep spinning it around we can follow and find where the sun is gonna come up. Now we could do the same thing for the moon as well. And this is also where you can visually calibrate the Photo Pills app so by clicking on visual calibration, what you're going to get here is the ability to put the sun right where it did set and it was right about in that area. So I think we're pretty good and I'm just going to click confirm calibration. Now that's going to set the whole app up to ensure that what we're looking at is true and real. Alright, so let's now go into Night AR. Now this is absolutely fascinating. There's a lot you can do inside of this portion of the app but the thing I wanna do right now is actually see where the Milky Way is going to be. So I'm just gonna keep spinning this around, ah and there we go. So the Milky Way is down a little bit to our South of where we are right now and you can see where that is gonna be located. Now, given our proximity to the lights of San Francisco, it's highly doubtful that we're gonna be able to see the Milky Way in the sky tonight. To get good Milky Way shots, you really wanna be where there's no light at all and even on a new moon. Tonight, we're gonna have a little bit of moonlight. But again, it's gonna be the city lights that are mainly going to stop us from seeing the Milky Way.

Class Description

Creating night images poses unique challenges, particularly for those who are more accustomed to daytime photography. From focusing in the dark to calculating long exposures, night photography requires the photographer to build new skills and polish off some old ones. But there’s more to night photography than just capturing the image in the field. Like with other photographic disciplines, post-processing often plays a vital role in crafting the final image. Join photographer, author and National Parks at Night instructor Tim Cooper as he shares what you’ll need to know while you’re in the field, including lens choice, camera settings and exposure, as well as how to use Photoshop® and Lightroom® to create a night image that dazzles.