Class Introduction


Night Photography Fundamentals


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Welcome to CreativeLive. My name's Gabriel Biderman and I'm here to share with you a week of night photography. Night photography is the most magical, mysterious, and most difficult to master. So, when CreativeLive asked me to do a night photography class, I said, "Night photography is such a big subject, there's so many aspects to it, can we do a whole week? I've got a few friends and maybe we can work together and show each and every aspect to its extreme." And boy have we been having just an amazing time and encountered pretty much everything you can expect to encounter in the night, and we're here to share it with you all week. I'm gonna kick it off, but we also have Matt Hill, who's a master night portrait artist. We also have Lance Keimig who has just been doing night photography and teaching night photography longer than anyone I know, and then my good buddy, Tim Cooper, who helped me write the book on night photography. He's gonna come in and share his light painting tips and p...

ost-processing efforts as well. And then we also have Chris Nicholson, and Chris Nicholson is the master scouter and is really our expert on national parks as well. And together, all five of us, we make up National Parks at Night. This is a new venture that we started about a year ago, and I've been shooting night stuff for many years, over 20 years, and it's always good to do it with friends, and these are some of my friends that I've been doing it in the field for many years and more and more people kept on joining us and we say, "We have to help educate. We have to bring these night visions to the field." And so we've been leading small workshops throughout the year, but what better way to really educate more people than online and here with you. So, again, my name is Gabriel. I want to give you a little back history on some of my images and how I got into night photography. I'm a self taught photographer. I studied theater in college and probably that's why I feel a little comfortable out here on the stage. So when I was learning photography, one of the first cameras I had was a pinhole camera, and that pinhole camera is a box camera that has an aperture of f/250. Basically, it forced you, in the middle of the day, your average exposure was eight seconds, so that got me thinking at a very early age how to play with time. And that's what night photography is all about, how we can bend, manipulate, and understand time in a way that we can't do it with our regular eyes. So I was doing pinhole photography in San Francisco, and San Francisco at that time and still to this day, it has great nocturnal scene and, again, getting together with friends, exploring locations, and shooting in the night just really led to a lot of learning and a lot of fun adventures and explorations of time. Things really leveled up with me when I decided to shoot every full moon, when I committed to shooting every full moon. And I had a good portfolio of images, but when I dedicated and got into that mindset of shooting this way, then my portfolio just really burst with wonderful images, and I began to understand the moon more, the earth, all the celestial bodies and how we can, again manipulate them, capture them, and create with them in really cool ways. And that's what I want to share with you. In this course, we're gonna lay a foundation for your photography. We're gonna talk about the gear, alright, all the right tools that you need to go over, but also, we're gonna talk about the basic foundation that you're gonna need to help you seize the night. I was shooting every full moon, but then I challenged myself even more and said, "Let me shoot every night" and I would see different aspects of the night. I'd see no moon, new moon, cloudy skies, cityscapes, all aspects. And that's what I love doing so much now. I don't dedicate myself to one time. I just wanna get out there as much as possible and keep on clicking, and hopefully we can inspire you to do the same thing.

Class Description

There’s more to night photography than stars and hikes. The vibrance of color can be found in capturing the stars, a city skyline at twilight, or even car trails amidst a forest. Gabriel Biderman is a self taught photographer who enjoys the process of taking an image. In Night Photography 101, he’ll cover how to get started taking photos in the dark.

You’ll learn:

  • What gear you’ll need and the fundamentals of using it safely in the night 
  • How to capture stars for dynamic landscapes 
  • How to capture the sky and urban settings at night 
  • How to photograph car light trails to create more motion in your night photos  


Christiane Menelas

This class was perfect in preparation for my trip to Zion and Bryce Canyon next week. I can't wait to put all this great information to good use! Very easy to understand, and fun to watch. I thoroughly enjoyed it!


This class was super helpful in what to buy and then how to get the pictures you want. Loved all the other stuff that I knew nothing about. I knew very little about light painting. Thanks for sharing this class with us. This class was one of the best I have seen.


This course is fairly comprehensive, and offers a good intermediate/advanced intermediate examination of night photography (NOT just astrophotography, which is only one form of night photography.) I don't necessarily agree with everything he's saying here, but that doesn't make it wrong - it's just a matter of preference. He is fairly equipment-centric, but getting into many forms of night photography DOES require some specific equipment. There's a lot of useful information contained here, and I can see myself consulting this course in the future to help solve and understand certain situations and problems that are unique to night photography. Recommended.