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Creative lighting techniques in night events photography

Photography is all about capturing the perfect moment, and nothing sets a scene better than lighting. In night events photography, lighting can make or break the shot. Creative lighting techniques can help elevate your night event photography, adding depth, mood, and atmosphere to the scene. In this blog post, we will explore some creative lighting techniques used in night event photography and how you can achieve breathtaking results.

Understand Light

Before we dive into techniques, it is crucial to have a solid understanding of light. Being able to recognize different types of light and how to work with them is essential in night event photography. Knowing how light behaves will allow you to anticipate the best time to shoot and the optimal angle to capture it. It’s essential to understand the difference between natural light, artificial light, and ambient light.

Natural light refers to the available light from the sun, moon, and other natural sources. Artificial light refers to light sources such as street lamps, candles, light fixtures, fireworks, and other decorative lighting sources used in event photography. Ambient light refers to the light that fills the scene naturally, which can come from the reflection and scattering of artificial sources.

Use A High ISO

ISO refers to the sensitivity of the camera sensor to light. When shooting in low-light situations, it’s crucial to set the ISO to a higher value to capture enough light for the image. A high ISO setting allows the camera sensor to become more sensitive to light, which leads to brighter exposure in the image.

However, increasing the ISO setting can also increase the noise or graininess in the image. To combat this, it’s best to use a noise reduction function on your camera or post-processing software.

Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure photography is a technique used by photographers to capture an image in low light situations by allowing the camera’s shutter to remain open for an extended period. This method is used for capturing motion blur, light trails, and star trails in the night sky. Using this technique can capture light and motion that cannot be seen by the naked eye.

To achieve a long exposure photo, you will need to use a tripod or steady surface and enable the Bulb mode on your camera settings. In Bulb mode, you control the duration that the shutter remains open, which can range from a few seconds to minutes.

Light Painting

Light painting is a creative technique used by photographers to create unique images in low-light situations. It involves using a light source such as a flashlight, a light stick, or sparklers to paint the light on the subject.

To achieve this effect, set your camera to a low ISO setting and use a tripod or any other stable surface to focus on the subject. Set the camera’s exposure time to 4-5 seconds, and then use a light source to draw or paint light around the subject.

The Use of Flash

Flash photography is commonly used in night event photography to create a balance between natural and artificial light sources. The flash is used to illuminate or fill in the shadow areas of the image. This technique is commonly used in portrait photography, where the subject is the main focus of the image.

In low-light situations, using a flash can help freeze action, such as dancers or performers in motion. It can also provide a dramatic effect by creating a spotlight on the subject.


Silhouettes are striking images that can create a sense of drama and mystery in night events photography. It’s achieved by allowing the subject or object to be backlit, usually with natural or artificial light sources. The subject appears dark, while the background becomes bright and colorful.

To achieve this effect, position your subject in front of a light source, such as a window or floodlight, and expose for the background. This exposure will cause the subject to appear dark or silhouetted in the foreground.


Bokeh refers to the blurred background circles that appear in an image. This effect is achieved by using a shallow depth of field, allowing the subject to be in focus while the background remains blurry. In night event photography, bokeh can help create depth and a sense of atmosphere in the scene.

To achieve this effect, use a lens with a wide aperture, such as f/1.8 or f/2.8. Focus on the subject and shoot from a distance. The distance between the subject and the background will determine the size and shape of the bokeh circles.


Night events photography can be challenging due to low light situations, but with the right techniques and understanding of light, you can capture stunning images that are unique and creative. Try out these lighting techniques and experiment with different angles and settings to create something amazing. Remember, photography is all about creativity, experimentation, and capturing the perfect moment.

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