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Nighttime Photo Survivor Guide

Nighttime Photo Survivor Guide

So, you and your tribe are chilling together around a campfire, under the stars, surrounded by the Adirondack Mountains. You look over your shoulder. You double-take because for a second you thought you were sitting in the marvelous valley of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Rivendell. This vista is so beautiful, so picturesque, so unbelievable, you want to remember this moment forever…and show all your followers! So, you reach for your phone and swipe open the camera. You hold it up to your face and snap the shot. Much to your utter disgust, your photo looks all BLOTCHY, DARK, and BLURRY. How could this happen?! You know what you saw, and it does not look like the hot trash of an image searing your eyes now. You look up and Rivendell is still there! You take another shot. Abysmal! Your trusty phone, the phone that has been with you through all the good times and the bad, has failed you. What will your followers think of you?! How can you remember this moment without a photo?

Why is your shot sooooo bad?!

Here’s the thing about photos. You need LIGHT to get any kind of decent photo. We know what your next thought is! What light?! Its night!” Precisely! Your camera needs more light to come in and create that buttery smooth picture. It does this by taking more time to capture the photo. Because your camera is taking more time to capture the shot, every move you make will also be captured, which is that blurry mess you’re staring at.

What do you do now? Is it time to chuck your phone in the fire, invest in a night vision camera, hang up your dream of becoming a world-famous camper followed and adored by millions?

What if there WAS a way to get great nighttime shots without snapping your phone in half? Fear not, compadre. We got your back with these few easy tips that will WOW those millions of followers you have!

  1. Make sure your camera settings are nocturnal!

If your phone has a “night shooting mode”, flick that bad boy on! It’ll tell your phone to take more time to capture photos, which will bring in more light! If you have your camera, you’ll need to adjust your shutter speed. Shutter speed changes how long your shutter is open. You’ll have to play with how long or brief you want your shutter open based on how much light is in the scene and the desired look you’re going for. The longer your shutter is open, the brighter your image, but the steadier your camera will need to be. This leads us to the next tip!

  1. Hold still!

Keep your camera as still as possible. There are a few ways you can do this. Try bracing yourself against a tree, boulder, or cabin, and bring your arms in close to your body so your camera is more stable. The surest way to have a stone still camera is to put it on a tripod, away from your body altogether. Then, as lightly as you can, tap the capture button making as minimal movement as possible. If you want to be a nighttime photo legend you can get a remote photo trigger, that way you won’t have to touch the camera at all! There are tripods and remotes made for most cameras and phones, so there are plenty of options for every budget. If your tripod is still getting shipped to your door, you could always set your camera on a picnic table, Adirondack chair, or in the bed of your truck. It’ll do the trick!

  1. Take your time!

Relax and stay calm. Breathe nice and even. As mentioned before, your camera needs time to capture these moments. So, you must be calm like a tranquil sunrise at Old Forge Camping Resort. When you rush, you tend to jitter around like a coon scoring a huge meal at the dumpster. Your photos will be shaky and janky at best. All great things take time and effort. If it were easy everyone would be doing it! Being a nighttime photo ninja takes time and patience. Be chill and you’ll take steady shots that will drop jaws!


  1. Get creative with your photos!

As you walk through Rivendell, look for unique perspectives and angles. Get under your hammock and shoot up into the stars. Stand up on your camper ladder and shoot down at your tribe around the fire. Find a tree or a window to shoot through. Find a way to make your photo one in a million! HAVE FUN and it will show in your nighttime masterpieces.

Before you throw your phone into the raging bonfire or nearest lake, remember these tips and you’ll have moments to cherish, and your followers will not leave you for someone else.

If you’re looking to test your nighttime photo master skills, come stay at Old Forge Camping Resort. We have some great places nearby! Check out Arrowhead Park in Inlet, Old Forge Lakefront (open daily), or any of our many lakes or rivers for some nighttime boat shots! Go get them and we’ll see you soon!

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