I have always been taken with low light, night time photography. If you have seen my photographs you know this already. It fascinated me the way headlights and taillights on cars taken with a long exposure would leave long trails of light in my images. I love to shoot fireworks too, for the same reason! To do long exposure, low light photography properly all you need is a tripod and a cable release the shutter without moving the camera.
This brings me to the subject of this blog post. All you need is something to "prop up" your camera to steady it to take nighttime photos! While I carry around a tripod and cable release you don't have too! I often would see people in New Orleans at night trying to hold their cameras as steady as they can to take a picture in low light. Still a tough proposition... Try this instead. Next time you find yourself wanting a low light picture just hold your camera tight up against something solid. You can use a post as seen in the image below. I have used this technique on many occasions when I did not have a tripod with me. I've used walls, fences, lampposts, roof of the car, trashcans, etc.... Its always better than trying to hand hold a long exposure. Be sure and turn off your flash when shooting nighttime shots. If your camera has a ISO adjustment (sensor sensitivity) turn it to a higher number and it will shorten your exposure time. Also, open up the lens to the lower f-stops to let in more light. That in it self will increase your chances of capturing a better image. However, increasing the ISO will increase noise, so only use the highest number you need. I hope this proves to be helpful in your photography. If you have any questions on any of my blog posts, please comment on this page and I will reply!
One last tip! You can use your self timer on your camera to release the shutter without touching the camera. Just sit your camera on a stable surface and trip the self timer and voila!