One of the questions I often get asked about night photography is: What makes a good subject to photograph at night?
Choosing a subject can be tricky for night shots. Often what looks good to the eye doesn't translate so well to the camera or vice versa. Only through trial and error will you begin to develop the knack of finding the perfect shot without using two or three rolls of film to find it. It is also important to remember that night photography in general is very technically challenging. Photography is literally painting with light, so when there is hardly any light to hand, things can get a bit tricky.
Generally good night shots are things like:
Streets either empty or full of traffic. There is loads of light around and many creative ways to capture what's happening around you.
Fireworks are a perennial favourite. More detail on how to be successful at this can be found later in this course.
Concerts and general nightlife scenes are also good because of the lights and the unpredictable antics of people. This is particularly rewarding in Europe where the city centre and entertainment districts are much more compact than those in American cities.
City skylines work well, particularly if there is a river or lake in front on which you can capture the reflections of the city lights.
Monuments and statues are often lit at night. The Washington Monument in Washington DC immediately comes to mind as a striking example of what can be done in this genre.
Industrial areas and factories, both working and abandoned provide hours of subject matter for the night photographer. It is difficult to resist the combination of strong shapes, floodlights and smoke.