The Nikon d5600 is one of the more popular camera bodies from the Nikon DSLR range and it has managed to grow itself an absolutely huge customer base of photographers over the years. Due to being one of the more popular cameras from the Nikon lineup, we see large numbers of people who use the d5600 as their camera body of choice reaching out with each passing month with a ton of different questions on how they are able to best use the camera.
Although these questions that we see pretty much cover everything that you could ever think of in pretty much every photography niche that people work in. That said though, one of the more popular questions that we keep seeing more and more people reaching out about are for tips and tricks to try and improve their Nikon d5600 night photography. Due to this, we are going to be going over our own tips and tricks to try and help as many of our readers as possible who use the d5600 get the best image quality possible for their nighttime photography.
Although we would recommend that our readers try to implement as many of these suggestions as possible as they all help to improve your night photography. That said though, we know that depending on your circumstances, you may not be able to implement all of these suggestions so pick and choose the ones applicable to your and your circumstances and we are confident that you will be able to quickly and easily improve your night photography image quality.
Consider A Free Night Photography Course
Our first suggestion is not specific to just photographers wanting to improve their Nikon d5600 night photography but all photographers wanting to get better at capturing photographs of at night. The most common problem that we see from the people reaching out for help when it comes to taking photographs at night is that the miss out on some of the basic and most of the intermediate level principals of nighttime photography.
Thankfully though, our readers are able to sign up to Skillshare and get two months of their premium level membership without having to spend a cent. This allows you to enroll on their highest rated nighttime photography course without having to pay, and as the course only takes around an hour to complete while offering some excellent improvements to your nighttime photography skillset, it is well worth doing in our opinion.
Due to the premium membership trial lasting for two full months, you are also able to enroll on a number of their other photography courses without having to pay too. Many of the courses on skillshare have been created by world class photographers in their niche and are well worth doing, especially if you are new to photography but there is plenty of stuff in there for intermediate level photographers too.
Get Yourself A Lens That Is Ideal For Night Photography
We see so many people who use the Nikon d5600 using their standard kit lens for night photography and although the kit lens is a solid entry level lens for many of the popular photography niches out there, it definitely does fall short when it comes to night photography due to the aperture not being ideal for capturing decent photographs at night. Thankfully though, there are a number of excellent camera lenses on the market that are very budget friendly relative to the performance that they offer and the image quality improvement they can provide.
Getting a solid little manual lens with a fast aperture can be a great addition to your d5600 camera accessories for many photography niches but it can definitely go a long way when it comes to getting a better image quality in your photographs at night, especially if you are using the kit lens. That said though, if you are on a budget, we have a number of tips and tricks later in the article that you are able to use to improve the image quality that you are able to capture when using the kit lens but it still won’t bring it up to the level of a photography captured using a decent lens.
Invest In A Suitable Tripod
We know that a large amount of our readers will probably already have a tripod in their camera accessories but every now and then we do see people reaching out for ways to get better at night photography who are trying to capture their photographs by hand. Although you are able to go handheld if you are using a decent lens for night photography with your Nikon d5600, if you are using your kit lens or any lens with a none suitable aperture setting, you really should be looking to get your hands on a decent tripod.
Thankfully though, there are some excellent budget friendly tripod options available these days that can offer you some excellent levels of image stabilization for your night photography as well as for other niches without you having to break the bank. That said though, if you are wanting to stick with photography for years to come and are looking to make a solid investment in your Nikon d5600 camera accessories then we would highly recommend the Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 as we feel that it is one of the best tripods ever made while only having an intermediate price tag rather than a professional level price tag.
Consider Getting Some Steel Wool
This next one is actually going to be dependent on the type of night photography that you are looking to get involved in with your Nikon d5600 but picking up some cheap steel wool can add that additional element to your nighttime photographs to really help bring them to life. The image above shows just how effective this can be for adding some light and some movement to your photographs with nighttime lighting and it really draws the eye.
If you are planning on photographing locations in your local area at night that are often photographed, trying to add in some steel wool can definitely make your photograph stand out. With so many people sharing their photographs on social media, the effect of the steel wool can help draw the eye to your account and result in likes and followers too.
Get Yourself A Remote Trigger
If you are wanting to get involved in astrophotography, especially if you are wanting to use a super zoom telephoto lens with over 300mm of zoom then a remote trigger for your Nikon d5600 is definitely worth the investment. When working at those super zoom ranges, even just the slightest touch or knock to your Nikon d5600 can end up causing vibrations that may spoil your photograph.
Adding a cheap, wireless remote control that is comparable with your d5600 to your camera accessories can be a quick, easy, and cheap way to prevent this from happening and be able to remotely trigger your photographs as you wish. This prevents the need to actually touch your camera and cause any potential vibrations but keep in mind, this is only really an issue when working with over the 300mm focal range.
Try Some ND Filters
If you are wanting to use steel wool as a part of your night photography or capture star trails with your Nikon d5600 then adding a decent ND filter to your collection of camera accessories can be well worth it. Modern ND filters are cheap and offer excellent performance and functionality, especially if you stick with something from the Gobe lens filter range.
The ND filter allows you to keep your shutter open to blend movement and time into the same photograph by restricting the amount of light that can reach your camera sensor. Although there is minimal light available at nighttime, if you are planning to use something like steel wool or back lights while wanting to capturing the movement the an ND filter is a great accessory and it is also useful in a number of other popular photography niches too.
Take Advantage Of The Landscape
Taking advantage of the local landscape to add scale and depth to your images as shown in the photograph above can be a great way to improve your night photography with your Nikon d5600 and the best part is that its totally free! We know that this will be location dependent and not everyone will have access to hills, trees, and mountains but if you are living in an urban environment then things such as bridges, tall buildings, and statues can be used to a similar effect.
Experiment With Manual Focus
As we touched on above, you really should be using the manual focus on your lens when trying to capture photographs at night, even the modern auto focus systems can end up constantly tracking trying to find the main subject of your image at night due to the poor lighting conditions. Getting used to using the manual focus option on your lens is a great skill to have as a photographer and is well worth putting the time and effort into learn.
The Rokinon 14mm, our recommended lens for night photography for the Nikon d5600 is a fully manual lens and the manual focus ring is very responsive and easy to use too allowing you to quickly and easily develop this skill. Even if you do end up going with a different lens for your d5600, we would highly recommend that you look to practice using your manual focus as often as possible.
Play Around With Your Camera Settings
We have lost count of the number of guides that we have seen for the optimal Nikon d5600 camera settings when trying to capturing photographs of the night sky. In our opinion, these can serve as a benchmark but can still be way off what you need for great image quality. This is due to each location having slightly different lighting and each of the night photography sub-niches having slightly different requirements to each other too.
We always recommend that our readers just get out and about with their Nikon d5600 at night and play around with their camera settings. You will quickly get a feel for what you want to use as well as the settings that you like for your own personal photography style that many of the online benchmark settings will not take into consideration.
Optimise Your Aperture
If you are using the Nikon d5600 kit lens then you will probably have some issues with the aperture and be pretty restricted with what it can do. That said though, other lenses that are better at night photography and mount to your Nikon d5600 will often offer you a range of different apertures that you are able to use when capturing your photographs. We would highly recommend that you play around with the aperture range that you have available to you as even just small tweaks can drastically change the image you capture.
Capture Your Photographs In RAW Format
More and more people are moving over to capturing their photographs in RAW format rather than JPEG these days thankfully so it is becoming rarer and rarer that this is actually an actionable tip. That said though, if you are still using JPEG, we would highly recommend that you switch your Nikon d5600 over to RAW. The compression rate for JPEG images can ruin an otherwise great photograph and using RAW also makes it much easier for you to do any type of post-production editing with the photograph too.
Test Different Levels Of Exposure
Try as many different types of exposure as possible and we really cant stress this one enough. The exposure of the main focus of your nighttime photograph can have a huge effect on the difference in image quality that you are able to capture with your Nikon d5600. There are also some really creative things that you are able to do to tweak the exposure depending on exactly what you are planning on doing and there are some excellent guides on it on YouTube that are well worth checking out.
Plan Your Night Photography Session
Our final tip for improving your Nikon d5600 night photography is to check the cloud cover for your local area before you even leave the house. Low cloud usually means poor visibility and we often see even experiences photographers reporting that they left their home, got to their location, only to find that there was low cloud or that there was heavy rain and visibility was useless for night photography.