The Nikon z6 is an extremely popular professional-level mirrorless camera from the Nikon range that an absolutely huge core customer base of photographers who use it as their go-to camera body of choice. In our opinion, it is definitely one of the better mirrorless cameras out there and it sees consistently strong sales month in and month out with its popularity continuing to grow at a rapid pace within the community.
Due to being such a popular mirrorless camera, we see photographers reaching out with a large number of different questions relating to the z6 on a regular basis. Although these questions usually cover a wide range of topics, we have noticed a spike in the number of questions relating to improving the image quality that people are able to capture with their Nikon z6 night photography.
As the Nikon z6 shows no signs of its customer growth slowing down anytime soon and the fact that night photography is also rapidly growing in popularity right now, we have decided to focus this article around our tips and tricks to improve your Nikon z6 night photography. Due to the z6 being a professional level camera body, you may already be implementing a large portion of our suggestions from below but we still feel that we have something in our list for everyone.
Consider A Free Night Photography Course
Although the vast majority of people who invest in a Nikon z6 will be experienced photographers, we do see some people who usually work in other photography niches and are new to night photography. If this is the case for you then as a one of our readers, you can claim your two months of Skillshare premium and enroll on the best night photography course on their platform.
The course has an excellent reputation with a large number of glowing reviews having been published on Skillshare from previous students. As it is a premium course that most people have to pay for, we feel that it is well worth considering for any of our readers who are new to night photography in particular as it offers a ton of excellent tips and tricks in video format that you are able to use to your advantage.
In our opinion, this is probably going to be the best way for any of our readers who own the Nikon z6 but are new to night photography to improve their skillset. The course covers absolutely everything that you could ever need to know about night photography and as a Photography Paws reader, you don’t have to spend a cent to enroll on it via the two mont Skillshare premium trial. Additionally, you are also able to enroll on any of the other photography courses on the platform after completing the night photography course if you wish too.
Consider Getting Some Steel Wool
Although the popularity of using steel wool for photography sessions at night is definitely increasing, we do feel that it is an underrated technique that you are able to use to your advantage to make your photograph stand out and draw the viewers eye to your work over your competitors. In the modern age of social media, there are a while bunch of photographers competing for followers and likes and integrating some steel wool use into your photograph can make your image stand out over the competitions.
So many popular landmarks will be photographed in both day and night conditions in your local area but as you are able to see in the photo from the start of this section, an otherwise boring photo of a bridge is easily brought to life with a little steel wool being used. One thing that we would say is that you should have a quick Google search for your local area to see if there are any regulations in place regarding the use of steel wool, a small number of locations will limit its use, especially during the dry seasons.
Get Yourself A Remote Trigger
This next one is more of a speciallist tip for anyone working with a super zoom lens with their Nikon z6 at nighttime but a common mistake that we see even professional photographers making is to manually trigger their camera. If you are into your astrophotography and are using anything with over 300mm focal length at the lenses higher zoom capabilities, you can easily blur your photographys by accident due to the vibrations from pressing the button to trigger your camera shutter.
A simple, cheap, remote for your camera allows you to completely remove the need to touch your camera body when triggering your camera shutter and thus, removes the vibrations. This is such a simple, yet underrated trick that offers a ton of value considering these remote controls are usually between ten and twenty dollars but they are able to drastically reduce blur and improve image quality at higher zoom ranges.
Try Some ND Filters
Although many photographers will already have decent ND filters in the collection of camera accessories, if you don’t currently have them but do want to start using steel wool in your night photography sessions with your Nikon z6 or start capturing star trails, they can be a great addition to your gear. An ND filter allows you to keep your shutter open without your photograph suffering from over exposure or light contamination allowing you to blend movement into the photograph as seen in the photo earlier in the article for steel wool.
Although there are a number of brands out there offering ND filters, we would highly recommend the Gobe filter range to our readers as they offer some of the best performance we have seen for the lowest possible price point. This is down to Gobe being a newer brand to the lens filter market and trying to innovate in every way possible to ensure that their users get the best possible product for the lowest possible price.
Take Advantage Of The Landscape
Although we would like to hope that most of our readers who have folked out for a camera as expensive as the Nikon z6 will already be doing this, we just want to quickly touch on using local landmarks to help you enhance your nighttime photographs and add that extra dimension to them to help you get some scale or depth. If you are in a rural location then things as simple as trees and mountains as shown above can work wonders while tall buildings and bridges can work very well in an urban location.
As these landmarks can be used for free and are often on the location of your night photography session anyway, its a no brainer to try and integrate them where possible depending on the specific night photography niche that you are planning to use. If you think outside of the box you can take this to the next level for your photographs too and come up with some epic looking nighttime photographs of vistas that many other photographers will simply miss.
Experiment With Manual Focus
Another thing that we would like to hope that any of our readers who are using the Nikon z6 will already be doing is playing around with their manual focus rather than the auto focus on their lens during a nighttime photography session. Although auto focus systems are much better than they used to be, they definitely can still struggle during the night due to the poor lighting and manual focus takes over.
Play Around With Your Camera Settings
Although many professional photographers tend to be good at nailing down their ideal camera settings for a particular photography niche early on, remember that each location for night photography will have different lighting so remember to tweak your settings to try and find the optimal setup. Even amongst the professional photography community, we see people who end up getting into a habit of using the same settings for their night photography with their cameras but rarely end up tweaking it to their specific locations lighting.
Test Different Levels Of Exposure
There are a ton of different ways that you are able to use different levels of exposure to get different types of night photograph depending on the specific sub-niche that you are working in. There are countless guides on different types of lighting exposure for night photography on YouTube that go into a ton of detail and offer a whole bunch of inspiration on how you may be able to play around with it in your own night photography sessions.
Plan Your Night Photography Session
Our final tip for improving your Nikon z6 night photography us to actually plan your session and professional level photographers actually seem to be worse at this than entry level and intermediate level photographers for some reason. We have lost count of the number of people who have left their house without checking the weather, cloud cover, the moons phase, or visible stars for that particular night only to get to their location and have their photography session be over before it even started.
In this day and age, it literally takes a minute or two and a few Google searches to get all of the information that you need so there really is no need to be making this mistake. There are even apps available for most smartphones that will give you this type of information at the press of a button too!