When to Go: Anytime is fine, but traditionally the best results have been documented after 9 p.m. To save money buy a regular light and a red silk flower and gorilla tape the flower over the light. Voila, a red light.
A DSLR Camera: can be used for night photography but cannot see in the dark completely. You can use a red light to illuminate the rear of the room.
Full Spectrum Digital Camera: – Takes quality Full Spectrum photos and video. They have been professionally modified to accept deeper Ultraviolet (UV) and Infrared (IR) light to allow photos deep into the usually unseen spectrum of light. It features an easy to use interface with plenty of features to make your job easier and capturing evidence more efficient.
As with all cameras, this is best used with the aid of an external light source such as a UV light, IR light or Full Spectrum (white) light.
Infrared (IR) Digital Camera: – Takes quality IR photos and video with the convenience and ease of a compact digital camera
Camera Settings: For basic DSLR Photography our goal is capturing activity not super high quality so that we will do a few things a little out of the ordinary.
- You must use a tripod when shooting in the dark area.
- Set your camera to manual mode.
- Put your camera on the 2-second timer or use a cable release.
- Set your ISO very high for very dark locations. This lets more light into the camera. Set it much lower if you are outside and have some light source such as the moon. You cannot shoot a DSLR in total darkness. You will need some light sources such as church light, a full moon or a red light in the back of a room. Set your ISO depending on how much light you have. Again, it’s not always about avoiding grain or digital noise here. ISO 100 for outdoors in graveyards with light. ISO 6400 for interiors.
- Set your aperture to the lowest it will go such (ex. 2.8), to let more light in if needed. If you need some depth of field set the aperture a little higher. You cannot go too much higher in the darkness since the higher the number the less light that will come into the camera. Scroll your shutter speed until the meter reads center zero. You can take some test shots and adjust from there.
Now you are set. You should be about several seconds on your shutter speed. If you do not have enough light, you can then add the red light in the rear of the room. If your camera will not focus take a flashlight and light up a single subject in the picture. (Don’t blast light all over you will disturb who it is you are there to find.) Put the focus point of where the camera will focus on the area you have lit up. When you see the camera has obtained focus and the two-second timer starts turn your flashlight off. The camera will now take the shot. Set your camera to manual focus without touching the focus ring. Take several pictures without moving your camera. Every time you do different shots you will have to refocus the same way again.
Another way to obtain focus in darker areas is to turn on live view. Hit your zoom button. Zoom in on something lit. Expose your image. When you zoom in the camera can see it better to grab focus.