You Can Shoot Dramatic Handheld Street Photos at Night with These Tips from a British Pro (VIDEO)

One reason some street photographers shy away from shooting at night is that they dislike lugging around a heavy tripod to steady their camera when using long exposures under low light. But in the eye-opening tutorial below, you’ll see how a British pro makes compelling handheld photos at night.

Craig Roberts is a pro known for dramatic black-and-white street scenes, and like many photographers he prefers to wander the urban landscape unencumbered by anything other than a camera. In the video below, you’ll see him explore the narrow streets and alleys of London after dark, shooting handheld images with the help of streetlights and a few other tricks.

Roberts’ goal with late-night photography is to capture the ambience and atmosphere of deserted scenes. He does this by using fast prime lenses and high ISO settings, with a bit of help from his camera’s image stabilization system. He says, “The extra noise, and a bit of grain, all add to the look I’m after.”

You’ll follow Roberts on his journey around London, as he photographs several locations to demonstrate his approach. He describes his aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings, and how to compose images so that streetlights in the frame don’t bias the exposure. His basic technique involves exposing for the highlights and “letting the shadows take care of themselves.”

No matter where you live, there’s likely a city or village nearby, and a few alleys as well, so how about taking a walk this weekend and giving this a try? You can find more shooting tips on Roberts’ You Tube channel, and in another of his tutorials we posted, explaining how to use ND filters for dramatic long exposure photography.