Four Reasons to Keep Shooting After Sunset | northern California photographer

Photographers of all genres love the golden hour. That yummy light we see the hour or so before sunset illuminates our subjects in the most gorgeous way. Whether we are photographing children or mountains or wild animals, golden hour light is what we all seek.  But what about after the sun has set? There’s still some fantastic shooting to be had. Here are four reasons to keep shooting after sunset.

Keep Shooting After Sunset

#1  Silhouettes

Yes, your subject is blacked out leaving the subject’s form and that beautiful sky as your secondary subject. Silhouettes give the viewer just enough information to recognize the subject, yet allow for some imagination. Throw in a gorgeous, fiery or serene sky and you’ve got an engaging image.

four silhouettes shooting after sunset


#2  Stars, Stars, and More Stars

When the sky blackens, the stars brighten. The farther away from city lights you are, the better. Ambient light, pollution or haze dull the view of the stars. So, if you can, get away from all that light pollution. Then just lay back and take it all in!


Stars and the Milky way are reasons to keep shooting after sunset


#3  City Lights

If you can’t get away from the lights, embrace them. The city takes on a different vibe at night, so take advantage and enjoy some creative photography. Long exposures, street photography, capturing the illuminated billboards and signs that all take on a different persona at night.


street and city lights shooting after sunset


#4  Star Trails, Light Painting

Star trails and light painting take some patience. But if you can manage it and have the time, it can be very rewarding. Star trails require many images – 40 to 50 taken at intervals. Then those images are blended together. The earth’s rotation creates the movement in the star. Blended together, they look like thousands of continuous light circles.


star trails and light painting shooting after sunset


#5  More Reasons

~  Night photography is usually not weather dependent. Okay, except extreme wind, ice, etc.

~  There are fewer people out and about to avoid in the frame.

~  Scenes seem to be more dramatic at night.

~  The camera sees the nighttime colors that your eyes cannot.

~  Nighttime photography is a great way to stretch your photography skills.


Night time shooting provides a different perspective, usually fewer people out and about, and a different feel than golden hour shooting. I personally love the quiet of star shooting. What’s your favorite thing about shooting after sunset? Please share!



All landscape and still life images are available for purchase.

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Nadeen Flynn is an award winning northern California portrait and fine art photographer. Living in the greater Sacramento area, she specializes in high school senior and teen portraits as well as fine art landscape and still life photography. Nadeen’s style is authentic, fresh and personality-driven. This retains the timeless features of photography that create family heirlooms. She offers in-person workshops and mentoring. Currently living in rural northern California with her husband and a couple thousand walnut trees, she is a proud owner of Canon photography equipment.

Currently booking 2018 high school seniors, couples, and family portraits. Locations include Yuba City/Marysville, East Nicolaus, Wheatland, Lincoln, Woodland, Roseville, Rocklin, and Sacramento areas.

(530) 633-7575

Aperture: ƒ/4 | Focal length: 28mm | ISO: 400 | Shutter speed: 1/500s |

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Nadeen Flynn - Thank you! Sometimes I get lazy about going out at night. But then I do and wonder why I don’t go more! Ha!

Iris - I love your examples photographing after sunset. Especially the stars. So pretty.
I do love night photography. I just don’t go out too much after dark. During the week it is hard for me, because I have to get up early in the morning. I like the city lights, because like you said, the city looks so different at night.

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