An hour after sunset, most travel photographers are packing up their gear and heading to a hot meal and a warm bed. But there are some who sit patiently all day waiting for the sun to drop below the horizon, until it’s time to grab their camera bag and start hiking. Below nighttime photographers share some tips and images from around the world.

Editors note: Text and tips contributed by Max Seigal and Ibrahim Centindemir

1

Annapurna, Nepal

This photo was taken from Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal. I spent the night standing outside in sub-zero temps, waiting for the moon to be at just the right angle to illuminate the massive 8,167-meter peak. The only reliable form of illumination for the landscape was the moonlight. On a moonless night, the mountains would have been lost: black silhouettes against the starry night in the background.

Photo and caption: Max Seigal

2

Mount Royal, Canada

It was nearly 10pm when I spotted something big moving in the distance on Mount Royal, near Frisco, Colorado. First thing that came to mind was bear. I started yelling, “Heyyyyy, Mr. Bear.” The bear disappeared, I packed my gear, descended and later came across a group of locals enjoying a bonfire. One of them gave me a weird look and said, “Seen any bears around here tonight?”

Photo and caption: Ibrahim Cetindemir

3

Alabama Hills, Alabama

Photo: robsonhmorgan

4

Double Arch in Arches National Park, Utah

This shot was taken at Double Arch in Arches National Park, Utah. The particular formation was difficult to illuminate evenly because the top of the arch reaches 148 feet high. Its height means it requires significantly more light painting at the top than the lower portions of the arch to achieve an even spread of light.

Photo and caption: Max Seigal

5

Pike National Forest

It wasn’t the greatest idea to start a hiking trip in Colorado’s Pike National Forest at almost 6pm. Luckily for me and two friends we had a full moon, which rendered our headlamps unnecessary. That same moon evenly illuminated our campsite while I made this shot.

Photo and caption: Ibrahim Cetindemir

6

Stakholtsgja canyon, Iceland

Photo: Jonatan Pie

7

Fitz Roy, Chile

I spent several days hiking around Fitz Roy, in Chile, in search of great night photography locations. I stumbled on this tree halfway up the eight-mile trek to the mountain’s base. I knew it was going to be a challenge finding the tree in the night, so I made sure to memorize nearby landmarks to help find my way.
At midnight, I started hiking and quickly realized it was hard to try to keep track of the tiny footpath that wandered through the woods for miles, alone in the dark. After about two hours, I finally began to recognize the landmarks I’d memorized earlier in the day and managed to capture one of my favorite night sky images to date.

Photo and caption: Max Seigal

8

Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

The Dry Tortugas National Park has some of the darkest skies in South Florida, with no light pollution. Despite having a comfortable tent, I spent every single night sleeping outside, covered only by a blanket of stars.

Photo and caption: Ibrahim Cetindemir

9

Terrassa, Spain

Photo: Hector Argüello Canals

10

Black Canyon, Colorado

There are several techniques for night photography — some more pure and natural than others. While many of my shots only incorporate natural features of the landscape, I wanted to add a human element to this night shot. The idea in my mind represented the connection of human and nature.
I searched long and hard for a subject that could portray this message. This tree, shaped by years of relentless winds on the rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, was perfect for the shot.

Photo and caption: Max Seigal

11

Markham Park in Weston, Florida

After four separate trips to Markham Park in Weston, FL, my patience paid off. I released the shutter and knew I had the shot. The bolt’s position and timing had been flawless. But in a matter of seconds the mild breeze turned into an intimidating gale. I had not secured my tripod with any weights; the tripod began to rock, and I watched in dismay as my camera jettisoned down the levee. The body and lens were irreparably damaged, yet I returned with one of my most favorite self-portraits I have ever taken.

Photo and caption: Ibrahim Cetindemir

12

Ersfjorden, Norway

Photo: Bjørn Are Andreassen

13

Delicate Arch, Utah

Sometimes everything comes together and no amount of planning could have created a more perfect photograph. I spent the night photographing Delicate Arch in Utah, getting images of the arch in contrast with the Milky Way behind it. As I was just about to leave, I thought it would be fun to get a self-portrait in the setting I love most — outdoors, lost in the vastness of nature and night. I set up my camera and light, set off the trigger, and quickly ran under the arch to stand for this image.
I had no idea how it would turn out, but when I returned home and downloaded the image to my computer, I saw that everything had come together by chance to create this compelling night shot.

Photo and caption: Max Seigal

14

Lost Creek Wilderness, Colorado

While in the Lost Creek Wilderness, I persuaded everyone to move camp so I could get this photograph. We all slept on an incline, our sleeping bags slipping off the pads. The next day we got hit hard by high winds, rain, and snow atop McCurdy Mountain.

Photo and caption: Ibrahim Cetindemir

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