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5 Tips for taking better photos at Illuminate Adelaide

(Cover Image: South Australian Tourism  Commission Futures by Lucid Creates)


Until the end of July, Illuminate Adelaide is offering photographers a fantastic opportunity to see the Adelaide CBD in a different light.  With free & ticketed events on offer, now is a great time to rug up, pack your favourite camera & capture the Adelaide streets & landmarks as they have never been seen before.


5 Tips for taking better photos at Illuminate Adelaide

  1. Use a sturdy tripod.

This will eliminate camera movement whilst taking photos with longer shutter speeds, resulting in sharp images with no unwanted motion blur.  My trusty Manfrotto tripod fits easily into my Vanguard camera backpack & is lightweight & easily adjustable.  A no-brainer to add it to the kit for sharper images!


  1. Use manual focus.

Using manual focus will allow you to focus on the area you wish to capture without the autofocus searching through the dark or being distracted by other lights that may randomly interfere with your intended photo.  If you struggle to see if your intended area is in focus & your camera has the feature, focus peaking is a very handy tool to use & become comfortable with for focussing accuracy.  The image below shows the in-focus highlighted part in red when using manual focus & focus peaking.

(Image: Adobe)

  1. Use manual mode.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • keep flash turned off
  • use a low ISO (see #4 below)
  • adjusting the aperture & shutter speed will depend on the intended image & what the light is doing in the scene.


(Image: joeyjoenes)

(Image:  tyr.xplorer)


  1. Use a low ISO.

Using the lowest ISO setting possible gives you the best opportunity to avoid any chance of the need for painful post-production noise reduction & potential disappointment.  Conduct some test shots raising the ISO level but keeping all other settings constant.  When you start to see noise creep in (eg. it may be ISO 1600 for your camera), ensure that you keep the ISO level under that value & adjust other settings.  Just because cameras such as the newly released Nikon Z9 have native ISO values up to 25,600, it doesn’t mean you have to use them.


  1. Shoot in RAW.

RAW images do take up more space on your memory card but they offer the best results & also flexibility in post-production.


If you wish to learn more, PhotoCo offers a range of courses to better your photography experience.  Street photography, landscape photography, portrait photography… you name it & we offer group & one on one photography courses to cater to your needs in both the film & digital photography worlds.


The team at PhotoCo hope you found these tips helpful.  Most importantly, get out there & experiment with different settings & don’t forget to enjoy yourself in the process!