One tip that I have long embraced is to use a remote trigger for my night shots so that my clumsy hand doesn’t shake the camera and cause unnecessary blurring. This, of course, is an exceptional tip. But recently, I have found new love for the alternative: The Automatic Timer. In lieu of the remote trigger, you can use your Automatic Timer as a means to avoid camera shake. Set it for five seconds, and your hand will be well away from the camera, affording you tack sharp photos at slow shutter speeds. This is also not a new tip, but there’s a nice side effect of using the Automatic Timer: You have to wait.
Waiting is never a bad thing in photography. In the case of my recent night photography, I have actually set my timer to 10 seconds. That’s a long time, especially since I’ll do a few shots at a given location. But that time isn’t wasted. I spend it looking around. I try to envision another shot location or find other subject matter. It has done well for me in helping me to plan my next shot and I would encourage you to use this as a way to pace yourself.
So why does it work? It works becasue I have to wait anyhow. In the cold weather, I sometimes find myself rushing a little too much. But by using a 10 second delay, I’m forcing myself to think about and plan the next shot. The wait actually helps me to pace myself. It’s not for everyone, but it does well to keep me focused.