How to Take Night Photos With Canon 40D

Written by daniel barrows
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How to Take Night Photos With Canon 40D
Night portrait. (young lady at night image by Trevor Goodwin from

The Canon EOS 40D is a digital SLR camera designed for professional photographers and advanced hobbyists. Its features include a 10.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor, noise reduction technology, 14-bit conversion and a 3.0-inch LCD monitor. In addition, the camera comes equipped with special preset "modes," designed to aid the user in taking certain types of pictures. With the right accessories and a little preparation, you can use your Canon EOS 40D to take attractive pictures under almost any condition.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Tripod
  • Wide-angle lens

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  1. 1

    Select a spot within five meters (16.4 feet) of your subject. Open your tripod and extend its legs fully. Lock the legs in place. Set the camera on the tripod and use the mounting screw to secure the camera in place.

  2. 2

    Remove the caps from the front of the camera body and the rear of your wide-angle lens. If your lens is an EF-S lens, align its mount index with the white mount index on the camera body; if the lens is an EF lens, use the camera's red mount index instead (if you are uncertain what type of lens you have, the information is usually printed on the lens casing). Insert the lens into the camera body and turn it clockwise until it locks into place.

  3. 3

    Find the mode dial, located on top of the camera. Turn the dial to the icon of a person next to a star; this indicates that the camera is in "night portrait" mode. Set the focus mode switch (located on the camera lens) to "MF." Examine your subject through the viewfinder and turn the focusing ring on the camera lens until you are satisfied with the results. Press down on the shutter button to take your picture; repeat as desired.

  4. 4

    Push the lens release button (located on the camera body, next to the lens mount). Turn the lens counterclockwise and remove it from the camera body. Replace the caps on the front of the camera body and the rear of the camera lens. Unscrew the screw securing the camera to the tripod; remove the camera. Unlock and contract the tripod's legs.

Tips and warnings

  • You can increase or reduce the camera's sensitivity to light by adjusting its ISO speed. Press the "ISO" button and adjust the speed by turning the dial located on top of the camera's handgrip. The higher the speed, the greater the sensitivity.
  • You can purchase a wide-angle lens for your camera directly from the Canon website; see "Resources."
  • The camera's flash is only effective up to five meters.

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