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In pictures: Ben’s dramatic night photography

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We spotted Ben Kirby’s dramatic night shots of Stroud on his Instagram account and asked if we could feature them on Stroud Times.

Stroud Sub Rooms. Picture: Ben Kirby.

Ben, who works as a wedding photographer and IT systems trainer, became interested in photography when his daughter was born. “It all started just over nine years ago. I bought my first ‘proper’ camera to take some pictures of her growing up.

Near the Lock Keeper’s Cafe. Picture: Ben Kirby.

“Everyone tends to take pictures in daylight… why wouldn’t they? It’s a lot easier to do. I thought it would be good to be able to show people what Stroud looks like at night. It’s also nice to have a walk around the town when it is quiet.”

Night photography poses its own set of challenges: “Every photograph ever taken relies on one major element – light. At night there is a lot less of it, so you have to get creative in how you get the little amount of light there is onto the camera sensor.

Ecotricity’s headquarters. Picture: Ben Kirby.

“There are a number of ways you can do this, such as opening up the aperture of your lens to let more light in, increasing the ISO (sensor sensitivity) or leaving the shutter open for longer periods of time but this introduces other problems such as keeping the camera still to avoid blurry shots. That being said, a slower shutter speed can produce some nice effects as you can see from some of the light trails in the pictures.” 

Dramatic shadows. Picture: Ben Kirby.

Ben uses a full-frame Sony mirrorless camera for his night photography. “My camera has fantastic low light capabilities and in-body stabilisation, combined with a prime lens that has a wide f1.4 aperture to allow more light into the camera.

Light trails by the Four Clocks. Picture: Ben Kirby.

“For shots where the shutter speed is longer than one second a sturdy tripod is essential to eliminate any movement of the camera whilst the image is being captured.”

A deserted High Street. Picture: Ben Kirby.

To see more of Ben’s photography visit his Instagram account @streetlevelphotos

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