Starry Eyed: Where to Take Photos at Night
12 places to channel your inner night owl.
Everyone loves to capture a dreamy sunset or have an impromptu photo shoot on a sunny, white-sand beach, but practicing your photography skills at night opens up a world of possibilities that daytime photos can't offer. When the sun sets, a photo location is completely transformed in the dark. Places become more mysterious, moody and full of different opportunities to experiment with light, shadows and color.
The Explorest app will guide you to photo spots all around the world and one of the best features the app has is a filter that allows you to see places based on the time of day you're wanting to visit. So when you're having a sleepless night, unable to turn your brain off and get some shut-eye, we recommend scrolling through Explorest's curated feed and visiting nearby locations where you can snap the most photogenic places.
Lights (out), camera, action!
Ruby Beach is a scenic strip of coastline located in the Pacific Northwest. We can give you all the insider info on the Washington State photo spot during the day, but at night is when this cave view really comes to life. The moon is perfectly framed by the cave's arched landscape and the smooth water flowing along the sand is captivating under the PNW stars.
credit: @ross_schram — discover Ruby Beach Cave view of Sea Stacks on the Explorest app
Singapore's Jubilee Bridge is a stand-out photo spot once the sky begins to darken. The blurred reflection of the twinkling buildings, the deep-sapphire sky and the illuminated bridge that guides the way into the city create a soothing, yet energetic, display of light and color in the city.
credit: @insynced — discover Jubilee Bridge & Singapore Skyline on the Explorest app
The Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower
The Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower is one of the most photographed buildings in Shanghai. The cherry blossom season in China is short-lived, occurring from late March until early April, but with a view of the flowers framing the 1,535-foot tall structure, it's a sight worth seeing—especially at night!
credit: @seven7panda — discover The Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower framed by Cherry Blossoms on the Explorest app
Cedar Lake Dock
The Milky Way is one of the most awe-inspiring things to witness—especially as a photographer! This photo, captured by @snaphappymichigan, shows Cedar Lake Dock in Traverse City, Michigan. The Milky Way is only visible from late June until mid-July, so if you're planning a trip to the midwest, we suggest visiting in the summer to get the best view of the starry sky.
credit: @snaphappymichigan — discover Cedar Lake Dock view of Milky Way on the Explorest app
Garden Road Pathway
Feel the electricity of a night in Central, Hong Kong at the Garden Road Pathway. You get an unobstructed view of Citibank Towers, as well as the Sculptor Capital. This photo spot is also a great place to practice taking photos of light trails, with the traffic whizzing by below you.
credit: @theliamman — discover Garden Road Pathway view Citibank Towers & Sculptor Capital Management on the Explorest app
LACMA "Urban Lights"
The "Urban Lights" installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has been photographed millions of times, but this nighttime lookup is a lesser-known way to see the famous lampposts. The symmetry is so aesthetically pleasing and the light bulbs against the pitch-black sky are a unique way to take a photo after dark at the museum.
credit: @tommylundberg — discover LACMA "Urban Light" Installation Look up on the Explorest app
The purple and pink hues of the glittering lights from Lugard Road in Hong Kong are as constant as stars in the night sky. The elevated Lugard Road offers a panoramic view of the Central district's thriving metropolis, including the Cheung Kong Centre and Bank of China Tower.
credit: @seven7panda — discover Lugard Road view of Cheung Kong Centre & Bank of China Tower (night) on the Explorest app
Because it's so incredible, we couldn't include just one location of the Milky Way on our list of where to take photos at night. This Johnston Ridge spot in Washington allows you to experience the massive stratovolcano, Mount St. Helens, and colorful wildflowers that complement the mesmerizing sky.
credit: @michaelmatti — discover Johnston Ridge view of Mount St. Helens & Milky Way on the Explorest app
Thian Hock Keng Temple
This Singapore photo spot is a fantastic example of the merge of modern and traditional architecture. Thian Hock Keng Temple brings the city to life with rows of glowing lanterns, and in the background, you can see the more industrialized structure of Gucco Tower.
credit: @yk — discover Thian Hock Keng Temple Lanterns & Gucco Tower on the Explorest app
Manhattan is known as "The City that Never Sleeps" and from this rooftop view, it's easy to see how NYC earned the infamous nickname. Even after the sun goes down, New York has an energy that's unlike any other city in the world! See it for yourself on the roof of the Mantena Apartments in Midtown West.
credit: @phil.yoon — discover Mantena Apartments Rooftop view of Empire State Building & The New Yorker Hotel on the Explorest app
Lone Pine Peak
Spend a night stargazing in the rugged Alabama Hills. Illuminated by the moon and stars, the clear desert sky in California has one of the most epic views of the Eastern Sierra mountain range. This spot is located just off of Movie Road, so if you're a cinephile, this area is a must-see.
credit: @andrew.studer — discover Lone Pink Peak in Alabama Hills on the Explorest app
Helios on Biopolis
Get creative and grab a friend to practice light trail paintings at this nighttime photo location in the Buona Vista area of Singapore. Beneath the asymmetrical zigzag bridge, you can have your friend make designs with a sparkler, appearing as neon brush strokes through an urban scene.
credit: @onghaoxu — discover Light Trail Painting at Helios on Biopolis Way on the Explorest app
If you're looking to discover new photo spots, download the Explorest app today. We provide insider recommendations to help you capture your travels, near and far.