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Take photos in low light or at night on your Pixel phone or tablet

When your device is steady, you can take photos in low light or of the night sky without the flash. Learn how to open your Google Camera app on your Pixel phone.

Take photos in low light or at night (UK) | Pixel

Take photos in low light with Night Sight
  1. Open your Camera app Google Camera.
  2. In the Photo mode carousel, tap Night Sight.
  3. Tap Capture Night Sight.
  4. Hold still for a few seconds while your device captures the photo.

Tip: To capture time-lapse videos in the dark with Night Sight, learn how to record a video with Night Sight.

To turn off automatic Night Sight in Photo mode:

  1. On the right, tap Night Sight .
  2. To adjust, drag the slider from Max to Off.
  3. Tap Settings .
  4. Set More light to None.

Tips:

  • When you take a photo in low-light conditions and the Photo mode or Portrait mode is on, Night Sight automatically turns on.
  • When the camera flash is on, the automatic Night Sight doesn’t work.
To turn off the More light option:
  1. Open the Camera app .
  2. At the bottom left, tap Settings and then More light.
  3. Turn off More light.

Take photos of the night sky with Astrophotography

On your Pixel device, you can take photos of the night sky. To do so, travel away from city lights. For photos of the stars, take photos at least 45–90 minutes after sunset.

Important: On Pixel 4a (5G) and later, Astrophotography only works on zoom settings equal to or greater than 1x.

To take a photo:

  1. Go to a dark area.
  2. Open your Camera app Google Camera.
  3. Tap Night Sight.
  4. Prop your device on a steady surface, like a rock or tripod. Don't use your hands.
  5. When your device is still and ready, the shutter changes to Astrophotography mode .
  6. Tap Shutter.
  7. Do not touch your device until it's finished taking the photo. Your phone will show a countdown timer.

To turn off auto-timelapse:

  1. Open the Camera app Google Camera.
  2. At the bottom left, tap Settings and then More settings and then Advanced More.
  3. Turn off Enable timelapse for Astrophotography.

Tips to improve your night-sky photos

To get the best possible night sky photos, you can prepare for outdoor photography and adjust your device's settings.

Prepare for outdoor photography
  • Plan ahead to know when and where you can find stars and constellations. For help, download a star chart app.
  • Check the weather forecast. If the sky is cloudy, it’s harder to find the moon or stars.
  • Travel away from city lights and other artificial lights. Light pollution makes stars less visible. For help, find a light pollution map of your area.
  • Prop the device against a steady surface, or use a tripod. Don’t touch your device or prop it with your hand.
  • If it’s windy, move your device closer to the ground or shield your device from the wind. Your device works best when it's still.
    • Tip: To help your device stay steady, set the self-timer to three seconds. Your device takes a photo three seconds after you tap Capture Night Sight.
Adjust your device's settings
  • Reduce your screen’s brightness. When your screen is darker, it can help your eyes adjust to the darkness around you. Learn how to change your display settings.
  • Turn on Dark theme. Learn how to change your display settings.
  • Set the focus to 'far'. Changing this setting makes your camera focus on anything more than 4 metres (13 feet) away, like the night sky. To change focus:
    1. With your Camera app Google Camera.
    2. In the Photo mode carousel, tap Night Sight.
    3. At the bottom left, tap Settings .
    4. Next to 'Focus', tap Far .

Adjust brightness or shadows

For Pixel 4 and earlier:

To adjust brightness, shadows and temperature of the colour hue, tap and hold your screen.

  • Adjust brightness: On the right, adjust the slider to lower or raise brightness Brightness.
  • Adjust shadows: On the right, adjust the slider to lower or raise shadows Shadows.

For Pixel 4a 5G and later:

To adjust brightness, shadows and temperature of the colour hue, at the bottom right, tap Edit Adjust volume and then Adjust.

  • Adjust brightness: At the bottom, tap Brightness Brightness.
    • To lower or raise brightness, adjust the slider.
  • Adjust shadows: At the bottom, tap Shadows .
    • To lower or raise shadows, adjust the slider.

Related resources

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