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crocs4022
02-15-2005, 11:26 PM
I'm looking for a few tips on night photography. I've had a night shot accepted. Follow link:
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=82122

I've been looking at the shot lately and I think that it's slightly out of focus. Is there anything i can do to get a clearer shot in the future? Shoot with manual focus? I only had about 1 1/2 minutes to get and shots at all. Also, do the parking lot lights pose any problems? Hopefully I can improve my night photography a little.

brunswickrailfan
02-16-2005, 03:54 AM
The focus seems fine to me.

At night, always shoot with manual focus, but the only problem is getting it right the first time. It is difficult to gauge proper focus whe the subject isn't there yet, or when it's too dark to gauge either way.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=85352

For this photo, I had about 10 minutes to set up and perfect the exposure and focus settings. The fog was a real PITA, but so are street lights. As for them, parking lights are little more than a nuisance in terms of bad lighting and an awful color-cast.

Hope this helps.

crocs4022
02-19-2005, 03:18 AM
Thanks for the info. I'm gonna try again when it's not so cold and when i get the time. I shoud've said "Mercury-Vapor" lights (at least that's what i was told they were). I've tried once in the fog and the shot didn't come out too well. I caught a light with the lens and ended up with a spot on the nose of the locomotive. Would've been a nice shot though. Oh well. By the way, that's a great shot! Thanks again!

cmherndon
02-19-2005, 03:59 AM
I shoud've said "Mercury-Vapor" lights (at least that's what i was told they were).

Stay away from mercury vapor lights at all cost. For some reason, they'll give your subject a greenish tint like in the following photo.

http://www.cmherndon.com/outtakes/nightvision

Sodium vapor lights shouldn't pose too much of a problem though.

Lord Vader
02-19-2005, 04:44 AM
Sodium vapor turns everything yellow, which IMHO is just as much a problem as Mercury vapor. At one time, back in my Kodachrome days, I had a set of filters I used to correct the color shift cause by artificial lighting. Now of course, Photoshop CS does the work for me.

Joe the Photog
02-20-2005, 06:04 AM
I'll be honest. I couldn't tell you what kind of light any certain light is. Some of my night time stuff may cause more seasoned photgs than myself to wince. But I shoot 'em, I process them as I see fit and then I share them. Here are some example --

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=77831

In hindsight, I think I darkened it a little too much, but it got in. It was an early morning shot and the day was overcast, so I thought b&w may be the way to go.

By the way, I shoot digital and the camera allows me to shoot in full manual, which I always do, but to have the lens set the focus itself. which is good because sometimes my eye sight is less than perfect. Another one --

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=93742

No need to worry about time limitations here. The train was here all weekend.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=85103

Another one where the train wasn't going anywhere for a while. But right after I had set up, I heard sirens. I quickly guessed what to set the camera for, then waited until the last minute to push the shutter so I could capture the lights going down the street. I lost my cable release and normally do my night time stuff on timer, but sometimes, that ain't possible. Still, I like the results!

More night time shots @ http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?offset=0&where=search%7C-2%7C-2%7C-2%7C%7C4%7C%7C15%7C1%7C%7C%7C%7C%7C%7C%7C%7C-2%7C-2%7C%7C-2%7C4%7C%7C%7C15%7C-2%7C40%7C%7C%7C%7C%7C

Ken Carr
02-20-2005, 06:38 AM
Check out this previous threat for ideas....
http://www.railpictures.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1165
Good luck....Ken

rpalmer
02-22-2005, 02:20 PM
Sodium vapor turns everything yellow, which IMHO is just as much a problem as Mercury vapor. At one time, back in my Kodachrome days, I had a set of filters I used to correct the color shift cause by artificial lighting. Now of course, Photoshop CS does the work for me.

Most digital cameras have a white balance setting that can be used to compensate for these type of lighting situations. There are settings for mercury-vapor lighting that will help with the strange colors. When all else fails, shoot in RAW mode. Photoshop CS allows you to change the white balance on the image. A while ago, someone else had a similar question and got much better results after adjusting the white balance:
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=71777
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=72464

Super2000
02-22-2005, 08:42 PM
If you can expect your subject to be stationary for a while, stop down the aperture on your camera. More things will be in focus that way. Doing so requires you to lengthen the exposure. Double it for each stop.

For example:
f/4 30 sec
f/5.6 60 sec
f/8 120 sec

And so on.