Old 10-28-2012, 08:36 PM   #1
Mark T
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Default Night photo tips

I finally got a new tripod last week along with a small remote control for my camera and took them out for a trial on friday night. Despite the lack of decent motive power, I'm quite pleased with the results (especially the sharpness):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/youthwi...57631874388108

Does anyone have any tips or comments for improving them? There's quite a few bits of stray light and some distortion (?) around the light sources....

Note I'm not trying to get them on rp.net and haven't done any work in photoshop other than basic RAW processing / resizing etc.

Thanks in advance
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:06 AM   #2
Dennis A. Livesey
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Nice shots. Try submitting the two shot to RP.

Once I got a ball head for my tripod it was hard to stops using it even during the day. I do it to help insure that I get every ounce of sharpness I can.

On my camera there are 3 custom settings so I can get to them fast.

For me:
1. Normal daylight settings
2. Pan shot settings.
3. Tripod settings. Two second timer, mirror up, low ISO.

I like to say I can do magic with a tripod. You can too; witness your streak shots.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:25 AM   #3
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Thanks Dennis - out of interest what settings do you find best? On another forum I've had some feedback about high f stops causing the defraction in the light sources combined with the idea of using a prime lens rather than the 18-200 - I'd be interested to hear others thoughts?

I added a few more last night with the added bonus of some interesting sky....http://www.flickr.com/photos/youthwi...7631874388108/
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:16 AM   #4
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Careful - doing night shots can be addictive
Nicely done. I like the dramatic sky in "350 Crewe".
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:21 AM   #5
Dennis A. Livesey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark T View Post
Thanks Dennis - out of interest what settings do you find best? On another forum I've had some feedback about high f stops causing the defraction in the light sources combined with the idea of using a prime lens rather than the 18-200 - I'd be interested to hear others thoughts?

I added a few more last night with the added bonus of some interesting sky....http://www.flickr.com/photos/youthwi...7631874388108/
2 stops down from wide open usually give the "best" performance of the lens with the most sharpness and best contrast etc. I generally shoot there if possible.

However, I would say with the best lenses, wide open and closed down, only a critical eye will care about the performance.

For low light tripod shots, I set the camera to a ISO 200, mirror up and 2 second timer.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:08 PM   #6
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Lightbulb Night shots.

It really depends on where you are and what you seek to accomplish.

Shorter exposure (5sec) to freeze the action - wide angle lens to capture the scene.

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 299701
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography



Longer exposure (>5sec) to catch the blur - and a longer lens 24-105mm.

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 316569
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography



Crazy long 3 minute exposure at 16mm.

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 362384
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography



Hand held (propped against a fence) with a 24-105mm because I forgot to grab the 16-35mm.

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 348769
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography



Using a 100-400 at 400mm and about 2 minute exposure probably f-11.

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Ergo, there is no "one way" to do these.

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Old 11-01-2012, 09:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis A. Livesey View Post
2 stops down from wide open usually give the "best" performance of the lens with the most sharpness and best contrast etc. I generally shoot there if possible.

However, I would say with the best lenses, wide open and closed down, only a critical eye will care about the performance.

For low light tripod shots, I set the camera to a ISO 200, mirror up and 2 second timer.
Thanks for that.....

I'll keep trying - the aim of this is to perfect the technique before I go somewhere with decent trains that are worth shooting!
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:46 AM   #8
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I'll keep trying - the aim of this is to perfect the technique before I go somewhere with decent trains that are worth shooting!
You need to nip that crazy idea right in the bud. None of us ever "perfect the technique." Where would the fun be in that? You'll get better, I'm sure. Hopefully we all do.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Crazy long 3 minute exposure at 16mm.
pfft. My test shots are usually longer than that

Mark, I've been shooting in the dark for 6 years now, and you have started off much better than most do. The great thing about night photography, is you can shoot the exact same scene ten times, and have it look completely different each attempt. Keep up the good work, and never stop experimenting.

Loyd L.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:42 AM   #10
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pfft. My test shots are usually longer than that

Mark, I've been shooting in the dark for 6 years now, and you have started off much better than most do. The great thing about night photography, is you can shoot the exact same scene ten times, and have it look completely different each attempt. Keep up the good work, and never stop experimenting.

Loyd L.

Thanks. And Joe - good point!
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