Old 11-07-2009, 05:51 AM   #1
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Default SLR Night Photography

Below is a tutorial that I've typed up in regard to my experiences with night photography since I purchased an SLR nearly a year ago. Hopefully several members who come to the RP forums requesting help on their night photography can benefit from my below post.

First, let's start off with the basic needs for shooting night photography. Obviously, an SLR (not required, but for this tutorial, many of the settings, etc. will require a more advanced camera, such as an SLR). I would also consider bringing along an extra battery, as long exposures will kill the battery rather quickly! A decent sized memory card is always nice as well, but of course, not required. A decent tri-pod is also something I would recommend as a requirement. The slightest camera shake as a result of a poorly designed tri-pod will ruin a photo. Trust me, I am fully aware of this, from my own personal experiences. Also, I would highly suggest investing in a cable release! Depending on what brand you're using, these can generally be found a reasonable price. I bought my RS-60ES for $30 at a local camera store.

For those of you who are not aware of the purpose of a cable release, it is a small object either wired or wireless that allows the photographer to take long exposures (sometimes exceeding 30 minutes) when using the "BULB" setting. The BULB setting can generally be found under "M", or in other words, manual settings on the SLR. In most cases, the average SLR is capable of producing 30 second exposures when a cable release is not being used. When a cable release is present, the exposure will last the life of the battery, thus why I previously suggested bringing along a second battery.

Before I begin explaining various ways of shooting at night, let me first begin my sharing different settings and the purpose of each one. Again, when using manual settings, you will have full control over the camera (at least this is the case with most Canon SLR's that I have worked with). You will be able to adjust the exposure, aperture, ISO, White Balance, and Auto Focus settings. There are additional settings, but we'll start off with the ones I mentioned above.

Exposure- On most SLR's (at least the newer ones), there is a large range of shutter speeds. With my XSi, I am able to go up to a 1/4000" of an exposure and then all the way down to BULB. I generally hang around BULB. I'm one of these people who likes to have full control over the camera.

Aperture- When shooting at night, a decent aperture (Depth of Field) is always nice. A low aperture (an F stop below F5.0) will sometimes give the photo a fuzzy, or out of focus appearance. This why I generally do not shoot below F8.0 at night. The lower the aperture, the more light that is introduced to your shutter, although as previously stated, the lower the aperture, the bigger chance you take of having an out of focus photo. This is why I use a higher aperture, but make it up by doing a longer exposure. For more on aperture, I encourage you to follow the link below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aperture

ISO- When shooting at night, a lower ISO is highly recommended. The higher the ISO, the better chance you have of receiving a noisy/grainy appearance to your image. I would highly suggest not exceeding ISO 200. I generally choose from ISO 100 and ISO 200 (I haven't noticed a considerable difference between the two). For additional information on ISO, please follow the link below.

http://www.photoxels.com/tutorial_iso.html

White Balance- This can be tricky at times, as you will generally have various ambient light sources that will sometimes give the photo an oddish tint. I would suggest playing around a bit with various WB settings. Pick the one that is most comfortable for you. If you're a RAW user (Instead of JPEG), you will be able to adjust the temperature of the photo a lot easier than users who are using a JPEG setting. For users who are using JPEG (such as myself), I would recommend looking into post processing software for the computer such as Adobe Lighroom or the freeware, Rawtherapee, which will allow you adjust the temperature of the photo. As far as on-camera settings are concerned, I generally will switch between "Tungsten" and "Fluorescent" on the White Balance menu. "Tungsten" does a great job of getting rid of the reddish tint often caused by street lights, rail yard lights, and so on. Fluorescent will appear a bit warmer (or in other words, containing a more reddish tint when compared to the tungsten). Either way, regardless of the white balance settings, in most cases, post processing software can correct any tint that the photo may contain, within reason.

If you're interested in purchasing Adobe lightroom, or downloading Rawtherapee, please follow the links below.

Adobe Lightroom: http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshoplightroom/

Raw Therapee: http://www.rawtherapee.com/

There are also other methods of correcting an unwanted tint. Photoshop CS2 and CS4 offer a handful of cooling filters which will reduce the rather unappealing, reddish tint.

Auto Focus- This is all a matter of opinion, but many photographers prefer to use Manual Focus when shooting at night. I often switch back and forth from Auto Focus vs. Manual Focus. In order to switch from AF to MF, there should be a small switch on your lens. Obviously, if you're wanting to manual focus, you will switch the lens to MF, and vise versa. I think Nikon has another term for their AF. I'm wanting to think it may be VR? If not, please correct me. Anyhow, when shooting AF at night, the camera will automatically select a focus point (providing there is one). There have been numerous cases where a camera cannot focus in an area that is pitch black. This is why MF can come in handy. Sometimes at night you have to gamble when using MF. It can be quite hard to see if a photo is in focus, so you just basically have to try your best and take a shot in the dark (no pun intended). Sometimes you will have a successful result, but in other cases, not so much.

Please scroll down to the next post to continue reading.
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Old 11-07-2009, 05:53 AM   #2
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Now, finally, let's move onto various types of shooting. Overall, I'm personally going to say there are four primary types of night photography. Shooting a stationary subject using ambient light, which I will explain first. Method one would require a tri-pod. A cable release is not a required, but strongly suggested. Second, shooting a moving subject doing a timed exposure. I would consider method number two very pleasing to the eye. In most cases, this method would require a remote cable release as well as a tri-pod. Third, shooting a stationary subject while "painting with light", or in other words, using a lantern, or spotlight to light up the subject while doing a timed exposure. I will explain this method later on in the blog. Method three requires a tri-pod, and some sort of light (2 million candle light power spotlight is what I am using). Fourth, photographing either a moving or stationary subject using flash units, or other studio lighting. This is a rather expensive part of the hobby, but the results can be very pleasing to the eye. This method requires numerous items, which I will describe lightly later on in my blog.

Let's start off with short exposures (not exceeding 30 seconds, for those of you who do not use a cable release). I'm not saying that a cable release is a requirement, as there have been several times where 30 seconds would overexpose an image.

If you have a considerable amount of ambient light, then it should be relatively easy to get a well exposed night photo that does not exceed 30 seconds, providing your aperture is set accordingly (I would say F8 would be decent with an ISO of 100 or 200). Generally, you will have decent ambient light when shooting near a station platform, rail yard, or any other location where street lights, etc. area nearby. Again, remember to use a tri-pod and try not to bump into the tri-pod, as it will cause camera shake which will result in a nasty, blurry photo.

Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 274447
Photograph © Chase55671


The above photo was taken at F8, ISO 200, using a 30 second exposure. I relied only on ambient light that a street light provided. This photo received very little exposure increase in post processing software.

Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 285436
Photograph © Chase55671


This photo was taken at F10, ISO 100, and 210" (3 minutes 30 seconds) on the exposure. As visible in the photo, I relied on ambient light that a local store offered. Due to the somewhat long exposure, the "streak" in the sky is a star. This is one of the few unique effects that excessive exposures have to offer.

Below are some additional examples of timed exposures using ambient light as my primary source of light.

Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 297665
Photograph © Chase55671


Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 298952
Photograph © Chase55671


Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 300399
Photograph © Chase55671


Sometimes, even with the help of photoshop, or another type of editing software, the photo still will appear dark, or in other words, underexposed. This is why I continue to persuade you to purchase a cable release.
Now, If a cable release is present, this is when the hobby can become very creative. These next few paragraphs will discuss long exposures of stationary subjects and moving subjects. In other words, we're basically describing both method one and method two for the next bit, so try to stay with me.
I personally have been inspired by the work of RP contributor, Loyd Lowry. He has numerous photos that were taken at 10+ minute exposures that are beautiful. For more information on Loyd's photos, I strongly encourage you to follow the link below.

http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=18157

In order to be able to pull off the long exposures, little, or in some cases, no ambient light is a priority, or else you will have an extremely overexposed photo. Generally, I will rely on the moon for my only source of ambient light when doing a 5 to 15 minute exposure. Again, this is a part of the hobby that requires some practice. You will have to fool around with various exposures in order to get it just right.

The following photo was taken at F8, ISO 100 and 610" (10 minutes 10 seconds).

Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 294151
Photograph © Chase55671


In the above photo, several "star steaks" are visible as well as a beam from the approach aspect. This is something not visible to naked eye. Again, just one of the many reasons I am so fond of night photography. Just to name a few, below are some additional unique artifacts that are caused by timed exposures ranging anywhere from 30 seconds to 15 minutes.

The "Streak". This is something that can only be accomplished at night, or under a dark overcast daylight sky. The reason the "streak" effect is visible is a result of the shutter being opened as the train passed. The image captured the entire train, and the two classy marker lights (in this case) zipping down the mainline and around the curve. This is overall, a neat effect, at least to my eyes.

Below are a few other neat effects caused by an open shutter.

Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 300400
Photograph © Chase55671


Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 296017
Photograph © Chase55671


Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 288488
Photograph © Chase55671


Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 288374
Photograph © Chase55671


Now we've pretty much covered both method number one and two, let's move onto method three, "painting with light". This in itself is kind of tricky, in that your subject must be painted equally. Again, as expected, this will require a good bit of practice, but the results can be pleasing to the eye. First off, before you can even consider trying this method, you must have some type of light. I use a spotlight (as stated above), but a lantern will work, as will car headlights (not a major fan of the headlight idea). Second, please find a stationary subject. I do not suggest trying to paint a moving object. It will result in a bad photo, and I'm sure the crew won't be too happy that a spotlight is being flashed in their eyes.

Once your camera is on the tri-pod, your spotlight (or other lighting device) is ready to go, let's try some test shots. Let's put the camera on F8 and ISO 100 or 200. One good thing about this method, is that a cable release is not a priority. Depending on how close your camera is to the locomotive (or other railroad subject), you will want to apply your light accordingly. Obviously, you will want to apply less light to the locomotive (assuming it is closest to you) and more on the train (further distance will require more light for it to be noticed). Also, if ambient light is also in the picture, certain areas may not need as much light since you will have an additional light source.

Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 287566
Photograph © Chase55671


The above photo was taken at F16 with a 30 second exposure. This was my first time using the spotlight, but since I am now more familiar with painting with light, I generally keep the aperture at F8 and use a shorter exposure. I would imagine if you paint accordingly at F8 and ISO 100 or 200, you will be able to accomplish a well exposed photo anywhere between 8 seconds and 15 seconds, providing the subject you're painting is rather close to the camera. Remember, if you decide to walk around while painting with light, try to avoid stepping in front of the camera. You can get away with shorter exposures with this method since the subject is receiving direct light, and in some cases, a far brighter light than a streetlight, etc. would provide.

Below are some additional examples at various shutter speeds and apertures.

Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 288277
Photograph © Chase55671


Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 289537
Photograph © Chase55671


Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 293781
Photograph © Chase55671


Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 296216
Photograph © Chase55671


Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 297308
Photograph © Chase55671


As you can tell, there is a considerable difference between method three and method one. Some people prefer method one (using ambient light), but some prefer method three (painting with light). I suppose it depends on what type of person you are, and your personal opinions on each method. I personally, am a fan of all four methods, but that's just me. I think they all have their pros and cons, but can all be enjoyable, if done correctly.

Now I've pretty much described the basics with method three without getting too in depth, let's move onto the final method of night photography, using flash units, or other studio lighting. This is by far the most expensive method, but as any other method I've described in this blog, it has it's advantages and disadvantages.

When I think of flash units, I think of RP contributor Gary Knapp. He by far has some of the most impressive photos in the database that have been created by the help of Canon, Nikon, and other flash units. I'm not too familiar with this method, but will show off some photos that Gary Knapp has posted to RP, to give you guys a feel for the results that this method has to offer.

Image © Gary Knapp
PhotoID: 262891
Photograph © Gary Knapp


Image © Gary Knapp
PhotoID: 261606
Photograph © Gary Knapp


Image © Gary Knapp
PhotoID: 250352
Photograph © Gary Knapp


Image © Gary Knapp
PhotoID: 215150
Photograph © Gary Knapp


Obviously, several flash units are required in order to freeze a moving train at night. This method is very expensive, and I would highly suggest looking into the specs, requirements, etc. before investing in flash units. A lot of additional add-ons are required for each flash unit, which will generally cost you anywhere from $200 to $600 for just one flash unit.

I would like to thank everyone for taking their time to read this novel, for a lack of a better word. I'm sure there are other methods of night photography, but I personally, consider the above four that I mentioned, the primary types of night photography, that I atleast use, excluding method number four. Any corrections are of course, welcomed. I am simply basing the majority of this blog on personal experiences and habits that I've gathered over the years.

The purpose of this blog, you ask? I was lucky enough to have the help of several RP contributors and other photographers teach me various aspects of photography. I've taken the info they've provided, I've learned a lot over the years, and now I think it'd only be right to share my knowledge for any new photographers in the hobby.


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Old 11-07-2009, 06:07 AM   #3
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Amazing. Simply amazing. Printing this out and keeping in the camera bag.
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Old 11-07-2009, 12:16 PM   #4
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The kid gets a camera, takes a few night shots and now he's an expert.


(well done, chase. )
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Old 11-07-2009, 12:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
The kid gets a camera, takes a few night shots and now he's an expert.


(well done, chase. )
Yep he has it, It is right on.
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Old 11-07-2009, 01:10 PM   #6
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Lumedyne? Alien Bees? Changing the white balance on camera by adjusting the Kelvin temperature? Fixed light setups using fluorescent or halogen lighting?

- Chris
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Old 11-07-2009, 01:38 PM   #7
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Awesome job chase! Just a side note though, VR is Vibration Reduction, Nikon's version of IS with Canon. Not sure what AF is with Nikon though. I'll also follow in measure by printing this out!
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Old 11-07-2009, 04:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chase55671 View Post
I would like to thank everyone for taking their time to read this novel, for a lack of a better word.
So, you're telling us that everything you wrote could very well be fiction?

Quote:
novel (n): an extended fictional work in prose
(source: Princeton)

fiction (n): a literary work whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact
(source: The Free Dictionary)
You, um, just might want to find a "better word."
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Old 11-07-2009, 05:00 PM   #9
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I'm pretty sure Gary Knapp uses multiple exposures of a scene then splices them together in post, like he'll shoot the scene without the train, then setup the strobes for the train, expose for the train then combine the two in photoshop. He also clones out the positions of the flashes. It gives the image a really strange artificial feeling of light.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathBDP View Post
I'm pretty sure Gary Knapp uses multiple exposures of a scene then splices them together in post, like he'll shoot the scene without the train, then setup the strobes for the train, expose for the train then combine the two in photoshop.

If you read the end of the article So.......It Was You! By: Gary Knapp and Mitch Goldmans comment (third one) on this,
Image © Gary Knapp
PhotoID: 262350
Photograph © Gary Knapp

it'll be obvious that multiple flashes were used for the shots.

Image © Gary Knapp
PhotoID: 244711
Photograph © Gary Knapp

Here six of them are countable on the right of the frame, and the spectacular effects are results of perfect positioning and setup.

Though I'd really appreciate some technical hints about the images, but after those uncountable hours standing out in the night mastering these, I truly understand why won't the author provide even exif information.

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Old 11-07-2009, 10:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathBDP View Post
I'm pretty sure Gary Knapp uses multiple exposures of a scene then splices them together in post, like he'll shoot the scene without the train, then setup the strobes for the train, expose for the train then combine the two in photoshop.
Oh, is that how he got the stars to show up so brightly in one of his shots? Oops...did I just say that?
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Old 11-08-2009, 07:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Awesome job chase! Just a side note though, VR is Vibration Reduction, Nikon's version of IS with Canon. Not sure what AF is with Nikon though. I'll also follow in measure by printing this out!
Thanks for the clarification! I need to brush up on my Nikon SLR's a bit.

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So, you're telling us that everything you wrote could very well be fiction?

You, um, just might want to find a "better word."
Heheh.
I should've known..

To everyone else who provided the encouraging feedback, I appreciate it.

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Old 11-08-2009, 11:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deaf View Post
If you read the end of the article So.......It Was You! By: Gary Knapp and Mitch Goldmans comment (third one) on this,
Image © Gary Knapp
PhotoID: 262350
Photograph © Gary Knapp

it'll be obvious that multiple flashes were used for the shots.

Image © Gary Knapp
PhotoID: 244711
Photograph © Gary Knapp

Here six of them are countable on the right of the frame, and the spectacular effects are results of perfect positioning and setup.

Though I'd really appreciate some technical hints about the images, but after those uncountable hours standing out in the night mastering these, I truly understand why won't the author provide even exif information.

I never suggested multiple flashes were not used, just that they were repositioned to capture a number of different exposures. I don't believe his images are captured on one exposure, like O Winston Link, but the result of multiple exposures combined into one. Composites. Sort of like what Gregory Crewdson does.

The second image you post is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Look at how much light he's illuminating the train and station with, yet there's no visible location of the flash units. Where are they? All I see are slight shadows on the near wall of the station, and they aren't strong shadows which tells me he hit the area more than once with a strobe. Secondly the whole side of the train is illuminated but there's not one visible strobe.

In Link's work you could easily see the locations of his flashbulbs, but his shots were possible to achieve with just one exposure because flashbulbs put out a lot more light than electronic strobes can.

What kind of technical hints are you looking for?
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathBDP View Post
I never suggested multiple flashes were not used, just that they were repositioned to capture a number of different exposures. I don't believe his images are captured on one exposure, like O Winston Link,
I think your right on, as there is to much going on for a ONE shot shoot. Lighting the background then pop the train as it shows up is more then likely.
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Old 11-08-2009, 12:25 PM   #15
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Did he talk about how he does it in that Trains cover story last year?
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Old 11-08-2009, 03:53 PM   #16
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Another thing to add to this: IS, VR, or whatever you call it for your camera should be turned off during night shots as it can ruin photos (or so I'm told).
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Old 11-08-2009, 04:33 PM   #17
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The second image you post is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Look at how much light he's illuminating the train and station with, yet there's no visible location of the flash units. Where are they?
I believe GK has said that he clones them out. I may be incorrect, though.
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Old 11-08-2009, 04:48 PM   #18
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In his mailing list, he always states that he clones out the tri-pods and flash units in PS.

Chase
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
The kid gets a camera, takes a few night shots and now he's an expert.


(well done, chase. )



Well done Chase. All info spot on.

Even if I could be your grandfather...

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Old 11-09-2009, 02:08 AM   #20
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Well done Chase. All info spot on.

Even if I could be your grandfather...

Thank you, sir.

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Old 11-10-2009, 01:21 PM   #21
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Very nice work, Chase! You pretty much covered the subject. I just put on a talk/how-to about night flash photography for my camera club, and I think you covered it very well.

One hint that jumps out that you didn't touch on - ditch any UV/protection filter you may have on the front of your lens. It's just another surface for light to bounce off of and cause ghosted point sources of light (street lights, headlights, etc.). I don't want to start a debate, but I never use 'em - more trouble than they're worth, IMHO, and at night that uselessness factor, to me, just quadruples.

Also, you really don't need many flashes to do night action photography. Yes, Gary Knapp's work is nothing short of beautiful, but I'm lazy, so less is more when I'm running around in the dark. I just uploaded this one I did with a single 400 watt/second Lumedyne, where the head was about 10' in the air, and about 20' behind me and to the left. (as in out of the frame). I also left the EXIF in tact if you're curious (if you're lazy - ISO 1600, f/5.6, 1/160s Canon 50D with a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC)

Image © Thomas J. Nanos - www.nanosphoto.com
PhotoID: 303595
Photograph © Thomas J. Nanos - www.nanosphoto.com


I'm still tweaking my "minimalist" method, and may add one or two more lights at some point, but I like the KISS principle - Keep It Simple Stupid.

-Tom
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:24 PM   #22
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One thing to add to spotlighting: if the train is crewed but stopped, you should probably ask the crew's permission before spotlighting their train. This is more of a basic courtesy, as I know that I wouldn't want a bright light suddenly flashed in my eyes.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:56 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by railfanzone View Post
Very nice work, Chase! You pretty much covered the subject. I just put on a talk/how-to about night flash photography for my camera club, and I think you covered it very well.

One hint that jumps out that you didn't touch on - ditch any UV/protection filter you may have on the front of your lens. It's just another surface for light to bounce off of and cause ghosted point sources of light (street lights, headlights, etc.). I don't want to start a debate, but I never use 'em - more trouble than they're worth, IMHO, and at night that uselessness factor, to me, just quadruples.

Also, you really don't need many flashes to do night action photography. Yes, Gary Knapp's work is nothing short of beautiful, but I'm lazy, so less is more when I'm running around in the dark. I just uploaded this one I did with a single 400 watt/second Lumedyne, where the head was about 10' in the air, and about 20' behind me and to the left. (as in out of the frame). I also left the EXIF in tact if you're curious (if you're lazy - ISO 1600, f/5.6, 1/160s Canon 50D with a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC)

Image © Thomas J. Nanos - www.nanosphoto.com
PhotoID: 303595
Photograph © Thomas J. Nanos - www.nanosphoto.com


I'm still tweaking my "minimalist" method, and may add one or two more lights at some point, but I like the KISS principle - Keep It Simple Stupid.

-Tom
That UV protection filter suggestion is very important to know, thanks for bringing it up Tom.

I personally think Lumedyne or the use of Alien Bees studio flash units are probably the best way to light a moving train. The use of many less powerful and expensive flashes like Gary uses just seems like it would take more time and money to get the same result.
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:56 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by railfanzone View Post
Very nice work, Chase! You pretty much covered the subject. I just put on a talk/how-to about night flash photography for my camera club, and I think you covered it very well.

One hint that jumps out that you didn't touch on - ditch any UV/protection filter you may have on the front of your lens. It's just another surface for light to bounce off of and cause ghosted point sources of light (street lights, headlights, etc.). I don't want to start a debate, but I never use 'em - more trouble than they're worth, IMHO, and at night that uselessness factor, to me, just quadruples.

Also, you really don't need many flashes to do night action photography. Yes, Gary Knapp's work is nothing short of beautiful, but I'm lazy, so less is more when I'm running around in the dark. I just uploaded this one I did with a single 400 watt/second Lumedyne, where the head was about 10' in the air, and about 20' behind me and to the left. (as in out of the frame). I also left the EXIF in tact if you're curious (if you're lazy - ISO 1600, f/5.6, 1/160s Canon 50D with a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC)

Image © Thomas J. Nanos - www.nanosphoto.com
PhotoID: 303595
Photograph © Thomas J. Nanos - www.nanosphoto.com


I'm still tweaking my "minimalist" method, and may add one or two more lights at some point, but I like the KISS principle - Keep It Simple Stupid.

-Tom
Tom,

Thanks for bringing up the UV filter! While I've learned that UV filters effect a night image in a negative way, I failed to inform that in my post.

I also appreciate the additional insight on the flash bulbs, studio lighting, etc. Whenever I'm eventually done purchasing lenses and pick up a new body at some point, I'd like to invest in some small, and somewhat inexpensive AB's, bulbs, or some other sort of studio lighting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slopes09 View Post
One thing to add to spotlighting: if the train is crewed but stopped, you should probably ask the crew's permission before spotlighting their train. This is more of a basic courtesy, as I know that I wouldn't want a bright light suddenly flashed in my eyes.
Good point! I generally do not bring out the spotlight if the crew is present.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
That UV protection filter suggestion is very important to know, thanks for bringing it up Tom.

I personally think Lumedyne or the use of Alien Bees studio flash units are probably the best way to light a moving train. The use of many less powerful and expensive flashes like Gary uses just seems like it would take more time and money to get the same result.
I've looked into the AB's. They seem to be provide the most light, but they do require their own power supplies, which if you purchase one off of their website, could cost you an additional $300.

Once I am able to afford a set of AB's, or some flash units, I'll look into various reflectors, lights, etc. etc. and try to get the pros and cons of each one, but for now, I'm focusing on L glass.

Chase
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:52 PM   #25
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Could this be stickied?
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I personally have had a problem with those trying to tell us to turn railroad photography into an "art form." It's fine for them to do so, I welcome it in fact, but what I do have a problem with is that the practitioners of the more "arty" shots, I have found, tend to look down their nose's at others who are shooting more "mundane" shots.
Railroad photography is what you make of it, but one way is not "better" than another, IMHO. Unless you have a pole right thought the nose of the engine! -SG
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