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Thread: Help!!! Landscape photography aided by flashlights.

  1. #1

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    Sugata Goswami

    Help!!! Landscape photography aided by flashlights.

    Hello everybody. A few friends are planning on a boat trip on the river Brahmaputra about a week from now. We will be pitching tents on the sand banks (River Riders Camp 1, wikimapia). The banks are silver white and wide. There will be no overtly visible signs of humanity apart from our tents. The sand hopefully will have no foot prints(it was like that last year) except those of Brahmini Ducks. The landscape is rather monotonous(no trees, hills). So I thought I would like to experiment with night landscape photography aided with some flash lights. The moon will be around 5/6 days past full moon. Could anybody come up with some suggestions/ideas on how to go about it. Apertures, type of flash light, how to apply the light or anything which might be useful. I have never tried anything of this sort. My gear is restricted to d3100, nikkor 18-55, nikkor 55-300, nikkor 50mm f1.8, gorilla pod with a ball head. I will borrow a tripod from a friend. Cheers and have a good day.

  2. #2

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    Graham Heron

    Re: Help!!! Landscape photography aided by flashlights.

    Partly depends on where the moon will be in relation to the scene (various ephermeris charts are available on web).

    To get an idea on the length of exposure, set your camera in a tripod to get the composition you want. Open the lens (whichever) wide, set the iso high. Take a shot, adjust shutter speed, take a shot until you get good exposure.

    1. NOW, adjust the iso to required, adjust aperture to require, calculate the increase in shutter speed. (For example, initial camera settings of 1s at f4, iso 1600, translates (using f16 (16 times slower than f4) and ISO 100 (16 times slower than ISO 1600), would give you a shutter speed 16x16 times 1s (256s)).
    This gives you correct exposure with NO added light.

    2. Now start adding light, and time how long you play with a torch (flashlight). This will increase the exposure in the areas you played the light, so if the area was in shadow, now it is brighter. If you want it brighter, use more torches, or stronger or longer use of torch.

    2. If you want to make shapes (such as running around carrying the supplemental lightsource), then it depends on how much of the background you want in the image exposed correctly.

    Overall, with digital, it's free, have fun, just try to remember the settings you used wrt the use of the extra lightsources so you can alter subsequent images.
    Graham
    Here's one I did using off camera flash, manually operated.
    160s, ISO 200, f11. Took several attempts to get the image I wanted.
    Dave Humphries, ChrisH, PentaxK5ian and 1 others found this helpful.

  3. #3

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    Re: Help!!! Landscape photography aided by flashlights.

    [QUOTE=GrahamH;166829]

    1. NOW, adjust the iso to required, adjust aperture to require, calculate the increase in shutter speed. (For example, initial camera settings of 1s at f4, iso 1600, translates (using f16 (16 times slower than f4) and ISO 100 (16 times slower than ISO 1600), would give you a shutter speed 16x16 times 1s (256s)).
    This gives you correct exposure with NO added light.



    Thanks Graham. But I do not understand how f16 is 16 times slower then f4. Is there a conversion equation?

  4. #4

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    Re: Help!!! Landscape photography aided by flashlights.

    [QUOTE=GrahamH;166829]

    2. If you want to make shapes (such as running around carrying the supplemental lightsource), then it depends on how much of the background you want in the image exposed correctly.

    When running around, how does one show only the light and not the persons hand carrying it. I had seen this photograph somewhere (I am sorry I dont remember the site) of a person sitting underneath a tree and there was this ring of light hovering around his head. It must have been someone 'running around', but there was no sign of hand.

  5. #5

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    Re: Help!!! Landscape photography aided by flashlights.

    f4 to f5.6, 2x slower
    f5.6 to f8, 2x slower (4 times slower overall)
    f8 to f11, 2x slower (8 times slower overall)
    f11 to f16, 2x slower (16 times slower overall).

    Changing by a stop (as above) changes the shutter speed required to give same exposure by 2x (increasing, and by half for decreasing). Changing from f4 to f16 means you have changed by 4 stops, hence 16x slower shutter speed).

    If someone knows a tutorial online, please post link for Sugata. Thanks.
    Alternately, Sugata, google is best friend here.

    Graham

  6. #6
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!! Landscape photography aided by flashlights.

    Sugata, if you use a slow enough shutter....anything which moves that is not a light source will not be in the photo. Take a 15-30 second photo of the freeway/motorway in the daylight and the moving cars disapear. Do it at night and only the lights show. Hence light trail shots. If the shutter is to fast or the movement to slow you will record a ghostly blurred vehicle. The same principal is at work with one whom holds a light while moving through the frame.

  7. #7
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!! Landscape photography aided by flashlights.

    Hi Sugata,

    While you are running around with a flashlight, don't forget to look back towards camp from time to time!

    Some of the best stuff seems to be the folks loving just being out there.


  8. #8

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    Re: Help!!! Landscape photography aided by flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamH View Post

    " Changing from f4 to f16 means you have changed by 4 stops, hence 16x slower shutter speed)."

    Graham

    Thanks Graham. I tend to forget that the f stop increment in the camera are by steps of 1/3.

    Thank you Paul for the tip on the vanishing act with the shutter speed.

    And Terry, I will definitely try and capture the enjoyment of the folks in the camp. This camping trip is not one of the silent ones but a very rumbunctious group of males out for a couple of days off from the grind. Definitely not like the serene moonlit tent you have posted. Wonderful capture. Is the glow behind the shrubs from some human establishment?

  9. #9
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Help!!! Landscape photography aided by flashlights.

    Is the glow behind the shrubs from some human establishment?
    No. Thankfully there isn't a human establishment for miles at this place. At least anything that could put out that kind of light!

    It was shot at twilight.

    This was a multi-day boating trip we took down the Buffalo River in Arkansas, USA.

    You guys have a blast and be safe out there!

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