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Thread: Night shoot

  1. #1
    murfdogg645's Avatar
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    Bob Murphy

    Night shoot

    I decided I'm gonna go out and get some night shots of a bridge. Any advice is welcome.

  2. #2
    epmi314's Avatar
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    Re: Night shoot

    They are so dark I can't even see them. Lol.

    No pic was posted. Check out this thread and give it another go!

    HELP THREAD: How can I post images here?

  3. #3
    murfdogg645's Avatar
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    Just got back from taking a few shots. Gonna work on getting them processed and I'll have them up as soon as possible.

  4. #4
    PhotoRob's Avatar
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    Re: Night shoot

    I'm no expert by any means, however in my experience:

    Mind the lights. If you're shooting a small scene, the street lights and lamps may provide you enough illumination and make for a good exposure without having to leave the shutter open for long. For larger objects like buildings (or a bridge) you may have to cope with a mix of well lit, and not-so-well lit coverage, so be sure to set your metering to match what you're trying to accomplish with the shot; don't just meter the entire scene and cross your fingers, get some spot or center-weighted shots in there.

    Low light does not mean high ISO.

    Goes without saying that you'll be using a tripod, or other reliable means to ensure the camera is steady during the exposure.

    Suggest you use your camera's timer / delay if you're pressing the shutter button manually, or don't have a cable or remote in your bag (plus I actually hold my breath while the shutter's open, go figure).

    I'm sure you've read to turn off your camera's steady shot / stabilization when you're tripod mounted, however I'm not sure the technology hasn't improved enough that that suggestion can be retired. Will be curious to hear if on or off you notice any difference (I don't bother disabling anything that compensates for vibration).

    Everything looks different at night, and when you're hauling all that camera gear around it's just too tempting to setup and start shooting. Nothing wrong with that, however I personally like to scout without the gear / the gear in the car either the night of, or the night before. (a) It's much easier to move around, and (b) if you don't like what you see, you don't have to talk yourself out of walking away. In most cases I'm cataloging from different vantage points using the camera phone so I have something to review later.

    Here in Florida humidity has a very noticiable impact on how street light, lamp posts, etc... 'shine' (crispest light I've seen was when the temp. dipped into the 40's about three weeks ago). Being up north my guess is cold nights aren't in short supply, so that's good news.

    If you are shooting in the cold, be sure to charge up and bring extra batteries.

    And finally, be safe and mind your surroundings at all times.

    Good luck, look forward to seeing your results...

  5. #5
    murfdogg645's Avatar
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    Re: Night shoot

    All of the shots were taken at f/11
    the first one was a 30/sec exposure

    Night shoot

    The Second was a 2/min exposure

    Night shoot

    And the third was a 3/min exposure


    Night shoot

    Any advise is always welcome advice

    thanks,
    murfdogg

  6. #6
    murfdogg645's Avatar
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    Re: Night shoot

    also it was 32 degrees with about a 15-20 mph wind, so thats why i only have 3 decent shots

  7. #7
    PhotoRob's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting - did you have a filter on your lens?

    The longer exposures do a good job of smoothing out the water, however at the expense of the street lights. The bulb shot has a very large 'blob' in the upper left, but it's an interesting angle, nice creativity. If you wrench the rightmost column outside into an upright position to counter the lens distortion it will balance the shot a bit more; horizontal looks good.

    None of the three are 'crisp', maybe the wind moved your rig a bit (?).

    Great 1st round, and congrats given the conditions! Look forward to more / other attempts...

  8. #8
    murfdogg645's Avatar
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    Re: Night shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoRob View Post
    Thanks for posting - did you have a filter on your lens?

    The longer exposures do a good job of smoothing out the water, however at the expense of the street lights. The bulb shot has a very large 'blob' in the upper left, but it's an interesting angle, nice creativity.

    None of the three are 'crisp', maybe the wind shook moved your rig a bit (?).

    Great 1st round, and congrats given the conditions! Look forward to more / other attempts...
    yeah, the wind was a killer. i tried using my car and my body as a wind break, but it wasnt working too well. i dont believe i have any filters on that lens. i plan on trying to reshoot this sometime soon and hopefully the wind will coperate.

    thanks,
    murfdogg

  9. #9

    Re: Night shoot

    I prefer the second shot. The angle, combined with the longer exposure to smooth the wind over the water, make it visually very pleasing. I find it calming, and I like it.

    I also noticed that the verticals were off a tad. It's one of those things that make architecture difficult to photograph. However, I like the shot, so I hesitate to suggest leveling the camera because the bridge takes up the space in the photo much better and it isn't distracting. Something to think about though, I wasn't sure if it was purposeful or not. Also, a higher f-stop might help control some flaring and emphasize the star points on the lights.

    Hope conditions are better next time. Looking forward to more pictures.

  10. #10
    Rob Douglas's Avatar
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    I like #2 & 3. The lighting in 2 is nice and the stars off the lights a great without having used a star filter. I would try some lens correction on #2. The far right column is nice and straight but the others are a bit off (barrel distortion maybe) I love the perspective of the 3rd shot but unfortunately the lens flare in the upper right kills it. Not sure if you can clone it out and save the starlight off the light right near it or not. Where you using a filter at all? A lot of times a UV filter while protecting the lens also creates flare especially shooting towards a light source. I have had a big reduction in flare by using my lens hood with no filter unless needed. If you want some help with them Bob email them to me and I'll see what I can do.

  11. #11
    murfdogg645's Avatar
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    Re: Night shoot

    i reworked the first shot alittle. i think it looks a little better, but i still want to go and reshoot this.

    Night shoot

  12. #12
    murfdogg645's Avatar
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    Re: Night shoot

    comments and tips are always welcome

  13. #13
    Rob Douglas's Avatar
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    A little to dark Bob, you've lost the detail in the bridge now. Somewhere in between would be good.

  14. #14
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Night shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by murfdogg645 View Post
    comments and tips are always welcome
    Bob:

    My preference is the first one before "reworking". I agree with comments by Rob Douglas.

    Two things from me (based on personal preference so this is not criticism):

    1) As a former bridge engineer, I really don't care for off angle shots - the piers were made plumb/vertical for a good reason. Tilting the camera may be cool, but not universally applauded.

    2) The intensity of light falls off as the inverse square of the distance from the source. The light at the upper right being much closer has more intensity, so dominates the scene and causes a larger blowout. When you return you might frame your shot to exclude the closest lights. This will make exposure easier.

    Considering the weather, you have done very well.

    I like the shots.

    Glenn

    PS - was the wind a factor - did it vibrate the tripod?

  15. #15
    murfdogg645's Avatar
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    Yeah, the wind was blowing good. I tried to shield the camera as much as possible, but it wasn't good enough.

  16. #16
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Night shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by murfdogg645 View Post
    Yeah, the wind was blowing good. I tried to shield the camera as much as possible, but it wasn't good enough.
    Wind is probably the most difficult to deal with - it's hard to shield from it as you know well. One can shield from rain, snow the same or it blows off, but wind and time exposures are very trying. Not many tripods will handle strong wind gusts. The high end ones might if a heavy weight is hung off the centre column.

    Here's hoping you get some calm evenings that are warm.

    G

  17. #17

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    Re: Night shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by murfdogg645 View Post
    also it was 32 degrees with about a 15-20 mph wind, so thats why i only have 3 decent shots
    That's one of the reasons I have a sturdy tripod and a programmable timer; I can literally get the timer to take a shot - say - once a minute, whilst I'm snug and warm in the car. Sturdy tripod helps with the wind too.

    Night scenes are high contrast by definition - by default the camera will try to protect the highlights (and thus under-expose everything else), so a good rule of thumb is to adjust the exposure in camera until the midtones look "about right" on the camera review screen.

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