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Thread: Barcodes at Night

  1. #1

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    Barcodes at Night

    Barcodes at Night

    Had to stand knee deep in mid-winter water for about 20 minutes to get these (without my waders!). This particular shot is 2 minutes @ F32 @ ISO 400.

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    crisscross's Avatar
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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Could have crowned the "mundane things made interesting" thread!
    Care to explain why this came out better than eg the 1 minute at f22 shot Colin?

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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    nice shot..

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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Nice one
    I like how you managed to capture the reflections in the water with equality in length while the direct light is still balanced with the rest of the picture. So no big single-coloured spots at the light's positions.
    Very wel captured.

    Regards,

    Jeroen

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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post

    This particular shot is 2 minutes @ F32 @ ISO 400.
    Hi Colin,

    Very nice shot as always.

    Why would you not go to the lowest ISO when you can leave the shutter open longer and would that have exactly the same effect?

    Thanks.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Why would you not go to the lowest ISO when you can leave the shutter open longer and would that have exactly the same effect?
    Six extra minutes "knee deep in mid-winter water without waders" I should think

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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    PS i scanned the image...it comes out to 39.99 USD

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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    Could have crowned the "mundane things made interesting" thread!
    Care to explain why this came out better than eg the 1 minute at f22 shot Colin?
    Hi Chris,

    Sorry - I must be having a senior moment - can you just prod my memory as to which shot your referring to (the 1 min @ F22 one).

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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Quote Originally Posted by JK6065 View Post
    Nice one
    I like how you managed to capture the reflections in the water with equality in length while the direct light is still balanced with the rest of the picture. So no big single-coloured spots at the light's positions.
    Very wel captured.

    Regards,

    Jeroen
    Thanks Jeroen,

    I used a 3-Stop hard-edged Singh-Ray GND filter

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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Hi Colin,

    Very nice shot as always.

    Why would you not go to the lowest ISO when you can leave the shutter open longer and would that have exactly the same effect?

    Thanks.
    Hi Ali,

    Dave's on to it

    It actually goes a touch deeper than that though ...

    ... Higher ISO give you more noise as do long exposures - but - the noise in the shadow areas (ie 95% of the shot) isn't visible as raising the black clipping point kills it.

    In theory there's more noise in the mid-tones and highlights at ISO 400 but (a) on the 1Ds3 400ISO is still very low noise, and (b) the image is soooooo low frequency it would be easy to remove if necessary (it wasn't necessary in this case). The biggest issue with higher ISOs is often the reduced dynamic range, but that's not an issue with images like this.

    So in this case I'd worked out a good exposure at F2.8 - extrapolated that to what's needed at F32 - thought "bugger that" - upped the ISO to 400 - chopped the exposure by 4 - took the shot - and (eventually) drove back to base with VERY soggy trousers and gumboots!

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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Colin that is an EAN128 barcode from a box of food, the first 3 numbers Identify the manufacturer, followed by the product identifier , the plant location, the mixture batch number, the batch mixer number, biscuit maker number, oven number, date of making, time of making, use by date, whether for export or local consumption, and the colour of the socks the packer was wearing.

    Now before I retired...........

    .... and don't get me started on 2D barcodes.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill44 View Post
    .... and don't get me started on 2D barcodes.
    WHY?

    Do they tell you what toothpaste the packer uses?

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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Sorry - I must be having a senior moment - can you just prod my memory as to which shot your referring to (the 1 min @ F22 one).
    No, no, just thought that maybe some of the 20 minutes might have been taken up by trying shots with slightly different speed/Fno combinations....but quite happy that you were just having a paddle for the other 18 minutes.

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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    No, no, just thought that maybe some of the 20 minutes might have been taken up by trying shots with slightly different speed/Fno combinations....but quite happy that you were just having a paddle for the other 18 minutes.
    Hi Chris,

    Ah - OK - I get you now.

    Most of the time was spent trying to get a good capture of the same scene, but with a small boat floating in the foreground, but none were keepers due to massive difference in colour temperature (the boat was essentially lit by car light when they stopped at an intersection), and to add insult to injury, the boat was moving around which makes a multi-minute exposure a nightmare.

    For these kinds of shots the smallest aperture gives the biggest star effects with the least flare.

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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Colin-

    This is quite an amazing picture! Nice work - as always!


    Kori

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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Quote Originally Posted by batman44 View Post
    Colin-

    This is quite an amazing picture! Nice work - as always!


    Kori
    Thanks Kori

  17. #17

    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Hi Colin,

    I think this has lots of scope for rotation, possibly a square diagonal or even a 180

    well captured.

    cR

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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Hi Col,

    Amazing photo as per usual - the starbursts look absolutely brilliant! I have few questions for you that I was hoping you could possibly answer (or try to using your experience)

    First one is easy - was this a HDR shot or was this just one exposure?
    Second one (or third and fourth lol) - not sure whether you will be able to answer this - I have a 450D and looking to purchase an EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM lens. I was wondering if you possibly know if this quality of image is possible with such an entry level camera with a decent lens? Also, do you think your 5D2 would be capable of the same image using the same lens that you used on your 1Ds3 for this shot? Lastly, would the same shot have been possible without the GND filter that you used in this scenario? It seems that the starbursts would have blown out had you not used one...

    As you are aware, I recently posted a photo of Sydney by Night (nowhere near as nice as your shot!) and I am interested in the whole reflections over the water thing but I am trying to find a way to take the shot without having the lights of the city blowing out (as I can easily re-take that shot again at some point in the near future - and would like to). I had multiple photos but alot of them were under-exposed - but the city lights didn't blow out...

    Your help would be greatly appreciated Thanks in advance!

  19. #19

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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Quote Originally Posted by dan88 View Post
    First one is easy - was this a HDR shot or was this just one exposure?
    It was both A single exposure, but with a Singh-Ray 3-Stop Hard-Edge GND filter for "Dynamic Range control".

    I have a 450D and looking to purchase an EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM lens. I was wondering if you possibly know if this quality of image is possible with such an entry level camera with a decent lens?
    Should be absolutely fine. The big/expensive lenses (ie "L series") really start to shine when you get into larger prints and harsher conditions, but the 17-55IS is a great performer for "normal size" shots. And whereas (as a 1 Series shooter) I tend to think of the xxxD series as being more like "spares to be kept in the glovebox for use in cases of emergency", they none-the-less can take a shot that's just fine.

    Also, do you think your 5D2 would be capable of the same image using the same lens that you used on your 1Ds3 for this shot?
    Absolutely. There's really no difference in sensor performance (at those ISOs anyway). The 1Ds3 has some more powerful tools for helping overcome particular challenges, but for the most part there's nothing that can't be done with other cameras with a little thought; although having just said that, there's nothing technically demanding in the shot above - having the filter helped (although a bracket would have done the same thing). Shots like that are really the culmination of many things (tripod, camera, lens, filter, post-processing, motivation when standing in freezing water without the right clothing!). The thing I WOULDN'T do with a 5D2 is put it in positions where it's likely to get salt water splashed all over it, as I do with the 1Ds3.

    Lastly, would the same shot have been possible without the GND filter that you used in this scenario? It seems that the starbursts would have blown out had you not used one...
    Not as easy in a single shot - I'd have had to expose for 15 seconds instead of 2 minutes and then hope the rest was OK (in that shot I'd probably have got away with it as any noisy shadows could just have been clipped, but I'd have been pushing the envelope). The thing to remember with digital exposure is that under-exposing by 2 or 3 stops doesn't make a lot of difference to the highlights or even the high-mid tones; they can be brought back up in post-processing. Unfortunately though, it's in the shadow and low-mid tone areas that it bites you in the rear end - so by using a filter I can reduce noise and expose both halves correctly. As I mentioned above, the alternative is just to take two shots and combine them in PP (quite a trivial task).

    Where the filters really kick in though is where you NEED longer exposure times to get you a certain effect (eg my "misty" shots) - without them you'd have to take perhaps 8 times as many shots (in lieu of a 3 Stop filter) and combine these in Photoshop.

    Probably the best way to think about filter use in that shot is simply "increasing my safety margins" to give me "more wriggle room" if needed (always nice to be able to attack an image from a position of strength rathr than one of weakness!).

    As you are aware, I recently posted a photo of Sydney by Night (nowhere near as nice as your shot!) and I am interested in the whole reflections over the water thing but I am trying to find a way to take the shot without having the lights of the city blowing out (as I can easily re-take that shot again at some point in the near future - and would like to). I had multiple photos but alot of them were under-exposed - but the city lights didn't blow out...
    Trick with these kinds of shots is to use a tripod, and bracket a range of exposures. That way you get the choice of choosing the one single shot that you can get the most out of - or - combining them into an HDR shot - or - combining them by layering two with some kind of transition between the two. Often it takes a bit of Photoshop work to get these kinds of things looking their best.

    Keep in mind also that with extreme contrast shots like lights at night, the lights are always going to blow at some point; the trick is to get just the right amount. Thats why I suggest that in those kinds of shots concentrate on getting the mid-tones looking right on your review screen and keep an eye on the histogram. Also, for this kind of shot (and probably ONLY this kind of shot) it's OK to under expose more then you normally would as highlights aren't a concern - mid-tones aren't much of a worry - and the shadows are all clipped anyway.

    Oh - and be sure to shoot RAW - shoot these kinds of things JPEG and your dead in the water before you even start!

    Your help would be greatly appreciated Thanks in advance!
    No worries - hope this helps!
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 25th June 2009 at 09:52 PM.

  20. #20
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    Re: Barcodes at Night

    Nice shot....I bet you froze your ISO!

    Chuck

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