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Thread: Not my first night photo

  1. #1
    rawill's Avatar
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    Not my first night photo

    I am going to have to go searching for tips on doing night shots.

    This one was taken on my rubbish camera in my cell phone.
    So quality is very poor, but that is not the issue.

    My question is, when I take the photo, how do I make the shining lights not so overpowering?

    this shot was taken from the drivers seat of my truck, looking downhill at the baler and the V rake.
    It would have made a good shot (to me) if I could have taken it properly with the right settings and the right camera.

    Not my first night photo

    What I wanted was the colours, green, red, white, and the shining lights,

    but I had seconds to take the photo while the guy was opening the gate, and it was taken from inside my truck with the engine running.

    Maybe I need a better camera in my cellphone. I can not take a "proper" camera on the job.
    Last edited by rawill; 24th December 2012 at 06:47 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Not my first night photo

    As you said, Robin, it needs the right settings, and with the right camera.

    All you can really do is to expose for the brightest areas then try to recover some detail from the shadows during editing.

    Spot metering on the bright spots is your best hope. Some exposure compensation may be needed.

    Long exposures require a good tripod, and preferably without having the lens fully open. This isn't really suitable for moving subjects though.

  3. #3
    rawill's Avatar
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    Re: Not my first night photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Some exposure compensation may be needed.
    Many thanks Geoff

    Yes I had the exposure compensation wound down as far as it could go, in an attempt to get the lights to be not so bright.

    Maybe what I am trying to do is not possible.

    I had a look at Colin's night shots from a link in another thread, gotta love that work.

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Not my first night photo

    Quote Originally Posted by rawill View Post
    Yes I had the exposure compensation wound down as far as it could go, in an attempt to get the lights to be not so bright.

    Maybe what I am trying to do is not possible.
    It does sound like you've done all you can Robin and given the limitations of the cellphone's camera, you have 'reached the end of the farm lane'.

    How about a titchy Canon S100 style camera, not much bigger than a smart phone and full manual control is available - as is shooting RAW.

    Cheers,

  5. #5
    rawill's Avatar
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    Re: Not my first night photo

    Yes it was the end of the "farm lane", it was out on the road after this, hehe.

    I will have to investigate more eqipment.

  6. #6
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Not my first night photo

    Is there a night mode setting on the phone? It would probably get you to what limited aperture settings there are. Also, what is the maximum pixels on the camera?

  7. #7
    rawill's Avatar
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    Re: Not my first night photo

    I will have to check the max pixels, but the camera is very unadjustable. There is no night setting.
    Samsung GT C6112 phone.

  8. #8

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    Re: Not my first night photo

    Robin, you are asking a lot from your phone in a hard photo situation. From my own experience, a truck running creates a lot of vibration, and trought a windshield. A night picture requires a long exposure, a steady tripod, and a lot of test shots to figure out what your camera can do. I would suggest you keep on tacking a lot of pictures trying to improve the shooting conditions.

  9. #9

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    Re: Not my first night photo

    Quote Originally Posted by rawill View Post
    Many thanks Geoff

    Yes I had the exposure compensation wound down as far as it could go, in an attempt to get the lights to be not so bright.

    Maybe what I am trying to do is not possible.

    I had a look at Colin's night shots from a link in another thread, gotta love that work.
    Do you have a manual settings option?

    When you reach the end of your exposure compensation allowance you can use that as a base line guide to 'start again' with some appropriate manual alternatives.

  10. #10
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Not my first night photo

    Even with a stunningly good camera, tripod etc the high powered white directional lights on the vehicles shining directly into your lens are always going to cause a problem. Even utilising HDR techniques it will not be easy! That does not mean you should give up. Stabilising the camera and avoiding the vibration from your vehicle is a good start.

  11. #11
    rawill's Avatar
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    Re: Not my first night photo

    To all

    Thank you very much.

    I did think I was asking too much of the very low end quality phone camera.
    However I will keep a look out, and yes I will keep practising.

    Rbn

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