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Thread: Sky Lights Up

  1. #1
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    Sky Lights Up

    Hi All
    I am biggenner taking baby steps using a SLR. This is shoot i did on a Nikon D3100 with a standard 18- 54 kit lense on a tripod . It was shot mostly in manual mode, at low aperture and in bulb mode. The setting is a lake side as the evening sets in. You will see the darkness set in but suddenly as if some one light up the sky in large flames it turns golden to red to slowly grey as the evening lights come on. Please comment on Exposure , sharpness and what else i could have done to improve the pictures. My apologies ... I realised after the shoot that there was spec of dust on the lense which is vible on all the photograps
    Sky Lights Up
    Above picture Shot @ 1.3 S, F/22, ISO-100

    Sky Lights Up
    Above picture Shot @ 2.0s , F/22, ISO-180

    Sky Lights Up
    Above picture Shot @ 2.0s, F/22, ISO-160

    Sky Lights Up
    Above picture Shot @2.5s,F/22/ ISO 100

    Sky Lights Up
    Above picture Shot @8.0S, F/22, ISO100

    Sky Lights Up
    Above picture Shot @2.0s, F/22,ISO 3200

    Sky Lights Up
    Above picture Shot @ 4.0s, F/22,ISO 3200
    Last edited by VRAM0565; 14th February 2013 at 04:25 PM. Reason: Adeed Shutter speed , Fstop and ISO info

  2. #2

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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Ram: I do not know if your have been welcomed to CIC but welcome. Now to business, it is very hard to comment on 7 images, suggest that you pick one or two and ask about a direct item or two not a general as you did. I know that it is hard being new to this whole photography thing. You say that it turned slowly to grey, look again at the last image is it not blue, the time close to or after the sun set and/or before it rises is known as the blue hour, is where you get a cool temperature to the light, whereas that time just before and after sun rise/set is known as the golden hour where this light has a nice warm glow to it. I have gotten a little off topic, back to your main guestions. If you post one or two images it would help if you included the ISO, shutter speed, f/-stop as it is hard to make a comment when we do not have all the info.
    If not for any other reason a great example of how the light changes over the span of 30 minutes, learn for the light as it is the light that we are trying to capture if we know how it changes then we can use it to work for us. One last thing, alot of people would have packed up at 18:09 and been happy, the shooters would have waited as they knew there was more to come. I myself like the one taken at 18:25 as we all have seen the 18:09 shot.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  3. #3
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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Hi Allan

    Thank you for the comments and will keep it mind when i submit the next post. I have added the shutter speed and fstop and ISO information to each picture on the post . I also realise now that i could have increased the apperture and increades ISO and got similar results where too much detail is not registered.

    I agree with your comment on blue being the color with the last photograph

    Thank you agin for your valuable inputs

    Ram

  4. #4
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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Hi Ram,

    Firstly, welcome to CiC. I do not think you have any significant problem with the exposure but there seems to be a problem with the sharpness of most images in this series. Whilst there was a possibility of upping the ISO and opening the aperture to reduce the exposure time, as you used a tripod the sharpness 'should' have been better at f22 so that both the near and farther subjects were in focus in my opinion.

    There appears to be a variation between DOF in the shots and I wonder if you were changing the focus point (distance) significantly in either auto or manual focusing mode ?

    One other thing, get rid of that time stamp

  5. #5

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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Ram: f/22 will give a large depth of field where most things will be in focus front to back, most lens have a sweet spot about 2 stops past wide open. In this case your f/3.5 would be in theory around f/6.7, so I would say f/8 as most cameras step by 1/3 of a stop not a 1/2 stop. Also remember that as the light goes so does the autofocus it gets harder for it to focus so you may lose your focus. Sometimes best to take the camera off autofocus. Good early tries, keep at it and also I agree with Grahame get rid of that time stamp.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  6. #6
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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Ram,

    Was VR on when these were shot?

  7. #7
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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Hi Ram,

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me, great to have you join us.
    Thanks for adding the EXIF (shooting) data too.

    To be honest, these are a bit small to be able to judge sharpness from.
    I am guessing they were shot jpg and you haven't done any PP (post processing) on them apart from reducing to upload - I think sharpness can be improved with a post downsize sharpen with UnSharp Mask (USM). Do you have any software available?

    Not sure if that speck was on the lens or sensor, but it could easily be spot healed out with one click on each image using something like PS Elements.

    The long shutter speeds could well have caused softness due to subject movement (branches blowing in the wind) or camera movement if the tripod isn't very stable.

    You must indeed turn off that date/time stamp, that information is recorded (invisibly) in the file anyway.

    With the exception of the last one, you really did not need the excessive DoF (Depth of Field) you got with f/22 because there's nothing of interest closer than some 20m/60 feet. Choosing f/22 caused you to use iso3200, which was also consequently also unnecessary, risking noise.

    However, do not be dis-heartened, I'm sure you are learning a lot and as long as you're having fun, that's the main thing.

    All the best,

  8. #8
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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Firstly welcome to CiC, you have done great work ,i like your photography ,keep it up

  9. #9
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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Grahame

    Thank you for the welcome and comments. I have strugled with focus in artificial lights and night photography. In this case i was using Auto focus and was able to get autofocus working by focusing on a light source. I need some tips on how to achieve better focus either using Auto or manual in low lighting conditions

    Ram

  10. #10
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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Thank you so much

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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Ram,

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me, great to have you join us.
    Thanks for adding the EXIF (shooting) data too.

    To be honest, these are a bit small to be able to judge sharpness from.
    I am guessing they were shot jpg and you haven't done any PP (post processing) on them apart from reducing to upload - I think sharpness can be improved with a post downsize sharpen with UnSharp Mask (USM). Do you have any software available?

    Not sure if that speck was on the lens or sensor, but it could easily be spot healed out with one click on each image using something like PS Elements.

    The long shutter speeds could well have caused softness due to subject movement (branches blowing in the wind) or camera movement if the tripod isn't very stable.

    You must indeed turn off that date/time stamp, that information is recorded (invisibly) in the file anyway.

    With the exception of the last one, you really did not need the excessive DoF (Depth of Field) you got with f/22 because there's nothing of interest closer than some 20m/60 feet. Choosing f/22 caused you to use iso3200, which was also consequently also unnecessary, risking noise.

    However, do not be dis-heartened, I'm sure you are learning a lot and as long as you're having fun, that's the main thing.

    All the best,
    Hi Dave

    Thank you for the review and comments. I have not done any PP . Will the software which comes with the Nikon be sufficient for PP or is the capability of PICASA for Windows( Google software ) good enough?

    regards

    Ram

  12. #12
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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Ram,

    Was VR on when these were shot?
    Hi John

    Yes the VR was on

    regards

    Ram

  13. #13
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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Quote Originally Posted by VRAM0565 View Post
    Grahame

    Thank you for the welcome and comments. I have strugled with focus in artificial lights and night photography. In this case i was using Auto focus and was able to get autofocus working by focusing on a light source. I need some tips on how to achieve better focus either using Auto or manual in low lighting conditions

    Ram
    Hi again Ram

    Having looked at the series again more closely in some it appears that the foreground subjects (tree branches, island, railings and starburst) are far sharper than the foreshore in the distance to the horizon. This suggests to me that whilst f22 may not have been the 'best' aperture for these shots it did on this occasion provide decent sharpness at certain focus planes.

    You say that you used autofocus on the lights in the distance but they are obviously less sharp so something does not quite add up. There are two possibilities that come to mind, VR on as John has picked up on, or, camera shake. Although you were using a tripod mirror slap and hence camera movement would cause a greater affect on subject farthest from the camera.

    I would always use manual focus for this type of shot especially as using a tripod and speed of shooting was not important.

  14. #14
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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Ram,

    Was VR on when these were shot?
    VR should be off when working on a tripod.

  15. #15
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    VR should be off when working on a tripod.
    Here are some tips for VR use.

    http://bythom.com/nikon-vr.htm

  16. #16
    mknittle's Avatar
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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Hi Ram, If money is a problem{isn't it always} You can get GIMP editing software for free. do a searh for GIMP download. it is similar to photoshop. There are Afew peope here that us it.

  17. #17
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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Yes, I am using Gimp, I think it will be good when I figure out layers.
    The cloning tool is great. It was the first tool I worked with.

    And I was able to do a very good job on St Peter and St Paul in Brno. It is on here.

  18. #18
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Sky Lights Up

    Quote Originally Posted by VRAM0565 View Post
    Thank you for the review and comments. I have not done any PP . Will the software which comes with the Nikon be sufficient for PP or is the capability of PICASA for Windows( Google software ) good enough?
    Hi Ram,

    You have had suggestions of GIMP, which I have no experience of, but I believe it is capable of more than the Nikon ViewNX2 can do, although that can be used for initial RAW conversion (when you get on to that later), then open in GIMP for layers and cloning, etc.

    Failing that, you could buy something like PS Elements.

    Personally, I started with Picasa and moved to Elements, then full blown Photoshop, but I am fortunate that I can afford that (it did come half price as I'd bought Elements thankfully)

    Cheers,

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