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Thread: Night Photography (Beginner)

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    Night Photography (Beginner)

    Just Breaking out in photography and getting used to Night Shooting.. Comments and Advice will be much appreciated..


    Night Photography (Beginner)

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    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    At the least you are going to need a tripod (or some type of camera support that can hold your camera steady) since you will be dealing with slower shutter speeds. A cable release will probably also be handy as well.
    I am not an experienced night shooter; however I found that the above mentioned items were vital for the night shot I have done in recent years.
    Also, not knowing what kind of camera you have, one that can increase the ISO (sensitivity to light) settings is helpful. In this regard, for the night shot I did, I did not increase my ISO settings.
    In regards to your picture, could you give us more information on how you shot this-it looks soft to me.

    Bruce

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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    If you crank up your ISO and can live with a bit of noise, shoot with a fairly fast lens (f/2.8 or faster) and can hand-hold down to around 1/15th of a second; you can shoot without a tripod. A wide angle lens is far easier to use at low shutter speeds than a long lens.

    Night Photography (Beginner)

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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital View Post
    At the least you are going to need a tripod (or some type of camera support that can hold your camera steady) since you will be dealing with slower shutter speeds. A cable release will probably also be handy as well.
    I am not an experienced night shooter; however I found that the above mentioned items were vital for the night shot I have done in recent years.
    Also, not knowing what kind of camera you have, one that can increase the ISO (sensitivity to light) settings is helpful. In this regard, for the night shot I did, I did not increase my ISO settings.
    In regards to your picture, could you give us more information on how you shot this-it looks soft to me.

    Bruce
    Thank you for the Response, I usually use my Tripod for my night shots but this night i just got up and went. This particular photo was shot with the following:
    Shutter Speed: 1/8
    f/4.5
    ISO:800

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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wrathchild310 View Post
    Thank you for the Response, I usually use my Tripod for my night shots but this night i just got up and went. This particular photo was shot with the following:
    Shutter Speed: 1/8
    f/4.5
    ISO:800
    1/8th is getting pretty difficult to hand hold, unless you are shooting an ultra-wide angle lens (and your shot is at 84mm; that is getting well past hand-holding range, even with image stabilization). Your ISO is quite low; but I don't know the maximum your camera allows, but you should be shooting close to the fastest you can. It looks like you were likely shooting wide open (or close to it), but the 55-250mm is not a lens I would use for that type of shooting without a good tripod.

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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    1/8th is getting pretty difficult to hand hold, unless you are shooting an ultra-wide angle lens (and your shot is at 84mm; that is getting well past hand-holding range, even with image stabilization). Your ISO is quite low; but I don't know the maximum your camera allows, but you should be shooting close to the fastest you can. It looks like you were likely shooting wide open (or close to it), but the 55-250mm is not a lens I would use for that type of shooting without a good tripod.

    Yea, it was pretty difficult to get it steady being that I had no tipod with me. I felt like a sniper with my elbows propped on the bench holding my breath.. I have the Canon 600D(T3i) and I was using the 18-55 lens that it came with.. The max ISO it can achieve I believe is 6400.. I bought it with the intention to film more than take pictures since I do like filming and editing things, But I can't help to not take Photographs especially when they look really good.. I have yet to film anything

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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    Night photography isn't simple. Unless you can attend a workshop or class, I suggest you do some reading. A good starting place is Mark Bowie's The Light of Midnight, http://www.markbowie.com/shop/books.html. It covers a lot of ground, but it starts at square one and is an easy read. It's also inexpensive. There is too much to learn to handle it effectively with just posts to a website, even one as good as this one. Unless you want to do astrophotography, you won't need much specialized equipment, but a good tripod is essential, and a remote release is almost essential. (A cheap wired one is sufficient.)

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wrathchild310 View Post
    I bought it with the intention to film more than take pictures since I do like filming and editing things, But I can't help to not take Photographs especially when they look really good.. I have yet to film anything
    I'm not a great fan of using still cameras to shoot video. They are tough to use and are really not that great a too outside of a proper studio; just too many limitations.

    If you are planning to shot video; I suggest you invest in a reasonably good video tripod with a decent fluid head; that really is the number one tool you need. A video tripod is significantly different than one used for still cameras.

    The second thing you should look at is getting a decent rear-screen magnifier; Zacuto makes some of the better known ones. Getting a sharp focus is absolutely critical in HD video and unfortunately Canon (and Nikon) have done a poor job here by not providing better focus assist.

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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    Hi Raymond

    I think your main problem with that shot is the slow shutter speed hand held. However another thing to think about with night shots (or low light in general) is focusing. I like to use Live View mode with manual focus for this. I magnify the screen and select the part of the image I want to have best focus for and manually adjust on that area. I don't trust auto focus in low light.

    Dave

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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    Hi Raymond

    I think your main problem with that shot is the slow shutter speed hand held. However another thing to think about with night shots (or low light in general) is focusing. I like to use Live View mode with manual focus for this. I magnify the screen and select the part of the image I want to have best focus for and manually adjust on that area. I don't trust auto focus in low light.

    Dave
    Thank You, i will take that into consideration next time i do a night shot

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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    I would recommend experimenting with your camera to see the maximum ISO that you can live with.

    I shot this image of two performers at ISO 6,400. Some cameras are better at high ISO than oher cameras. I can live with some noise in shots like this.

    Night Photography (Beginner)

    I did not use that high ISO because I needed a shutter speed to freeze the camera motion or the motion of the two performers on stage. I used ISO 6,400 because just before these performers started singing, I was shooting an aerialist perform and I wanted a fast enough shutter speed to stop the motion of the aerialist. I decided that I would rather live with some noise than have a blurry image. I used NIK Define for noise reduction..

    Night Photography (Beginner)

    Using ISO 6400, I was shooting the aerialist with a Canon 7D around 1/200 second @ f/4.5 using 55mm

    I could not use a tripod for this show and my monopod (which I would heve used) was lost in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I would recommend experimenting with your camera to see the maximum ISO that you can live with.

    I shot this image of two performers at ISO 6,400. Some cameras are better at high ISO than oher cameras. I can live with some noise in shots like this.

    Night Photography (Beginner)

    I did not use that high ISO because I needed a shutter speed to freeze the camera motion or the motion of the two performers on stage. I used ISO 6,400 because just before these performers started singing, I was shooting an aerialist perform and I wanted a fast enough shutter speed to stop the motion of the aerialist. I decided that I would rather live with some noise than have a blurry image. I used NIK Define for noise reduction..

    Night Photography (Beginner)

    Using ISO 6400, I was shooting the aerialist with a Canon 7D around 1/200 second @ f/4.5 using 55mm

    I could not use a tripod for this show and my monopod (which I would heve used) was lost in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
    these look really good. It looks like i have a lot to work on

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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    If you crank up your ISO and can live with a bit of noise, shoot with a fairly fast lens (f/2.8 or faster) and can hand-hold down to around 1/15th of a second; you can shoot without a tripod. A wide angle lens is far easier to use at low shutter speeds than a long lens.

    Night Photography (Beginner)
    Manfred, I like your night shot. It looks like the Venice Grand Canal (is it?). I love night photography but, my problem with night photography is that my wife is fearful of going out and is fearful for me to go out alone. I hate to worry her. So I only go out shooting at night with my camera groups or on a tour. I got this as part of a series of shots on a tour of Hong Kong...

    Night Photography (Beginner)

    In this case, I was shooting with a Canon 30D and the highest ISO I liked to use with that older camera is 800. I shot this hand-held using 55mm at 1/25 second @ f/2.8 with the IS of my 17-55mm f/2.8 lens turned on. I could not use a tripod because I was shoooting from the back of a crowd. Luckily, at 6'1", I am taller than most of the Chinese in front of me while I was shooting.

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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wrathchild310 View Post
    Just Breaking out in photography and getting used to Night Shooting.. Comments and Advice will be much appreciated..


    Night Photography (Beginner)
    Lacking a tripod you can also use a support (concrete barrier, light post) to steady your camera.

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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    Slow Shutter speeds, sans Tripod or Monopod

    As well as finding a support for the camera . . .

    Cushion the camera on the support with a piece of clothing or bean-bag so you can get a good downward (or sideways) pressure on the body of the camera, to steady it.

    Use “Mirror-Up”

    Squeeze the shutter slowly - or use the timer delay.


    Night Photography (Beginner)

    “This Side” #04496
    F/5 @ s @ ISO1600, Hand Held

    WW

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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    Unless you are using some sort of a camera support, I recommend shooting hand-held using the eye-level viewfinder (if the camera is so equipped). When I shoot using the eye level viewfinder, I have the camera pressed against my face which provides (for me) a steadier support than holding the camera away from my face and using the LCD viewfinder.

    Of sourse, image stabilization (or whatever your manufacturer calls this) also helps.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Manfred, I like your night shot. It looks like the Venice Grand Canal (is it?).
    It is indeed; we were wandering around Venice waiting to take the last express train back to Florence, so this is taken from the newest bridge over the Grand Canal, right by the train station. Fortunately for me, my family likes poking around strange places at night.

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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    Whilst coats and lamp-posts double as emergency tripods, tripods can be had cheaply second hand (buy the best and most stable one you can afford), and that will make more of a difference to your photography at night than you could imagine. That way you can keep the ISO low which is something I always do with night time photography.

    It is a different style and one where you can take your time, but learning by experience is certainly the best way. Go out and experiment.

    I never use a shutter release these days, I normally use the timer/delay as this also reduces the chance of knocking the camera too.

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    Re: Night Photography (Beginner)

    I think you picked the right situation for your night shot ... it was or had been raining and there were lots of wet surfaces and puddles to reflect the lights. The thing to remember that you are with that shot and its type basically photograophing light sources and their reflections so you need to avoid over exposing which becuase of possible areas of darkness a meter will make you over-expose.
    This shot was taken handheld from my car ... it was pouting down with rain The 'regent' was a two second exposure but becuase I was deliverately movin g the camera [ zooming the lens] camera shake was not a bother ... the general view does suffer from camera shake but editing sharpened it up to an acceptable level.Night Photography (Beginner)
    I rarely take night photos but I think success comes from understanding the problems facing you with each shot. Which included a reluctance to get myself and the camera wet on that night

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