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Thread: First attempt with night photo

  1. #1
    atlantean's Avatar
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    First attempt with night photo

    This is my first attempt with night photo. Composition, i think, is still a big problem for me.
    Criticisms of all sorts are welcome.

    First attempt with night photo

    This shot was taken from an overpass in Singapore.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    Duc

    Good to see you getting in early (after joining) and posting images. I hope you, very quickly, feel a part of this forum.

    I always like to see this sort of image as it gives me a sense of a place I have not visited. To that extent, it has a documentary feel to it.

    You make the comment that you think you still need to work on your skills in composition. This image suggests that you have started on that journey and do have a sense of what you want to achieve. One of the challenges of this image, I believe, is that there are too many elements trying to compete.

    The highway with the light trails is a major feature. But there is vegatation cutting across it and trying to compete for attention. Even a tree branch cuts into the light trails half-way up the image on the left. So, I think what is required is that you decide what your primary subject is and make sure other things to not cut across it.

    I wonder what shot would have been available if you had walked across the the overpass so that the highway would have run from bottom left to top right in your image? Would you have managed to get the highway without interference from plants in front? The trees along the left-hand side, as we look at it, would then have formed the backdrop to the image. And as they would have been illuminated by the street lighting, it might have made for an interesting shot.

    This is a wonderful forum in which to learn. Please keep on posting. And I hope you'll come in to make comments about images that I post.

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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    Personally I quite like the idea of having those flowering shrubs at the bottom and I could live with the few leaves across the light trails; but it is that tall shoot on the right edge which is the real problem.

    Cloning it out won't be easy though. I did consider removing the out of focus top half and 'pruning' it to a leaf just over the roof line, but although that would be better it wouldn't be a total cure. I do sometimes snip off the odd leaf or two if it makes a clearer photo and won't ruin somebody's prize plant. But don't risk anything dangerous!

    The other suggestion would be a slight crop of the left edge and top to concentrate the action. You may get away with also cropping the right edge, near the first bollard, to remove the bottom half of that offending shoot and cloning out the top half. I'm not sure if it will work but it may be worth a go.

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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    I may be wrong, but it looks like he used his flash which highlighted the shrubs. If they were in soft focus they would less distracting. I do like the flare from the lamp post.

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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    How about this as an alternate interpretation?

    First attempt with night photo

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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    How about this as an alternate interpretation?

    First attempt with night photo
    Nice work!

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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    To that extent, it has a documentary feel to it.
    Well, i guess that's what 18-55mm lens can achieve.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    One of the challenges of this image, I believe, is that there are too many elements trying to compete.
    Hey, you hit the nail on the head, as it is what i was wondering while trying to compose the shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Would you have managed to get the highway without interference from plants in front? The trees along the left-hand side, as we look at it, would then have formed the backdrop to the image. And as they would have been illuminated by the street lighting, it might have made for an interesting shot.
    The plants are really dense, Donald. But your suggestion enlightens me, to change my vantage point. Thx ! However If i use the trees to the left as a backdrop, i'm afraid i will lose the bending part of the light stream. And i really like to have the curve in this stream, so that it looks more like a stream !

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    And I hope you'll come in to make comments about images that I post.
    Sure, i'm just afraid a beginner's comment would not help that much.

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    atlantean's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    I may be wrong, but it looks like he used his flash which highlighted the shrubs. If they were in soft focus they would less distracting. I do like the flare from the lamp post.
    Thx for ur reply. The shrubs were lighted by light tubes on the canopy of the overpass though.

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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    How about this as an alternate interpretation?
    To Colin,
    Thx for the picture frame ! I have the feeling that you have a thing for the framing of an image, if that's what you call it. )

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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    Quote Originally Posted by atlantean View Post
    To Colin,
    Thx for the picture frame ! I have the feeling that you have a thing for the framing of an image, if that's what you call it. )
    You're welcome.

    I do it because I feel it helps to isolate the image and raise the standard of presentation. You wouldn't expect a top chef to serve up a stunning meal without a plate

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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    Very inspiring. U know, some of your photos give me the impression of those motivational posters, one such as this, though it may not be necessary so.

    First attempt with night photo

    (Did i say motivational posters ? Sorry, i couldnt find any on the net.)

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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    You're welcome.

    I do it because I feel it helps to isolate the image and raise the standard of presentation. You wouldn't expect a top chef to serve up a stunning meal without a plate


    If I made an adverse comment about dinner when I was married I got it without a plate.

    I like the star from the street lamp and would like to know the kind of camera and f-stop setting. Also was it cropped and originally the light more central. cheers

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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    How about this as an alternate interpretation?

    First attempt with night photo
    Colin Southern, you give master classes?

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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post

    I like the star from the street lamp and would like to know the kind of camera and f-stop setting. Also was it cropped and originally the light more central. cheers
    At your request, here is the setting:
    Nikon D3000 18-55mm
    30s - f/22
    Incandescent

  15. #15
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    Cheers. Means I can get the same at the same setting and similar scene.

  16. #16
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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    Well, just make sure the exposure is long enough to get the stream of light and the "starburst" effect from light source (from my experience).

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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    Cheers. Means I can get the same at the same setting and similar scene.
    Basically, the smaller the aperture, the bigger the "stars". You can use higher ISOs if you need as shadow noise usually isn't a big issue in high contrast shots like this (you clip them to black in PP anyway). Just expose for the mid-tones (the highlights from light sources will blow anyway).

  18. #18
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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Basically, the smaller the aperture, the bigger the "stars".
    Oops, at first i thought it was the slow shutter speed that made the "stars" bigger. Thx for opening my eyes. Maybe i got it wrong because a smaller aperture always need longer exposure.

  19. #19

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    Re: First attempt with night photo

    Quote Originally Posted by atlantean View Post
    Oops, at first i thought it was the slow shutter speed that made the "stars" bigger. Thx for opening my eyes. Maybe i got it wrong because a smaller aperture always need longer exposure.
    No worries

    Here's a couple of examples ... the first was shot at F32

    First attempt with night photo

    And the 2nd at F2.8 ...

    First attempt with night photo

  20. #20

    Re: First attempt with night photo

    But with high aperture come diffraction something you have to watch for in night time landscapes since keeping things sharp is one of your main goals! First attempt with night photo

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