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Thread: Night Photographs

  1. #1
    DavidM's Avatar
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    David Morton

    Night Photographs

    I'm never quit sure about night photos. Here's one that seems ok to me but maybe it could be improved. I would be interested in any comments or suggestions. Also how do others set up the camera for such shots re ISO, time, aperture etc.?
    The location is Darling Harbour in Sydney.

    Night Photographs

  2. #2

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    Re: Night Photographs

    Hi David,

    Can you please post the EXIF too? And was your camera on a tripod? If I had to take the same shot firstly I would have changed my position so as not to have the pillar in right in the frame.
    My settings would have been:- ISO-100, f/16-22, Shutter speed..... Don't know

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Night Photographs

    Hi David,

    Nice shot, although I too wondered what you had used, as the EXIF has got stripped.

    I think you have included the pillar as foreground interest, but since you have reflected lights that come to the front of frame almost and the shutter speed awasn't so slow as to remove the ripples in the water, I think I tend to agree with Sahil and suggest it isn't necessary.

    One thing I would do is zoom in to 100-200% and carefully wipe a desaturation brush over the blown highlights to remove the 'blue halo' effect. (but see later words about exposure)

    It is also looking a bit soft in the distance - I wonder what caused it, if visible in the full size version?
    However, certainly at the 699 x 466 posted here, sharpening after downsizing could have removed that impression completely.

    One last thought, I think this is one of those shots where as Sean says in his latest tutorial, the camera has over exposed the scene - the reason for the red and blue reflections on the left is masked because the signs on the buildings are so blown see what I mean?

    If you bracketed and have an available capture with a shorter exposure, by at least a stop, maybe two, it might worth processing one of those and using a noise reducer to deal with any noise that might become objectionable.

    Colin, with waaay more experience than I, may have better advice though

    Hope that helps,

  4. #4

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    Re: Night Photographs

    Hi David,

    There are a few rules, but nothing too complicated.

    - Tripod is mandatory.

    - Remote shutter release desireable, remote timer highly desireable.

    - Night scenes are extremely high contrast because you're shoooting into a light source, and that's very bright when contrasted against the "black of night" - so accept the fact that the highlights are going to blow, and just concentrate on the mid-tones. As a rule of thumb, if the image looks "about right" on your camera's review screen then the exposure is probably good.

    - You'll normally want to avoid high-ISOs as they decrease your dynamic range, which is something you want to avoid doing with a night shot.

    - As with a day shot, it's the shutter speed that largely determines what you get. With water, personally, I find that I either want a very short shutter speed to freeze some sparkle in the water, or go completely the other way to smooth water and give good cloud effects.

    - Long exposures go hand in hand with small apertures (typicall F22) and/or ND filters - but - small apertures also give starburst effects from small light sources which can look nice or it can be a bit over-done.

    Quite a few night shots in my galleries (with exif data) - happy to give you more details with any of these if you're interested.

    Hope this helps

    PS: Ata guess, I'd say that your shot was pretty much wide open - short exposure time, and a relatively high ISO ... how'd I do?

  5. #5

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    Re: Night Photographs

    Sahil,
    Nice photo! I like the colorful reflections on the water. Agree with Colin and Dave on suggestions.
    Am submitting my own for critique... I pretty much have to explain this one.
    What I was trying to do was convey a feeling of emptiness and maybe a sign of the times (Wachovia Securities "For Lease" along with the empty intersection). Made it B&W to help this along.
    Alas, I failed... Looks like a snapshot and nothing more... Maybe I should have moved around the intersection in a counter-clockwise direction so as to get the building and signs more prominently in the picture whilst still showing the empty street...

    _dsc0335.jpg
    Nikon D90 30 sec @ f11, ISO 200, 35mm f1.8, Lightroom, the PSE.
    Thanks,
    John
    p.s. Colin, Dave, Thanks very much for helping on previous post.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 26th September 2010 at 12:35 AM. Reason: add image inline

  6. #6

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    Re: Night Photographs

    Errrr John, thats not my shot!

  7. #7

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    Re: Night Photographs

    Sahil,
    So sorry... David.
    John

  8. #8
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    Re: Night Photographs

    I like it, especially the color that is repeated in the water.

    Chuck

  9. #9
    DavidM's Avatar
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    Re: Night Photographs

    Thanks for the comments.

    The relevant bits of the exif are:
    ISO 400
    F 3.5
    exposure 1/2 second
    focal length 18 mm

    I didn't have a tripod at the time, so improvised by sitting the camera on a flat railing.
    On the full size picture the buildings look sharp, but the bright lights appear blurred, or maybe blown out.

    David

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