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Thread: First real shots taken at night.

  1. #1
    rob marshall

    First real shots taken at night.

    I don't know why I've never tried this before. Maybe I was worried about the bad people mugging my gear But I had my wife with me last night, so that was OK...

    I only had my small tripod with me, and despite doing mirror lock-up on the camera, some of them were a little fuzzy. I found it helps to have a fairly even spread of different lights throughout the shots, as in #5.

    C&C welcome. Any tips? EXIF is on the shots.

    First real shots taken at night.

    First real shots taken at night.

    First real shots taken at night.

    First real shots taken at night.

    First real shots taken at night.

  2. #2
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: First real shots taken at night.

    I think you did a very good job on all the shots, Rob. WB is definitely hard to predict with the assorted lights available. If I were to choose among the 5 I would definitely choose #3 as the winner for me.

  3. #3
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: First real shots taken at night.

    Nice Rob, I hope to do half as well when I finally make it out for some night shots. I like #3 as well but #5 is my second favorite.

  4. #4
    agaace's Avatar
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    Re: First real shots taken at night.

    All are excellent! I love the color lights and stunning reflections. With night shots (and post processing) I always find it difficult to find the right brightness - do I want it to look really dark, cause it was night, or do I want to keep the sky bright. That's why normally I prefer blue hour to the proper night. #5 would have been just average if not the blue lights that add so much to it!
    All of them look sharp to me (at least in the resolution you posted), and I know how hard it is to keep long exposures sharp. The bridge is my favorite, really stunning! And I would choose #5 as my second choice Great job!!

  5. #5
    agaace's Avatar
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    Re: First real shots taken at night.

    Btw, I'm curious of opinions of others. When I do night shots, I too try to keep iso low. I noticed you did that too with iso 100. Have you tried higher iso? I'm wondering if boosting iso to 200 or even 400 would make the noise really horrible. Sometimes I'm so tempted to try.. when I'm doing like a 10 min exposure, setting iso to 200 would make it only 5 mins (and it makes such a big difference when you're alone at night in a remote place, freezing and waiting for it to finish). But I tend to stick to 100, for the sake of quality!

  6. #6

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    Re: First real shots taken at night.

    Hey Rob,
    They all look excellent to me as well. I couldn't even pick a winner here. You did a very good job.

  7. #7
    rob marshall

    Re: First real shots taken at night.

    Quote Originally Posted by agaace View Post
    All are excellent! I love the color lights and stunning reflections. With night shots (and post processing) I always find it difficult to find the right brightness - do I want it to look really dark, cause it was night, or do I want to keep the sky bright. That's why normally I prefer blue hour to the proper night. #5 would have been just average if not the blue lights that add so much to it!
    All of them look sharp to me (at least in the resolution you posted), and I know how hard it is to keep long exposures sharp. The bridge is my favorite, really stunning! And I would choose #5 as my second choice Great job!!
    Thanks for the comments.

    There were quite a few bright lights in these shots, especially the bridge. I tried normal exposure but I found the lights were blowing out too much. I settled on -1EV which worked quite well. I had to lift the dark areas a bit in CS5, but as I shot in ISO100 that was OK. I used mirror lock-up (on a quiet wind-less evening the sound of the mirror clunking up sounds ominous) but they are slight blurred on the longer exposures. I think my Manfrotto tripod (heavier) would be better. As for the compositions, I found it better to have a spread of light throughout the shot - too many large dark areas just looks boring. The reflections are impressive, but with the longer exposures any water movement gets blurred.

    This one has a very bright light in it (blown out) but because it's casting a general light over the rest of the scene (with nice colours) I think it works well. Not a very interesting composition, but it shows the light effect. This one was just 2secs exposure as there was more light available.

    First real shots taken at night.
    Last edited by rob marshall; 3rd February 2011 at 07:03 AM.

  8. #8
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: First real shots taken at night.

    All very good Rob. Something I have tried (and I think successfully but by accident) when you have mixed light sources is to create a second layer and convert to B & W then add an infrared filter an then pull back the opacity to around 66%. It evens the different light sources out and gives a sort of French provincial de-saturated look.

  9. #9
    rob marshall

    Re: First real shots taken at night.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    All very good Rob. Something I have tried (and I think successfully but by accident) when you have mixed light sources is to create a second layer and convert to B & W then add an infrared filter an then pull back the opacity to around 66%. It evens the different light sources out and gives a sort of French provincial de-saturated look.
    Thanks, Peter, I'll try that.

    If anyone wants to post any of their own examples of night shots, together with any comments as to technique, please feel free.

  10. #10
    pwnage101's Avatar
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    Re: First real shots taken at night.

    The second image is far to noisy for ISO 100, especially with a second generation camera like the 50d. I assume you bumped up the exposure in post, in which case you should have just extended the exposure during capture. Also, f8 at 12mm is extremely small; you could have easily gotten away with a larger aperture if time was a factor

    In fact, images 3 and 5 also show some noise, yet each of those are also ISO 100. That 50D has got a lot more potential

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