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Thread: Night shooting

  1. #1

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    Peter

    Night shooting

    G'day, I am going to the UK in a couple of months and am reasonable at my photography but am a little unsure at night and inside, I am going to go to the city here on the weekend at night to practice some night city shots and wondering what settings I should use as a base to start from for buildings etc at night, should I just use auto or night portrait or landscape or program?
    I am wondering why we have the program setting and the night portraits etc when we have auto if all are designed to automaticaly detect the light etc then apart from using manual why would I stray from auto?
    Peter

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

    Re: Night shooting

    There is very little "creativity" if you stay in Auto mode. Shoot in RAW, shoot in manual mode, and shoot a lot of shots. Look at your camera's screen after each shot. If you think it's still too dark for you, adjust the shutter speed. If your camera tells you to use a shutter speed below 1/30 second... better use a tripod to retain sharpness. If you want your shots to look "clean", use the lowest ISO that your camera have. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Steaphany's Avatar
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    Re: Night shooting

    This question reminded me of Bryan Peterson's video "Taking Pictures after Sunset":


    A pointer:

    The recommendation for using the Magenta FLW filter is because the florescent lighting of many office buildings will leave a Green cast. The Magenta will yield a properly balanced white point.

  4. #4
    rob marshall

    Re: Night shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    Look at your camera's screen after each shot.
    Giro

    Last week you were trying to get us all interested in burger bars. Now, you want us all to start chimping? You are a thoroughly bad influence on this forum and the sooner they ban you for not getting a sensible haircut the better.

    Night shooting

    Peter

    I only have limited experience in night shooting, and I have found it tricky. I think one of the mistakes is to shoot when it's too dark - you need some ambient light in the sky. I also found it best to get a good distribution of artificial lights across as much of the image as possible, which helps avoid black spots (not the type you get as a teenager). Manual mode is best and you really do need to just experiment with the settings to get what you need. I have also used ND grad filters at night as the can help balance the exposure across the shot. Always go for a low ISO - 100/200. The camera does a pretty poor job at taking what you see, but at night it's even more difficult. And yes, as Giro says, look at the shots after taking them, but make sure nobody is around - you get a lot of street-cred from shooting at night (it looks so cool) but you can completely blow it by chimping.

    Here is one I did earlier in the year at a local marina.

    Night shooting

  5. #5
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Night shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by rob marshall View Post
    Giro

    Last week you were trying to get us all interested in burger bars. Now, you want us all to start chimping? You are a thoroughly bad influence on this forum and the sooner they ban you for not getting a sensible haircut the better.
    Well, that's the easiest way to check your exposure (specially with newbies like me. ). As for the haircut I don't have any more money to go to a decent barber shop since my savings are all already spent on photography books. Besides, I like having my long hairs back, makes me incognito. LOL!

    I forgot to mention, Bryan Peterson is also long haired from Steaphany's video link! Long-haired photo junkies rocks. Hahaha!

  6. #6

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    Martyn

    Re: Night shooting

    i too would add that dusk is the best time to take night time city scape shots,a black sky is nearly as uninteresting as a white sky,
    if your on a long exposure it doesnt matter if people walk in front of the lens (you wont see it),reflections over the river thames can look good, as mentioned a tripod or something suitable to place your camera on is a must, personally i would also go for manual focus especially if there is a point of interest you wish the viewer to easily see, cheers martyn ps not sure about your camera so check that you can actually take long exposures with the equipment you have, ie i cant take pics in bulb setting unless i use a remote

  7. #7

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    Mary... or Lucy... either is fine with me. ;)

    Re: Night shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    Well, that's the easiest way to check your exposure (specially with newbies like me. ). As for the haircut I don't have any more money to go to a decent barber shop since my savings are all already spent on photography books. Besides, I like having my long hairs back, makes me incognito. LOL!

    I forgot to mention, Bryan Peterson is also long haired from Steaphany's video link! Long-haired photo junkies rocks. Hahaha!
    I like the long-hair, Willie... it's... mysterious.

  8. #8

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    Re: Night shooting

    Thank you all fo rthe info, yes I can take long exposures, the only problem I may have will be the tripod, someyhing I wasn't planning to take with me, we are going on a 22 day bus tour so we are taking limited luggage. Maybe I will have to buy a gorilla pod are these as good as they say?
    Here are a couple of my first night shots
    Night shooting
    Taken at the local jetty (tripod)
    Night shooting
    Taken in my back yard. (hand held at 300mm)
    Peter

  9. #9
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Night shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Poider View Post
    Thank you all fo rthe info, yes I can take long exposures, the only problem I may have will be the tripod, someyhing I wasn't planning to take with me, we are going on a 22 day bus tour so we are taking limited luggage. Maybe I will have to buy a gorilla pod are these as good as they say?
    Here are a couple of my first night shots
    Night shooting
    Taken at the local jetty (tripod)
    Night shooting
    Taken in my back yard. (hand held at 300mm)
    Peter
    The Gorilla Pod is a great accessory but it may not hold your 300mm lens. Your better off using a beanbag or level surface if possible.

  10. #10

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    Ken

    Re: Night shooting

    That animal is a pest in New Zealand, good shot though!

  11. #11

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    Re: Night shooting

    How about a monopod, it is useful as a walking pole as well, and takes up less space than a tripod. Mine is a Manfrotto 680 B with a 234RC quick fit. Weighs 0.83 kg + head .27kg, 51 cm closed, 154 cm fully extended. 10 kg max for monopod, 2.5kg max for head. Used it a lot in the Inca Trail a couple of years ago, especially walking down steep steps.
    Night shooting

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