Bulb Exposures

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by rmh159, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    I just recently got a Nikon D50 with the kit 18 - 55 lens and have always wanted to take Bulb shots. So now that I have a dSLR I'd like to give it a shot and wanted to know if anyone had any tips / suggestions as far as technique, settings... or anything else.

    My game plan at this point would be to scope out an interesting subject (one that won't move obviously) and compose the shot about 1/3 subject, 2/3 sky. Use an aperture around F8-ish and then just trial and error it until I get something good.

    Any suggestions? How long would I need to expose to get noticable star trails?
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    The first piece of advice I'd give is to get a remote release. You don't want to hold the shutter button down the entire length of a several minute exposure.

    You'll get noticable star trails after even 1 or 2 minutes, but not long trails. In all honesty, if you want to do star trails, you are much better off with film.
     
  3. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    Haha yeah definitely... I'm not delusional enough to think I could keep myself still for that long.

    Any recommendation for ISO or Aperture? I figured I'd just mess around and see what works but being as each shot could take a few minutes any knowledge I could get going into the project should help.

     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I haven't done much long exposure photography...but I would think that using the lowest ISO would be best. Noise could start to be a problem with longer exposures...and higher ISO will only make it worse.

    I think you have the right idea though...just get out there and experiment.
     
  5. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Definitely the lowest ISO possible. It's all going to depend on what you are photographing, and how much light there is. If you are out in the middle of nowhere, and there is no light pollution, then plan on 30 minutes to 8 hours. If you are shooting cars driving by, then try 30 seconds, and adjust from there. I usually use f/8 myself.

    This shot was 30 seconds at f/8 I believe.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    you want as slow as ISO as possible. 50 is best i think. If your not shooting starts, then i would go at f/8 and bracket if full stop.
    If you wana get good star trails, switch to film and get a manual camera so you can leave the shutter open all night with out draining batteries.
    if you cant do that ;) you can get ok star trails after 30 min to an hour.

    my best star trails come out when i use 50 iso, f 1.7 and a 4 hour exposure.
    (but thats only cause i didnt wana stay up any later...)
     

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