help with night shots

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by PiMpPiStOl, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. PiMpPiStOl

    PiMpPiStOl TPF Noob!

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    so, i got a 8 mp kodak camera, 5x optical zoom, blah blah. anything else you need to know tell me and ill look for it..

    so, i was gonna watch talladega nights, but my brother had it in the trailer so i was gonna go otu there and get it, and i look up and thought, "this would prolly be a good pic!" cuz there was like, some trees, and the moon behind it. i just thought it would and im still not sure. anyway. i run back in to get my camera, and i stand out there in the cold, i set the camera to night sceene, or something like that, i take a picture, and it was crappy. so, i switched it to where it automatically chooses the mest sceen mode or whatever, and take 2 or 3 of those, and theyre all crapp! i dont know how to take good night shots!!

    http://pimppistol.deviantart.com/gallery/scraps/

    those are the pics. so please help!!! im gonna watch that movie though, so ill be back!!!
     
  2. ftops

    ftops TPF Noob!

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    ive taken night shots that have barely come out at a shutter speed of 15 seconds, so i think for one youre going to have to get a tripod. i dont know which camera model you have, i take it its a p&s, but youll want to set the ISO high, have the aperture set fairly large, and set the shutter to stay open for a really long time. its really a matter of trial and error...take a shot, change something, take another shot, change it a little bit more...and eventually you will find the right settings that will satisfy the qualifications for a good picture (relatively speaking, of course). good luck!
     
  3. PiMpPiStOl

    PiMpPiStOl TPF Noob!

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    "but youll want to set the ISO high, have the aperture set fairly large, and set the shutter to stay open for a really long time."

    i have no clue what you mean. i dont know much about cameras. so like, could you dumb that up?
     
  4. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    Are you trying to get a good picture of the Moon, of the trees, or of both the Moon and the trees?

    If Moon: You need to use a manual exposure length that's much shorter than what the camera tells you. Probably around 1/60 sec for that type of picture. But you're not going to get much detail since it's just a 5x optical zoom ... but you'll get something.

    If trees: Use your flash. If you don't want to use the flash, then you will, as ftops said, need to set the ISO high, aperture wide, and use a slow shutter speed. ISO is like film speed, so the higher the ISO, the more "sensitive" your camera is, but the trade-off is that the picture will be more grainy. A wide aperture means a lower f-number, which means that the iris in the lens will be more open, allowing more light in. A slow shutter speed is just that - take a longer exposure. Read in the manual on how to do those things on your camera.

    If both: You cannot do this without doing some sort of a composite, as you might have guessed from the two descriptions I gave above for a simple reason: The moon is bright, the trees at night aren't. The trees require a long exposure or a short flash exposure, and the moon requires a short exposure. If you have a basic image editing program that allows you to cut and paste, I suggest taking a flash photo of the trees, taking a shot of the moon separately, and then copying that image of the Moon into the shot of the trees. You could then get something like the following image, which shows trees, the Moon, and Mars, which was actually taken with a camera a little more basic relative to yours:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    Set your ISO as low as it can (a high ISO at a long shutter speed will make terrible noise, especially on a P&S) and use a tripod, using a timed delay so that you arent actually touching the camera when it fires. set the aperture as open (low of a number) as you can while still getting the depth of field (DOF) that you need for the shot. Shutter speed to make up for the rest of the short comings. in real dark areas you'll need real long shutter speeds. If you use the flash you can light up some objects to lessen some of that time. It is really a lot of trial and error, but trust me on the low ISO thing.
     
  6. PiMpPiStOl

    PiMpPiStOl TPF Noob!

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    what is ISO?? and p&s is point and shoot right? how do i know if it is or not? im completely new. im serious. i know like, nothing about cameras except how to push the button and stuff.


    but im gonna go to bed now cuz im dead tired. so ill get back tomorrow.
     
  7. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    ISO is a measure of sensitivity. along with shutter speed and aperture it helps determine how exposed a picture is. The lower the number the less sensitive the film/sensor is. On Film this isnt a big deal, yeah you'll see grain but it produces a look that some people like. On a digital, sensitivity is increased in the same way an amplifier increases sound for a guitar. As you turn up the gain it becomes louder (more sensitive) so less forces makes more noise (and dim lights register on the sensor). Well with that comes distortion, known as noise in the digital camera world. P&S (point and shoots, you were correct with that) are especially susceptible to this because of the small sensor size.

    I've made a post or two fully detailing what affects exposure and how changing each effects your pictures, I'll dig it up for you. Also keep asking questions, that and trial and error (free on digital) is the best way to learn.


    EDIT: http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showpost.php?p=604281&postcount=7
     
  8. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    IMO, the best way to learn is first to read a book on the basics so that you will have the vocabulary to understand photography, then read the manual of the camera, then take some pictures, then ask questions about what is happening wrong.

    If you don't have the vocabulary, you don't even know how to ask the questions. Question and answer to a web site when the subject is completely unknown is extremely inefficient and will leave huge gaps in your knowledge that will keep you from progressing very fast.
     

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