How do you figure out aperture setting?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dry3210, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. dry3210

    dry3210 TPF Noob!

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    I use to have some good pictures with a point and shoot Casio that had a night time setting.

    I upgraded to a Canon XT and I'm completely lost and because of that my pictures are subpar.

    I take mostly night photos and use to use Shutter priority but switched to aperture priority and have no idea how to figure out good settings.

    I want to get some pictures of this thing at night

    [​IMG]

    Anyone got some advice...I have no idea what I'm doing (I did sign up for a class but thats a few weeks away)
     
  2. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Advice:

    1. Read "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. Everyone recommends this book, mostly because it is very good, and very relaxed in introducing the concepts of photography to users who have never held a dSLR (as I was when I read it).

    2. Get a tripod. Night shots aren't gonna fly w/o one (assuming you want to have a clean photo, without upping the ISO [and if ISO means nothing to you, again, read Understanding Exposure] ).

    3. Profit.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    You choose your aperture based on the depth of field that you want...but you should also keep in mind the shutter speed that you will get with that aperture, as well as what apertures will give you sharper results.

    Either way, you should use a tripod when shooting at night because the shutter speed will most likely be too long to hand hold the camera.
     
  4. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    If you're going to shoot this at night, you might want to consider going Manual in my opinion. Hopefully, no one will be around and shoot it at 100 or 200 iso. This way you can reduce noise. Perhaps start with an aperture around f10 or smaller and work your way from there. I would try to shoot with a shutter speed of 10 or more seconds. I own an XTi so our settings shouldn't be all that different. Just don't forget to bring your tripod :)
     
  5. dry3210

    dry3210 TPF Noob!

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    Excellent...yes I'm shooting with a tripod of course!

    Thanks everyone. I'll give this a try tonight.
     
  6. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    "Typically" you should use the smallest aperture (bigger number) that achieves the shutter speed necessary for a stable shot. That is because all lenses perform better when stopped down, and the wider dof is more often desirable as it will make up for minor focus inaccuracies.

    Of course that's just "beginner advice," as you get more comfortable with photography you will start to want to take advantage of narrower DOF in instances when you want the foreground or background out of focus.
     
  7. cnvang

    cnvang TPF Noob!

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    I would recommend you get a shutter release cable too...And just for fun set the shutter to "B" and guess-ta-mate(estimate) how many secs for the exposure.
     
  8. sultan

    sultan TPF Noob!

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    Aye you using a lens with IS? It helps a lot.
    At night, it is generally best to shoot at the largest aperture (smallest number) possible to let enough light in to the camera unless you need great depth of field. Also, turn the ISO to around 1600 (the highest sensitivity with acceptable results on cropped sensor cameras).
     
  9. saltface

    saltface TPF Noob!

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    That could be a little high. I'd recommend trying the lowest ISO that works for your setup. I use 200-400 at night.
     
  10. dry3210

    dry3210 TPF Noob!

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    Well I went out and I took some pics..

    I kept the f/s at 10 and set the ISO to 100 and I'm VERY happy with the pictures...especially compared to the last time I went out.

    The full night pictures didn't show up as nice as the sunset ones but still quite acceptable in my book..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (First two are HDR btw..but even the individual regular shots came out good IMO!)

    Thanks and any further C&C is of course welcome.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  11. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    im diggin shot 2...cool setting.

    ONLY thing id change, and it;s really nit-picky...id reshoot, and angle the black bike in more so you see more of its body. (or out, and make it parallel with the other bike)
     
  12. dry3210

    dry3210 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah we originally set the bikes up for a straight on shot but then I drifted over to the left to get the church in the backround...shouldda matched the angle of the bike then but didn't even think of it. Good call!
     

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