Long night-time exposures

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by NateOntario, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. NateOntario

    NateOntario TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys,

    I've gotten into night-time photography recently. I've been trying to accomplish something similar to what is in this picture

    [​IMG]

    30 sec
    F/22 ISO 100

    It was taken with a canon xt I believe, and mine was taken with a Nikon D50. Of course, i'm using a tripod.

    These are the best i've gotten

    [​IMG]

    30 second shutter speed
    F/25
    ISO 200

    [​IMG]

    What I think I did wrong here - Lights are overexposed, I guess due to my aperture

    30 sec
    F/4 (That was my mistake, I forgot to change my aperture before I started shooting)
    ISO 200


    If anyone has some tips to share, that'd be great.

    I'll probably go out to take some more next week before it gets TOO cold.
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think what's hurting you the most is that there's nothing to look at in your's.

    Try to find a new location with some buildings or something interesting to look at along the street.
     
  3. NateOntario

    NateOntario TPF Noob!

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    Yep,

    I wasn't really trying to compose a great photo, I just stepped outside my door. I'll edit a pic into the original post in a sec of where I will probably be taking pics, definitely more stuff to look at. (The general area)

    I don't really like that picture though.
     
  4. Felix 222

    Felix 222 TPF Noob!

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    Other than composition, I'd say you're doing everything correctly.


    Here's a little PS touchup:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One thing I noticed in the first pic, the example pic. The photog used a cross hatch filter to get the star burst effect. They do nothing where there is no point light source or reflection.
     
  6. NateOntario

    NateOntario TPF Noob!

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    Really nice job,

    is there something specific you did, or did you just mess around with burning?
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I still think that the WB is off... white lights look a little too orange.

    How about this?

    [​IMG]

    Even with this, I can tell that some of the lights are blown out and hence you cannot save all parts of it. It is lightly overexposed. Look at the crosswalk blue light... you cannot tell what it shows or says.
     
  8. [JR]

    [JR] TPF Noob!

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    I really like JerryPH's edit, it looks much more balanced...
     
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Best I could do with a 3 minute self imposed limit and my very limited CS3 knowledge. If I had the RAW image I could get it spot on in a few seconds.

    I asked in another thread, but perhaps someone here knows... that starburst or crosshatch effect on liights... is that something I can do in CS3 or is that a plug-in?
     
  10. Jbs

    Jbs TPF Noob!

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    that happens when you shoot with a bigger fstop directly at lights.

    as to the OP,

    shoot more interesting subjects with higher aperture and longer shutter speed so you can get more trails etc.

    also, shoot in raw and if anything underexpose it because when you over expose, the data is lost.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One of the biggest challenges a less experienced amateur has is the choice of what to meter against in any given picture.

    If you meter for the lights, you get them just right and underexpose all the rest. If you meter for the darker areas, detail increases drastically, but you chance blowing out all the lights.

    One can sometimes depend on the camera's matrix metering to make the decision for us but it can be wrong quite often. Best thing to do is set the camera so that you choose what to meter against... and if you are a little more experienced, you will meter for not the darkest nor the lightest area of the picture and get a fair compromise. Your eye (in time) will tell you what to meter against for the effect you want to acheive.

    I don't advocate over or under exposing. Neither are good.

    Overexposing will give you blown out lights as we see, but underexposing introduces noise into the picture and it becomes more visible when you PP to compensate for it. I personallyu hate noise in my pictures. Ideally, you want (to quote a phrase often repated in Understanding Exposure), the most "creatively correct" exposure.

    The less you have to do in PPing, the better you have learned your craft at the camera end.
     
  12. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hmm the white balance adjustment seems way too strong. When I photograph a city I normally leave it in daylight and then bump it slightly in the colder direction in post, maybe 300K below the camera Daylight setting.

    The original is definitely too warm but Jerry your edit is way too cold and has a green cast too for my liking.

    When shooting night-time pictures I highly suggest just clicking the button and checking out the result. That gives you a great base to work from. If I saw something like Nate's photo on my LCD I'd either switch to manual, or set the exposure compensator to -1.3EV or so.

    Just changing the aperture is more likely going to result in the camera compensating by extending the shutter time.
     

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