Low-light or Parking lot Light?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by calledthestig, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. calledthestig

    calledthestig TPF Noob!

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    Hello everyone! In about a week I am going to a VW car meet in the parking lot of a Chili's in New Jersey. I want to be able to take a lot of pictures with my new XTi.

    I was looking for suggestions on taking pictures in this kind of lighting where. if there is any light at all it is coming from those crappy parking lot lights. I am assuming that I should shoot in RAW and spend most of the time in PP and to use a tripod.

    Any settings/tricks/tips are greatly appreciated!
     
  2. osirus

    osirus TPF Noob!

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    tripod/ raw/ white balance ( streetlights usually give that odd redish glow)
    A fast lens would be great
     
  3. calledthestig

    calledthestig TPF Noob!

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    My friend had recommended getting a UV Haze filter and a Circular Polarizer -- any thoughts on these?
     
  4. notelliot

    notelliot TPF Noob!

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    polarizing filter for shooting cars is a good idea. lots of glare from glass and paint and rims, etc. keep in mind though, it will require to you expose for one or two stops longer, or open your aperture two stops wider to get a proper exposure.

    this is where your tripod comes in.

    shoot raw, don't rush.
     
  5. calledthestig

    calledthestig TPF Noob!

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    Ok I will keep these in mind. I will head out to Best Buy and purchase the polarizer tomorrow.
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Unless you have it... a tripod will be a LOT more important than the polarizer, especially since you speak of low light or parking garage light. A polarizer is near useless in that scenario.
     
  7. calledthestig

    calledthestig TPF Noob!

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    I already have a tripod from my older point and shoot. I got a really nice one for my birthday because I was sick of blurry fireworks pictures.
     
  8. djrichie28

    djrichie28 TPF Noob!

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    Have you tested your ISO? In photo class, one of the other students had a Canon XTI and took some shots of a band playing at a club with no flash. The ISO was up high and there was very little, I mean, almost no noise at all. Was impressed.

    Give your ISO a test before the meet. Go to the garage and snap some shots increasing your ISO each time and Analise them after for noise. Might not have to use a tripod if you can get away with shorter exposures. The cars might stay static, but people will be moving and can make their way somewhere into your frame and they may blur with a slow exposure. Just a thought.
     
  9. calledthestig

    calledthestig TPF Noob!

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    I actually don't have my camera yet ;)

    I am getting it Monday from UPS. Just preparing for the shoot because I told people I am getting an SLR and they think that magically you take perfect pictures.
     
  10. djrichie28

    djrichie28 TPF Noob!

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    Funny you say that, I was at a car show earlier this week and the lighting was all over the place depending on the exibitors setup. I was taking pictures with my DSLR at some cars with lower overhead light using an external flash. When I was viewing the pictures I was dissappointed seeing how dark they were coming out even with a high ISO and the longest exposure I could get away with without bluring. The guy next to me with this tiny p/s camera took the same shot and I was able to see his lcd screen and saw how much brighter his picture came out. Sometimes it's hard to get great shots. If a p/s can out perform my DSLR, it's time to replace it. So I traded it in for the Nikon D300.
     
  11. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    if you have enough space to setup and use the tripod, you might also look into if you have enough space to backup 10-15 feet from the car, then you can buy the 50mm 1.8 and all your shots will be a lot easier.

    you might want to think about hooking up 2 bright flashlights and taping them to white beach balls or something, they can help illuminate the car near the wheels and sides. put 3 of them on the ground alongside the car and it looks hot. , as long as they are not in the reflection.

    problem with strobes and cars is youll see one tiny light source reflected everywhere, and you dont have enough time to buy/master wireless strobes.

    find some way to make a bright light and diffuse it to be a lot wider and softer. like shooting through a white beachball. trust me youll look silly until you get the first shot. then youll be stoked.

    you cant just cover the flashlight with something its size, its too small.

    Or use a really bright light like a half million candlepowr and bounce it off of a 2ft by 4ft piece of gatorboard, or foamboard. instant miniature sunlight.

    youll need an asistant to move it around for you.

    just my ideas
     

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