Need help on night shots

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Sebastian 16, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. Sebastian 16

    Sebastian 16 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bakersfield,CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I have a canon S3 IS i really havent gotten used to it yet but i decided to try and take some night shots and i couldn't even see the pictures on the camera and they were really grainy. How can i fix this?
     
  2. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    7,997
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Slapamonkey, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    With an S3 you can't, it's not designed for that kind of photography. Long exposures, low ISO with bigger sensors would be the better course of action. I am not sure what the lonest exposure setting or the lowest ISO on the S3 is but I am sure that it won't be sufficient.


    Give me a little wile and I will do some research and try to help get the best possible out of it.
     
  3. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    7,997
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Slapamonkey, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Your best bet is manual ISO at 80 at 15 seconds or less up ot 1/1 pending scene. You will have to get into the menues and manually set these.


    Bare in mind AF often does not function properly in the dark and longer shutter speeds create dead pixels in the outcome. but this is really the only to do it with this camera. Don't bother with that auto function of Night scene, I am positive it's going to jack your ISO to 800...this is where the noise is comming from.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2008
  4. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    34,814
    Likes Received:
    814
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You can take pleasing night shots with compact digital cameras, only are you somewhat more limited, since often their smallest f-stop is f8 only and no smaller (applies to my Powershot), and you cannot expose for any longer than 15 seconds.

    Those two things in mind, you can still have your camera give you nice photos at night, given you don't let the camera decide on its settings.

    When you're on AUTO, in the dark the camera will automatically decide to go for the highest ISO settings it has. All it realises is: oooo, dark, need high ISO. That would be ISO400 for my Powershot, and photos taken at ISO400 with that little camera become noisy as hell! Incredibly, awfully noisy!

    And I think, that is what happened to your first night photos, Sebastian.

    Make yourself familiar with manually setting your camera.
    Choose the smallest possible ISO.
    Then a fairly small aperture (yes, even that!).
    And then firmly fasten your camera to a tripod (vital for night photography, absolutely vital!), set the exposure time (it will be loooooooong, depending on how many light sources there are around you), set the camera on self-timer, and step back and have it expose all by itself, without your hands touching it in the process.

    Try, and come back to show us what you got. OK? (Maybe a fence, top of a garden wall, table, railing, can help as makeshift tripod, but you need to firmly rest the camera on something stable).
     
  5. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    7,997
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Slapamonkey, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I forgot to mention use the delay timer, it's absolutely vital with those things even if it is tripod mounted.

    The specs sheet sais it has manual focus, but I don't know how that works, Figure out that and use if you can as well.

    And carry extra batteries, Night shots are going to be murderous on them.
     
  6. dklod

    dklod TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    In a tent outside the gates of hell
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I was looking at this camera when I purchased my FZ7. They are very similar. The only thing that tipped me to the panasonic was the 30 sec exposure option, but you wont need that (I have never used it). Ive taken some great night shots with it and I have no doubt you can get great results with the S3. But what are you taking photos of exactly?? City skylines, people?? If you dont have some kind of tripod, get one tomorrow. Its only a light camera so a cheapy will be fine (mine cost $20 from walmart:lol:) but its never let me down. Read your manual. Understand what the dial settings mean. I use aperture priority at F8 (smallest it will go unfortunately) and dont use spot metering, there could be a bright area there and you will under expose. If you cant get the results you like, full manual is the only way and adjust the shutter til you expose correctly. Not to sound like a record with a scratch, the self timer is a must. Have fun. Oh, and read the manual (did I mention that:scratch:)
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
  7. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    34,814
    Likes Received:
    814
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Battou, focussing manually with those cameras is a bit of a nightmare, mostly so when you're not trying to focus on something very close. I used to move the camera already mounted on the tripod towards one of the points I wanted to be in focus (tilting the tripod on one leg only), then keep the button half-pushed, put camera and tripod back into position and let the self-timer work.

    Sebastian, one other thought I'm having is, and a problem I faced at night even with the other camera, few light sources only, and large parts in darkness. That often poses too wide a dynamic range for each and every camera, so light sources become too bright, or the dark areas stay way too dark. What you want is a nicely lit scene.

    See, it was only earlier this year that I posted this_thread asking questions about blown highlights in night photography!
     
  8. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    7,997
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Slapamonkey, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Yeah I had a feeling it might se something along those lines, it's why I said "if you can", Like I said I don't know the camera as intamately as others, I'm working with spec sheets......
     
  9. Sebastian 16

    Sebastian 16 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bakersfield,CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    :biggrin:
    thanks for the advice fellas i wen to a better lit area and took a tripod and the pics were much better.
     
  10. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    So... post em! :)
     

Share This Page