Night photography - highlights blown - HELP needed!

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by LaFoto, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. 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
    Earlier this year and once again on Saturday (last) I tried my hands on a bit of night photography once more, and I NEVER seem to get the highlights right - ever. What am I doing wrong? I go for a very narrow aperture (f22 or f29), low iso (but not as low as 100, maybe that is the mistake?), and adequate exposure (so I think), but ...

    1.
    [​IMG]
    This was taken at DUSK only in order to still have a nice sky ... but the face of the clock always disappeared, for example! No matter how I tried (and I measured OFF the face of the clock, which did not help a lot, either)

    2.
    [​IMG]
    Same evening, time has passed, the sky grew darker ... but I really don't like how the traffic lights and trails came out (would have done without any car but that situation was not to be had). The only thing I do like about the traffic lights is that I captured them in all three colours within one exposure --- plus I like the star in the sky. So I kept this photo.

    On to the ones I took on Saturday, and in the first just about ALL the highlights of the petrol/gas station and of the company next to it (flood-lit company sign) blew ... why?

    3.
    [​IMG]
    f29 at ISO400, 4 seconds ... maybe I should have gone down to the camera's lowest 100 ISO and done an 8 second exposure?

    More light overall, better result, I think:

    4.
    [​IMG]

    Still makes me wonder how Mohain got is all unblown light trails in London, for example!?!?!?
     
  2. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    14,491
    Likes Received:
    206
    Location:
    Europe 67.51°N
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Re-read his recent thread! He mentions software to fix the highlights later ;)

    Also, in your case, the surroundings are very dark, not strongly illuminated (unlike London at night)!


    Big Ben gave me exact the same problem with the blown out clock. I mean the white is ok blown out, but the structures often get totally lost.
     
  3. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,296
    Likes Received:
    465
    Location:
    Hell's Kitchen, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I think that you have done well with both the exposure and the compostion.

    The brightness range of urban and suburban night shots is often beyond the capabilities of the sensor, and exposure blending may be the only answer for static objects if you want to avoid blown-out areas. Shooting Raw and using exposure and contrast controls to recover as much highlight detail as possible will get you as far as you can go with a single digital exposure. Raw is better for highlight manipulation both because it works on all the data available (main reason), and because the Raw format has better tonal resolution in the high values. Most other formats have a tone curve applied that compresses the highlight data, so it's better to do highlight work in Raw.

    In 2 you have directional sources (car headlights and traffic lights) pointing directly at the camera. It's difficult to avoid having them blown out, and it's also difficult to apply exposure blending to moving sources.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  4. DragonHeart

    DragonHeart TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    South Florida
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    #4 is My favorite. I havent tried nighttime shooting yet as I just got My DSLR, but will try some soon.
     
  5. Tennessee Landscape

    Tennessee Landscape TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seymour, TN
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Not an expert here, but all my night shots have been at ISO 100, never higher.....don't know that exposed for much shorter than 15 sec either....JMTC
     
  6. Ronman

    Ronman TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley VA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I really like the first picture a lot.

    You can see in my Fla photos I have the same problem, only I figured the dynamic range of the setting was too great for my camera and I was OK with it. I'll be much more critical of my blowouts now. Thanks a lot.:sexywink:

    ron
     
  7. SamGuss

    SamGuss TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I really like #4 and it stands out well IMO.

    Sam
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

gas station night photography

,
how to avoid blown out lights in night shots
,
how to edit night shots highlights
,
low aperture low iso
,
narrow aperture
,
night
,
night photography without blowing the highlights
,
promaster 17-50mm f/2.8 xr edo
,
suburban night photography
,
suburban night time photography