Night Photography

Discussion in 'Critique Forum Archives' started by magicmonkey, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. magicmonkey

    magicmonkey TPF Noob!

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    yet another 'how do I do this' from the monkey boy! At the moment I'm starting work at 6AM which gives me about 30 minutes to lean out the window and take some shots of the ring road near me, with a few cars passing it gives the desired effect although the composition is pretty terrible! What I really want to know is how to get a sharp focus on the background? At the moment I haven't got a tripod (getting one this weekend) so I'm using a pile of books to rest the camera on and there isn't any movement camera-wise. I would have used the self timer to get rid of the button press wobble but by the time I'd knocked off a few shots, put them on the PC and realised the problem it was just too light outside. Othere than the self timer, what do I need to change with these? I'd also like to be able to lessin the washout on the street lights without loosing too much of the blur of cars going by, and ideas anyone?

    [​IMG]

    Please bear in mind that I've done no processing on this picture at all as I'm in work and the best editing tool here is paint!
     
  2. PlasticSpanner

    PlasticSpanner TPF Noob!

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    What exposure settings did you use for this shot?
     
  3. Viajero

    Viajero TPF Noob!

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    Looks like a great area. I like how you chose the middle road as the level area of the image. Also, the car lights are lines across the whole image, which is also a plus. The image is a little over exposed, but nothing that cannot be fixed as soon as you can get your hands on an editing program. Overall though, nice shot. I really love night photography.
     
  4. magicmonkey

    magicmonkey TPF Noob!

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    I had the shutter set to 20 seconds and I believe it was A/E -2, I'll confirm that latter as i'm not with the raw files at the moment. I'm due to go out and do a bit more of this stuff tonight so any pointers would be really welcome!
     
  5. magicmonkey

    magicmonkey TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Viajero, I'm coming back to the same area tonight, hopefully I'll be on a bridge over the road and another bridge with a view over a busy junction. If I can get those darned exposures right I might come away with some good shots!
     
  6. Viajero

    Viajero TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like that is quite the spot to take pictures. I re-read your questions and I think that I might have a few tips for you. To avoid the washed out look of the image, you want to avoid having any of the lights in or around the center area of the camera. You might want to try and center the road with the cars more in the center of the camera. To avoid the lightness of the picture, just drop the exposure one or two notches down. As for the shutter wobble, I would'nt worry about this too much, just hold the camera steady with one hand as you release the shutter.
     
  7. magicmonkey

    magicmonkey TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for that, I'll be trying it out tonight and I'll post the results tomorrow morning. I'm heading to a busy road with no street lights so hopefully I won't have to deal with floodlights on the construction site like I did in this one! One thing I hadn't thought about until now, any advice on focusing in the dark? it's quite likely there will be long periods with no cars and that would be a real pain!
     
  8. magicmonkey

    magicmonkey TPF Noob!

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    well I've been out again and this is about the best shot I came up with all night. As I haven't had the 'luxury' of a tripod I've been very limited with composition, what with resting the camera on junction boxes and railings, but I plodded on none the less. This shot was taken using my 350D with the Sigma 18-55mm lens, ISO 200, F11 and an 8 second exposure, although I'm not happy with what's in the shot I'm pretty happy with the results as far as testing out methods go. I'll be buying a tripod this weekend so I'll get some propper shots to post but for now here's the results:

    [​IMG]

    Thanks to everyone for helping me get off the ground with this one! I'll be doing this sort of thing a lot more often and I'll try and post anything you might find usefull (and probably ask a lot more questions as well!)
     
  9. Mohain

    Mohain TPF Noob!

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    Invest in a tripod, you wont regret it. You needn't spend loads. If you want to carry on doing this sort of thing a tripod is an absolute must.
     
  10. magicmonkey

    magicmonkey TPF Noob!

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    The second I get paid I'll be off down to Jessops! :)

    Thanks for the advice earlier, helped out a lot ;)
     
  11. Viajero

    Viajero TPF Noob!

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    That is the best one yet!

    I agree with the above comment, Tripods will help you out a lot, and if you can get a tripod with a level in it, that will help loads, and will give you near-flawless leveling in your pictures. Keep going with the night photography, I hope to see your future work!
     
  12. magicmonkey

    magicmonkey TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Vaijero :D
    I've spotted a reasonably cheap jessops tripod with a hotshoe and not one but 2 levels in it so I shall be running down the shops for that any day now...
     

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