night photos

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by rbastic, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. rbastic

    rbastic TPF Noob!

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    i recently went on a night dinner cruise. and i had great oppurtunity to shoot some really good shots of Lady Liberty , along with pics of my fiance and my self but when we shot them they were all dark then i even tried to put it on night mode but my camera still took dark pictures. anyone got any hints
    thanks
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Can you show us the photos? What camera are you using? What settings?

    Did you have the flash turned on? If you did, the camera would be trying to make an exposure with the reflected light from the flash...but of course, the S of L is much too big (& you were too far away) for that to work...so you end up with dark shots.

    To get shots at night, you will need to use longer shutter speeds. The camera may make that adjustment if you turn the flash off. You will then need to use a tripod or other support and fire the camera without touching it (use the self timer).
     
  3. rbastic

    rbastic TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    Unfortunately that usually seems to be the trade-off with nite / low-light shots. You either use the flash and leave the background dark or use a slow shutter speed and risk blur.

    Just saw the pics... you and your fiance do look dark as well too. I would guess that could be a metering issue with how you have the camera set up to read light. For this instance a Spot Meter or Center Weighted would probably be ideal. I'm not sure though if that would've been the specific issue this time though.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, the first one is camera shake...as I mentioned, the camera needed a long shutter speed and therefore any movement by you & the camera caused the blurriness. Looks like some of the same on the second shot.

    They are both under exposed. That may be because the flash was used, but is underpowered for the shot. A flash certainly won't light up the S of L and even the couple may have been a bit too far away for some digi-cam flashes. Or, in the 2nd one...maybe the flash didn't fire.

    It may be something else but we will need to know more. Do you have the EXIF data for the shots? (The list of settings; Aperture, shutter speed, ISO, flash, etc.)
     
  6. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The light on the chairs indicates that for the second photo the flash did fire, but the range of a normal on-camera flash is about 1.5 metres at the most, anything further away will definitely be underexposed, i.e. not be light enough.

    For nighttime photography you sometimes have to keep your shutter open for 15 or even 30 seconds to get a good exposure. No one can keep his hands still enough for such a long period of time. We have a heart beat, and we breathe, that alone makes us "shakey", and if you have to hold something for so long, you will find that even though it is only "seconds", it is a LONG period of time.

    So if you are interested in the field and would like to try to take more photos at night, I would suggest you get yourself a tripod. They are not overly expensive. Then try to find out about the manual settings of your camera (assuming it has got any?). Maybe putting it onto "Night" or the equivalent icon will help. Maybe that only makes the camera go to the widest aperture - you know you can adjust the "eye" of your lens just like the pupil of your eye adjusts to light? When you look towards a bright, sunny sky, the pupil will become very small, when you are in a dark room and have to adapt to that, your pupil will dilate and become very big. That is what your lens can do, too, within a certain range. It is called aperture and you will hear people speak of f2.8 or f3.5 or f4.0 and so on. The higher the number (watch out!) - the SMALLER the aperture (i.e. only little light can get to the film/chip, so you need LONG exposure times).

    IF your camera offers you manual settings, and WHEN you have your tripod, mount it up, and do test shots by putting the camera on the TIMER (just as if you would want to do a group photo and be in it yourself, so you have it "wait" until you went running to the group and only then it takes the photo). Try to take pics at the widest open aperture (maybe the camera will then automatically expose with the necessary amount of time?), or set it to widest open and try from 1/8 seconds towards slower and slower shutter speeds, and then try to go down in your aperture, make the "eye" smaller, and try again. With a digital camera you can try and try without remorse. That is the nice thing about digital photography :D.

    Happy shooting at night!!!
     
  7. rbastic

    rbastic TPF Noob!

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    ok soo bare with me now, i have a kodak easyshare c360, manual options consists of,exposure bracketing, exposure compensation white balance, exposure metering,iso speed,af control,long time exposure, focus zone and thats all thats straight from the options menu.. now i see a lot of exposure options what one would consist of aperture ?
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You probably can't adjust the aperture separately on that camera.
     

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