Night Question, Digital Matt specifically

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by D-50, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    I have been doing night skyline photography for a while and have gotten decent results although after seeing Digital Matt's nighttime panoramic of Clevland I have a question. How can I get really sharp buildings in my night photos? Often the lights in the buildings are a bit soft whereas in Matts shot the buildings are extremely crisp. I think my settings are fine usually 30 second exposures with aperatures above 13. Could this jsut be a result of my lense or camera or is there anything else I can do?
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I normally use an aperture of f/8, which is the sweet spot of my lens. The trick to night photography in my opinion is, don't wait until it's totally dark. You lose the definition of the buildings from the sky. Also, don't overexpose. I see a lot of night shots that are pretty overexposed, blowing out the lights on the buildings, and often times getting flaring. This could be reducing the apparent sharpness.

    Obviously, using a tripod, cable release, and mirror lockup is essential.
     
  3. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    I find most of my night shots a pretty well exposed but I will try using something around f8. I use either a sigma 10-20 or my Nikon 18-70. Niether of these lenses are great quality but the sigma is decent. What camera and lenses are you using. I am wondering if a beter lense may deliver a sharper image.
     
  4. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I use a Canon 20D and a Tamron 17-35mm. The Tamron is nice, but certainly not the best money can buy.
     
  5. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    Matt

    you mentioned Mirror lock up.
    I'm at work with no access to my instruction manual but presumably if your 20D has that function, my 5D will too.

    What exactly is it and how does it work?
     
  6. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    Found my instruction manual in my bag so I've read what it is and how it works.......just need to put it into practice now!!
    :thumbup:
     
  7. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Basically just locks the mirror up before the shutter is fired. You press the shutter release (on your remote preferably), and the mirror is locked up. The next press fires the shutter. You can wait as long as you like to let the vibrations settle down. I normally use it in conjunction with the self timer, which gives it a 2 second pause from mirror lock to firing the shutter.
     
  8. kulakova

    kulakova TPF Noob!

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    TOTALLY AGREE!!!
    The real night city shots must be captured in the evening, when the sun is going down, but its still in the sky, and the lights on the streets are already on.
    So when you got a nice setting, you will got a night shot with dark blue sky, because you got ultraviolet still ON in the sky!.
    hehehe,
    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
    THIS HOUSE IS CLEAR....:lmao:
     
  9. nakedyak

    nakedyak TPF Noob!

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    night photography is probably my favorite kind of photography. there are always compromises though, as with everything. related to aperture, at above about f11, you'll start hitting diffraction, so your pictures will get softer. But you also get the best star points for bright lights at apertures around f22. So there is always a tradeoff. But Matt is right, anything around f5.6 to f11 is going to be the sweet spot on a lens.

    Also, probably the best time to take night photos is right after sunset up to maybe an hour. The blue hour is what its called. Any longer after that and the sky will be just black, which isnt as desireable as a nice dark blue. here's an example of the blue hour

    [​IMG]

    here's an example of the star effect at f22. this is a hotel I shot on monday

    [​IMG]
     
  10. kulakova

    kulakova TPF Noob!

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    Greetings to Hilton`s Family =)))
     

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