Nighttime Focus Help

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by LiveStrong2009, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. LiveStrong2009

    LiveStrong2009 TPF Noob!

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    Yesterday I received my tripod in the mail. So, of course I decided I needed to go have some fun at night.

    How do you focus your camera when you cannot see well due to the lack of light?

    What would you do to prevent city lights from becoming extremely bright in pics, but maintain enough light on the subject?

    The focus is my biggest issue, I got home to check out the pics and discovered many of them were not quite focused.
     
  2. adversus

    adversus TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I realized I had this same problem while trying to get night long exposure shots of a fountain :D

    As far as focusing, your camera may have a front focusing light which could help if the object is close (check the user manual). If not, the simplest solution is the easiest:

    1. Get a good flashlight
    2. Illuminate your subject, focus
    3. Turn off flashlight, shoot

    Granted, this doesn't really work well with moving subjects. Haven't found a fix for that yet :)
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Most cameras need to be put into the S- or Single-Frame autofocusing mode, and the AF assist system enabled. On many brands of cameras, the AF assist system does not function in C- or Continuous AF mode.

    Depending on your camera, there's either a red or a white light AF assist beam or stroboscopic burst system that will send out its assist pattern or light flashes, so the AF system can get a focus lock, even at night time.
     
  4. LiveStrong2009

    LiveStrong2009 TPF Noob!

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    Interesting,
    Using a flashlight is what I did lastnight and tonight, but what do you do about a subject that is beyond the beam of a flashlight?

    I will definitely give that a try changing it to single shot mode...
     
  5. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Manual focus.

    Search for my name and night photography on TPF and you'll find a lot of tips.
     

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