Nite pictures

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by nealjpage, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,479
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Oregon
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I've been seeing a lot of really cool pictures of neon at night and I'd like to give it a shot. The problem is that I have NO idea how to work at nite. I know the light meter on my camera will be fairly useless, so I thought I'd check with youse guys. Any tips on getting started? Lemme give you all a few things to work with first. Gear: Pentax K1000, Leica IIIc, Bronica ETRS. Tripod. Cable release (well, it doesn't fit the Leica :grumpy:). Film: Kodachrome 64, Velvia, Provia 100, Ektachrome 100.

    I guess I need to know the best way to determine shutter speed and f-stop (the Dark 2.8 Rule, perhaps??) since I've got no idea how to even start. Thanks!
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,346
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Are you going to be in complete darkness? What exactly are you photographing? Night photography does involve lots of trial and error. Be prepared to bracket a lot.
     
  3. cigrainger

    cigrainger TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Do you own a digital? When I take night shots or any other difficult-to-meter shots, I bring along my digital and use it to take test shots until I figure out the EV value that gives me the exposure I want. Then I just convert that to whatever shutter/aperture combination that is best on my film camera and go for it. Good luck!
     
  4. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,479
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Oregon
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    No, I shouldn't be in complete darkness--there's othe ambient light around like street lights/etc. I want to do a series of portraits with neon signs 'cause there's a lot of them around here and shooting them during the day just isn't the same.
     
  5. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    5,454
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    If you're photographing a bright light source, such as a nearby city skyline, you're talking about an exposure between 1 and 3 minutes @ISO 100, pretty wide open. Provia probably has the lowest rate of reciprocity failure among the films you named. Just bracket a lot.
     
  6. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,479
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Oregon
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    With exposure times like that, by "bracketing" do you mean 2.5 minutes at f2.8, 2.5 mins at f2, and 2.5 mins at f3.2? Or should i leave the f-stop alone and bracket with times? (2, 2.5, and 3 minutes, perhaps?)
     
  7. deanimator

    deanimator TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    East Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Shoot a test roll, and make notes of exactly what the set-up was.

    Choose scenes close to the type you are interested in.
    1) With a relatively small light source...e.g city lights from a distance.
    2) With a larger light source...e.g. near full frame neon sign.
    Use a tripod.

    Use the in-camera meter as a starting point...
    ...then make a series of exposures from 3 stops OVER, in half-stop increments until you are 3 stops UNDER.
    ...note all the exposure settings.

    That´s 13 shots, or 26 if you do the two scenes. So, about a full roll.

    With the information you get from these two tests you should have a pretty clear idea of how it should work in most conditions.

    Such scenes will always require some bracketing anyway.

    Good luck, and show us some of your results.
     
  8. deanimator

    deanimator TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    East Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Aperture: Try not to use your lens wide open. The image quality is usually lower. Stop down to 5.6 or even 8 if possible. You are using a tripod so the extra time for the exposure shouldn´t produce any real problems.
     
  9. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,346
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It's very easy to overexpose night shots. Most of my city skyline shots done at night are f/8 and between 15-30 seconds at iso 100.
     
  10. montresor

    montresor TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cleveland Hts., Ohio
    I haven't completely ripped open a 35mm film box lately, just open the flaps and grab the canister, but didn't they used to print exposure guides on the inside of the box for a variety of conditions? I seem to remember seeing a Kodak box that had aperture settings and shutter speeds for, among other things, neon signs... Or am I just hallucinating again?
     
  11. cigrainger

    cigrainger TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Max, that would REALLY overexpose the image, and lack sharpness.

    For city skylines, you are usually going to get around 15-30 seconds depending on the time of night and aperture. But for cityscapes, I'd not use anything wider than f/8 because of the lack of DOF, even at infinity.

    Take this shot for example:

    [​IMG]

    That was 30 seconds at f/27 at ISO 200.

    [​IMG]

    That is 10 secs at f/10 and ISO 200.

    Both were using a polarizing filter as well.


    Max, do you do much actual night/evening photography?

    Reciprocity failure isn't too much of an issue if you're shooting cityscapes at ISO 100. Especially if you're wise and shoot them at late dusk rather than actually NIGHT, so that you can maintain a bit of natural light and get all that texture and detail.
     
  12. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    5,454
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Use some Preparation H, could you?

    I don't comment on things I don't know about.

    Here's a shot that's been horribly downsampled and the contrast butchered by the image host. I don't have access to a high-res copy at the moment. Exposure time was approx 2 min 15 sec, <f8, Acros 100.

    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

nite pictures