outdoor, nighttime, candle lit scene... how to take a pic of this?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by rubbertree, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. rubbertree

    rubbertree TPF Noob!

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    I've been asked to take pictures of our town's outdoor Christmas in the Park event, particularly of the main attraction which is the lighting of the town's name and logo in candles. They will light the logo up in candles and want pictures of this, which they will use for the town's Christmas/winter cards and for other publications.
    Tripod, obviously.
    How much would I have to up the ISO? I really don't want it to turn out too grainy but worry about the result if I don't turn it up enough. The candles arrangement will be done out in a big field and on snow, so that will give a little bit of reflective light.
    No flash I'm sure, that would just ruin the effect.
    Any insight is greatly appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  2. rubbertree

    rubbertree TPF Noob!

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    to add, what about white balance?
    And what lens? I have:
    Nikon 50mm f/1.8
    Nikon 18-135mm f/3.5 -5.6
    Sigma 70-200 f/2.8
    Sigma 10-20mm f/4 - 5.6
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Base ISO, f/8 and be there.
     
  4. jcolman

    jcolman TPF Noob!

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    You're going to need a fairly long exposure obviously. What I would try is shoot several shots at a "normal" iso like 400 and set your aperture to f/5.6 on your 50mm lens. Start with a shutter speed of 1 sec. and work from there, either longer or shorter, depending on what your histogram tells you.

    For a really, really nice shot, you might want to try "painting with light". Take a strobe, or better yet several strobes and assistants, set your shutter speed to 30 seconds, aperture at f/8 and quickly walk thru the scene, flashing your strobes at trees, buildings, etc. This is obviously going to take some experimentation to get it right but the results can be fantastic.
     
  5. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Shoot at twilight and use photoshop to bring up the candles.
     
  6. orly_zailer

    orly_zailer TPF Noob!

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    first of all the iso getting too grainy depends on your camera. with my canon 30s can go up to 1000 and still be ok. you sould mesure the light like this: exposure time according to the ambient (long time) and aperture according the flash measurement, give a little flash light and it will freeze the movement. good luck

    www.orly-zailer.com
     
  7. rubbertree

    rubbertree TPF Noob!

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    They won't be lighting the candles until after dark unfortunately.
     
  8. rubbertree

    rubbertree TPF Noob!

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    Won't flash ruin the effect?
     
  9. orly_zailer

    orly_zailer TPF Noob!

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    no, you should use manual flash and try just a small amount of its strength.
     
  10. jcolman

    jcolman TPF Noob!

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    Use off camera flash to light up parts of the picture that don't have Christmas lights. Painting with light technique will probably yield the best results.
     
  11. rubbertree

    rubbertree TPF Noob!

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    Huh? I'm totally confused. Maybe I didn't explain what I am trying to do properly.
    This will be out in a field, they will be placing thousands of candles on the ground to spell out or town name (the town logo actually). They will be lit at night so that the only thing you see is complete darkness and the candles displaying the logo. They want the picture to be the candles spelling out the name (logo) for their Christmas cards.
    I'm not sure how using the paint with light technique helps here.
     
  12. jcolman

    jcolman TPF Noob!

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    Sorry. I was picturing in my mind a street shot with businesses, etc with Christmas lights hanging from poles.

    In that case, I would take two shots from a locked off tripod. The first shot should be taken just after sunset so that you can capture some light in the sky. The second shot would be after dark with the candles lit. Obviously this would be a longer exposure. Merge the two in PS.
     

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