Questions on Night Photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Lukargo, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Lukargo

    Lukargo TPF Noob!

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    On my second day of owning a Canon Rebel XTi, I decided to try out a little bit of night photography. I had tried taking some earlier, but my shutter speed was set too fast, and none of them came out good. I got better results this time, but was fairly limited in what I could shoot because I didn't have a tripod with me.

    However, I had a few questions on what look would be considered more "correct". By changing the shutter speed a little, I got two different versions of two shots.

    -#1

    A:
    [​IMG]


    B:
    [​IMG]



    - #2

    A:
    [​IMG]


    B:
    [​IMG]

    On both shots I like the color of the light better with the faster shutter speed (A), but it almost seems like too much of the picture is black. In the Bs you can see a lot more, but it almost looks too bright. What exactly should you go for in night photography? Should I be looking for something in between these two?
     
  2. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    Try using a smaller aperture opening (f/11 or higher) and use a slightly slower shutter speed. The smaller aperture will give you a star flare around the lights and will help to control the light in the surrounding areas a little more.
     
  3. Lukargo

    Lukargo TPF Noob!

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    Oh, the aperture is supposed to be more closed when taking night pictures? I read in a few tutorials that it was supposed to be open. I might have had mine a little too far open though, as I believe it was set at f3. I guess I'll have to experiment some more tonight! Thanks! :)

    EDIT: I forgot to ask one thing. Should the ISO be set at the lowest possible setting (100 on my camera)? Or should I try changing it around some?
     
  4. Curiosity Cosby

    Curiosity Cosby TPF Noob!

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    Definitely lowest ISO possible, while you have your camera sitting on a tripod. If you are taking a night shot with a high ISO, you are bound to get lots of unwanted noise in the shadows.
     
  5. Mgw189

    Mgw189 TPF Noob!

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    If you open it wide it will allow more light in. If you close you aperture it will create a star looking light from your light sources. Make sure you keep your ISO as low as possible. If you dont have a tripod get one.
     
  6. chadsdphoto

    chadsdphoto TPF Noob!

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    Also, realize that you are shooting a very high-contrast scene. So some things are going to be pretty much completely dark and highlights like the light bulb itself are going to be blown out with no detail in either of these two places.

    So what you are working to capture is the middle tones between those two extremes. I like the B versions of both shots because in the A versions I can't tell what I'm looking at, it's just too dark.

    That small aperature as suggested above will give you the cool starburst from any point of light, but will also make your shutter speed much longer, so to do this type of photography you are going to want to use a tripod as a general rule. Good start, though. Keep working at it.

    As far as the color goes, remember that none of the light you are working with is natural, so there's not really a "correct" color. Learn what types of lights and bulbs give you what color and decide what effect you like the best.
     

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