Quick Question About Long, Nighttime Exposures

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Taceas, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. Taceas

    Taceas TPF Noob!

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    I just recently got a Nikon D80 for a combination Christmas/birthday gift. Granted its my first ever DSLR so I am still getting used to it compared to my old crumby Olympus C750 who thought auto-focus was a joke.

    But I do have a question concerning taking a long exposure night photo. My goal is to get a full starry picture with maybe the Milky Way...but I can't even get the camera to take the shot.

    As per the directions in the manual: I have set it up in M mode, with the shutter on "bulb", I've got the long exposure noise reduction on, I've got the remote setting on and the remote working. When I press the button, the light comes on and....nothing?

    When I do the exact same things in my kitchen with a light on, it'll take a picture with a long exposure till I press the remote again to stop the image. And then depending on the time elapsed I get a very overexposed kitchen image. But outside, it doesn't even take a picture.

    Am I missing something somewhere? Do I need to turn the lens on MF, rather than AF?

    I finally get a camera capable of taking long exposures and now I can't get it to do it on a crystal clear night (first one in weeks). Where that hair pulling emoticon?
     
  2. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

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    i may be wrong, but it does sound like an auto focus problem. with my Rebel XT in auto focus mode, if the camera cant focus on a particular point, it wont let you take a shot. its probably the same with your Nikon.

    im pretty sure you can set up your camera, set it on manual and bulb with manual focusing, and focus to infinity and then use the remote to take the shot. if im mistaken, hopefully someone who knows more than i do can help you.
     
  3. firemedic0135

    firemedic0135 TPF Noob!

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    I think that is the prob guys.When I did a nighttime long exposure I had to use manual focus.Not enough light to AF.
     
  4. Taceas

    Taceas TPF Noob!

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    What happened to the other posts in this thread? Did I hit my head and remember things that weren't there before? :raisedbrow:

    I saw no "rules" regarding displaying pictures in this section (and I've seen several other threads with photos shown requesting help), so frankly I'm confused about why some posts were removed from my thread.
     
  5. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    Try MF, the camera doesn't know the little white dots are what it is supposed to be forcusing on. I am a noob so my advice isn't best, but I had to take this shot with MF and it took so I guess I did something right.(and wrong too, I used a 50mm, this was supposed to be a shot of the moon, not the tree!)
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Taceas

    Taceas TPF Noob!

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    That still looks pretty darn awesome! Looks like a nice eerie Halloween shot. Sometimes the accidents turn out better than the intended.

    I took one similar last year, I too was aiming for the moon, but the bonfire illuminated branches attracted the camera's attention more.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I like the way it looks too but it's hard. Since you have a remote and CAN use your bulb feature without worrying about camera shake or messing up the tripod, I'd try this, use a smaller aperture (larger number) to increase your depth of field farther towards the moon, then set your focus to infinity (on a lens without a distance scale, it'll be the extreme(all the way left or right) direction where things far away are in focus. (to test try and focus on something really close, then turn your focus ring the opposite way for faraway things). Then with this combination, your focal range will be increased closer to the moon. then use a helluva long exposure time (play with it to see what comes out exposed well) to compensate for the smaller aperture.
     

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