Shooting at night

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by sincere, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. sincere

    sincere TPF Noob!

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    I went out a few timesto shoot at night and if i use the flash, the pics are messed up, too bright, overexposed and if i dont use the flash, they are obviously too dark. Any suggestions?
     
  2. zioneffect564

    zioneffect564 TPF Noob!

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    Use a tripod and a long exposure with no flash
     
  3. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    Agreed. As you get more into photography you'll soon realize that the on camera flash is an absolute last resort nearly always. A tripod and slow shutter speeds will you give amazing shots at nite. I'd also recommend checking out a Gorillapod from www.joby.com as a good alternative if you're in a city.
     
  4. RedDevilUK

    RedDevilUK TPF Noob!

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    Gorillapod fantastic!!!

    what will they think of next!!
     
  5. RacePhoto

    RacePhoto TPF Noob!

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    What they said about no flash and longer exposures. But if you are using a flash and getting washed out pictures, there are some easy ways to balance it better.

    1) Use a longer lens so you are farther away from the subject. Stand farther away, like 10 feet and zoom in. Most flash units on the average camera aren't good for more than 12 feet. (as always do some test pictures and learn what your camera and equipment is capable of doing. Every on camera flash is different.)

    2) Stay where you are and diffuse the flash. If it's an external flash, hang a piece of cloth over it. Thin handkerchief works best, but those went out in the 50s. A paper cocktail napkin works just about the same. You can tape a thin piece of napkin over the flash on the camera, or hold it there, which is awkward, but it works.

    3) If you are using a flash that gives the exposure for ISO 200 as f/5.6, set the camera for f/8. Automatic flash? Set the iso for double the real film ISO. Fool the flash into less exposure.

    There are many more ways, but since you don't list a camera or the flash type, it's all just guesses.

    What camera, film or digital, what kind of flash, What are the subjects. There are just way too many variables for an easy answer.

    Except longer exposures on a tripod of course. :D
     
  6. gmarquez

    gmarquez TPF Noob!

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    Are you wanting to shoot buildings and cars lit up at night, or are you trying to shoot pictures of people with interesting night lights in the background?

    If the former, use a timed exposure, if the later, your camera should have a mode to do this (it should be a combination of timed exposure for the background, and then a flash for the people in the foreground).
     
  7. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Can you give more details of how you were using the camera? What mode? What flash? subject you were shooting etc? The above are right but it can be useful to know why you were getting the results you mention.
     
  8. benjikan

    benjikan TPF Noob!

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    When taking night shots you must either place your camera on a solid surface or a tripod. I would suggest you try "A" mode first and make sure you cover the eyepiece of the viewfinder, as you don't want stray light entering from the rear of the camera. Once you get the result of shooting in aperture priority, you can use this as your barometer for taking the shot manually. Flash will more often than not be a waste of battery power. I have used flash outdoors when I want to capture a person or an object that is close to the camera, but I still leave the camera on manual for the long exposure required to capture all of the ambient light. The exposure could be up to a minute or more depending on the aperture, iso and available ambient light.

    Ben
     
  9. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    Night shots can be an obsession... I havent done any decent ones for about a month, but when I do, .:wink: .. be prepared to either wake up 4 in the morning, or stay out till 2am to get the right shots.....
    its totally worth it though... these are some of my final results..


    http://uniq.smugmug.com/gallery/2683934

    Just happy to see another night shooter getting excited about it !!!!
     
  10. grafiks

    grafiks TPF Noob!

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    I was just looking at your stuff and was going to respond when I noticed you are from OC too!

    I love night photography but have done almost nothing. I want to get into it. May I ask what equipment you usually use?
     
  11. DRodgers

    DRodgers TPF Noob!

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    couldnt agree more night shots have many benefits like no people ,traffic and some great shots including a few ghosts ;)
    [​IMG]
     
  12. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    AWSOME !!!!!

    scary ghost... lol JK

    I just use a trusty old 20d, decent tripod, and either my 28-75 2.8 tamron or my 50mm canon.

    pretty basic setup, but I have a lot of patience...you have to ...
     

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