Trouble with night shots

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Netskimmer, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. Netskimmer

    Netskimmer No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Greetings,

    I'm new to the forum so let me start by describing my situation. I don't consider myself a "real" photographer because I generally only use my camera(s) at special occasions such as holidays and birthdays though I have been told by several people that I have a good eye for it. As you might imagine, most of my pictures require little skill or knowledge to pull off, especially with today's cameras being so smart. I have however come across a challenge.

    My nieces are showing horses at the our jr county fair and as usual I am in charge of the photography. Everything was going great until one of the shows ran long and it got dark. Basically I'm struggling between the need for a short exposure because my subject is in motion with the need for a long exposure due to the low light setting. I have been experimenting with my camera's shutter, aperture, and ISO settings but I can't seem to get the picture quality high enough. Does anyone have any tips on how to nail down the settings I need?

    My camera is a Kodak EasyShare Z812IS and I have included a daytime and nighttime shot for comparison.

    Day
    [​IMG]

    Night
    [​IMG]
     
  2. rfosness88

    rfosness88 TPF Noob!

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    crank up the ISO as high as possible, it will add noise, but will brighten the picture without extending the shutter speed(less blurr). If you have exposure compensation that might help also +2 for ex.
     
  3. MBasile

    MBasile TPF Noob!

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    Ok, here's the deal. You're not always going to be able to get the shot you want, with the light you're given, especially in moving scenarios.

    In the night shot you provided, I'm guessing the ISO was set towards the upper limit of the camera because of the noise, was f/4.5 as wide open as you could go with the aperture? Not that I sto por two would buy you viable clarity though.

    The option in this case is adding more light, but that can be dangerous with horses since they can spook pretty easily.

    Did you see anyone else taking pictures at that hour of night? You may just be out of luck in that particular situation.
     
  4. Cool G5

    Cool G5 TPF Noob!

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    Take the shot in a fairly lighted location. Just when the horse crosses a a floodlight or so. The light will allow you to take the shot at a fairly fast shutter speed. You will need to research your spot though.
     
  5. Netskimmer

    Netskimmer No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the responses. I kind of figured I was S.O.L. since I can't change the lighting or the speed of my subject and my camera is pretty low end for what I am trying to do. I'll just have to hope that the shows don't run long very often.

    As far as the day shot goes, does anyone have any suggestions for improvement? I know she's not quite centered in the shot.
     
  6. HeY iTs ScOTtY

    HeY iTs ScOTtY TPF Noob!

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    sometimes the pictures you want are beyond your cameras capabilities, especialy when using a point and shoot.
     
  7. Bravotwofive

    Bravotwofive TPF Noob!

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    One technique you might try is to pan on a tripod. This allows you to follow the horse, and rider, but blur everything else.
     
  8. Misfitlimp

    Misfitlimp TPF Noob!

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    your day shots are a little out of focus. i would definitely use a tripod and step up to a DSLR to get those shots.
     
  9. MBasile

    MBasile TPF Noob!

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    For the day shot I'd try making the shutter speed a little bit faster if possible. I don't know how well panning works with moving animals. With a race car, the car body is a constant shape, a horses legs are moving and the body is going up and down as it moves forward, so that may give undesirable effects. However, everything is worth a shot!

    If the show does run long, don't worry about not being able to get some shots, she looks that same as she did during the day. After too many shots they'll all start too look pretty much the same, so there's no point in getting 50 frames from each class.

    Upgrading to an SLR would also help you because you can do continuous shots. This way out of a series from 1-2 seconds of movements you can get multiple frames allowing your family members to pick which one the horses composure looks best in.
     
  10. Netskimmer

    Netskimmer No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, I don't see myself paying $500+ for a camera...

    The camera I have has a burst setting, as for an SLR camera, see the above response.

    I appreciate the suggestions but as I said in my first post 99% of my pictures are of kids opening birthday/Christmas presents or blowing out candles ect. Though I suppose I should invest in a tri-pod.
     
  11. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sorry no chance with the camera you have, stop shooting when it gets dark or spend lots of money
     
  12. HeY iTs ScOTtY

    HeY iTs ScOTtY TPF Noob!

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    wouldnt suggest this in this situation. just not going to work or look good.
     

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