how do you shoot something like this at night ??

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by dannylightning, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. dannylightning

    dannylightning Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    cant get it right, either way to dark or all blown out.. the first photo turned out cool with a heavy edit, the second photo will show you the issue i am having...

    there is this clock tower i have tried to shoot a few times at night, its lit up very bright. but its the same thing either comes out washed out big time or its too dark to really see anything so i am wondering how you would set the camera for these types of shots. DSC_6660.jpg DSC_6663.jpg


     
  2. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    You've got such a wide dynamic range your camera isn't capable of recording both the deep, dark areas AND the brightly-lit spot-lighted areas at the same time as the second image shows.

    Use a tripod, and shoot everything in manual. Take a shot, check the histogram. If it's too dark, raise the ISO, open the aperture more, and/or increase the shutter time. If it's too light, do the opposite.
     
  3. dannylightning

    dannylightning Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    i have my 1.8 lens set to 1.8 no need for a tripod as long as there is some light, got lots of great hand held night shots with that lens.

    i took about 20 photos of that thing they were all either too bright or too dark. well if the camera cant do it at least i know what the problem is than.. thanks..
     
  4. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    The problem is your camera is dumb. Dee you emm bee.... dumb. As in a box of rocks. It has no clue what you're aiming it at. All the meter sees is light. It could be lots of light, it could be very little light. It just tells the camera what to do based on how much light it senses. It's working of a limited amount of pre-programmed responses. There's no way some engineer on the other side of the world could have predicted (5 years ago) that you're going to want to photograph Halloween decorations at night and be able to program such an eventuality into the camera.

    You, on the other hand, are much smarter than a dumb meter. You can over-ride what the meter suggests by taking control. Shoot and check. If it's not what you want, change something and repeat.
     
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  5. Light Guru

    Light Guru Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Looks like a good subject for light painting.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  6. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    The problem is that you don't understand that you have enough light to get good pictures of the bright stuff but not nearly enough light to get good, detailed pictures of the dark stuff.
    Read about high dynamic range and how one deals wiith it.
     
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  7. dannylightning

    dannylightning Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    i never go by what the meter says when shooting at night. its never correct. i guess ill have to read about it and see what i can find out.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    You have to spot meter several points in the scene.
    Ony other metering mode is taking an average of to large a portion of the scene to be accurate.
    Learn more about how your camera works if you want to use it at or beyond the extremes of it's capabilities.
    However, if parts of the scene are really dark they may be dark enough to be beyond the capability of the meter in your camera. See your camera specifications.

    The in-the-camera- light meter can only measure reflected light. Good hand held meters measure reflected light, incident light, and strobed light (flash)

    Regardless, the camera is physically unable to record a scene with that much dynamic range without sufficient supplemental light being added to the dark portions of the scene - like by light painting.

    One way to avoid that that is to make several exposures, each part of the scene exposed at an exposure value based on the results you got spot metering.
    That series of exposures is then combined into a composite image that is then your final result.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  9. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If your subject isn't moving AND if your camera isn't moving... then you ALWAYS have enough light to get the shot.

    Shoot in RAW format (JPEG compression will compress the data that seems similarly dark and make recovery of detail impossible).

    Camera on tripod.

    Shoot several bracketed images... about 2-3 stops apart each.

    Bring them into Lightroom (or Photoshop), pick all your images, and tell it to "merge to HDR".
     
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  10. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    do you only want the ghoul lit up with a black bg, or do you want the ghoul on the lightly exposed background as seen above?
     
  11. raventepes

    raventepes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm just going to put this out there...

    Personally, I like the look of the first picture. It works.

    Photography isn't always about having a technically perfect picture. Sometimes, you want to have those imperfections that can give s sense of action, or in case of the ghoul, perhaps a sense of foreboding. Sometimes those accidents speak louder than if it were perfectly framed, or perfectly metered, or whatever. I love the image as is. It's great, it's solid...it has impact.
     
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  12. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    DSC_6660lllll.jpg
     
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