Long night-time exposures

NateOntario

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Hey guys,

I've gotten into night-time photography recently. I've been trying to accomplish something similar to what is in this picture

HK.jpg


30 sec
F/22 ISO 100

It was taken with a canon xt I believe, and mine was taken with a Nikon D50. Of course, i'm using a tripod.

These are the best i've gotten

DSC_0318.jpg


30 second shutter speed
F/25
ISO 200

DSC_0144.jpg


What I think I did wrong here - Lights are overexposed, I guess due to my aperture

30 sec
F/4 (That was my mistake, I forgot to change my aperture before I started shooting)
ISO 200


If anyone has some tips to share, that'd be great.

I'll probably go out to take some more next week before it gets TOO cold.
 

Josh66

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I think what's hurting you the most is that there's nothing to look at in your's.

Try to find a new location with some buildings or something interesting to look at along the street.
 
OP
NateOntario

NateOntario

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Yep,

I wasn't really trying to compose a great photo, I just stepped outside my door. I'll edit a pic into the original post in a sec of where I will probably be taking pics, definitely more stuff to look at. (The general area)

I don't really like that picture though.
 

jstuedle

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One thing I noticed in the first pic, the example pic. The photog used a cross hatch filter to get the star burst effect. They do nothing where there is no point light source or reflection.
 

JerryPH

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I still think that the WB is off... white lights look a little too orange.

How about this?

night.jpg


Even with this, I can tell that some of the lights are blown out and hence you cannot save all parts of it. It is lightly overexposed. Look at the crosswalk blue light... you cannot tell what it shows or says.
 

JerryPH

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Best I could do with a 3 minute self imposed limit and my very limited CS3 knowledge. If I had the RAW image I could get it spot on in a few seconds.

I asked in another thread, but perhaps someone here knows... that starburst or crosshatch effect on liights... is that something I can do in CS3 or is that a plug-in?
 

Jbs

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Best I could do with a 3 minute self imposed limit and my very limited CS3 knowledge. If I had the RAW image I could get it spot on in a few seconds.

I asked in another thread, but perhaps someone here knows... that starburst or crosshatch effect on liights... is that something I can do in CS3 or is that a plug-in?
that happens when you shoot with a bigger fstop directly at lights.

as to the OP,

shoot more interesting subjects with higher aperture and longer shutter speed so you can get more trails etc.

also, shoot in raw and if anything underexpose it because when you over expose, the data is lost.

img0676gd1.png
 

JerryPH

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One of the biggest challenges a less experienced amateur has is the choice of what to meter against in any given picture.

If you meter for the lights, you get them just right and underexpose all the rest. If you meter for the darker areas, detail increases drastically, but you chance blowing out all the lights.

One can sometimes depend on the camera's matrix metering to make the decision for us but it can be wrong quite often. Best thing to do is set the camera so that you choose what to meter against... and if you are a little more experienced, you will meter for not the darkest nor the lightest area of the picture and get a fair compromise. Your eye (in time) will tell you what to meter against for the effect you want to acheive.

I don't advocate over or under exposing. Neither are good.

Overexposing will give you blown out lights as we see, but underexposing introduces noise into the picture and it becomes more visible when you PP to compensate for it. I personallyu hate noise in my pictures. Ideally, you want (to quote a phrase often repated in Understanding Exposure), the most "creatively correct" exposure.

The less you have to do in PPing, the better you have learned your craft at the camera end.
 

Garbz

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Hmm the white balance adjustment seems way too strong. When I photograph a city I normally leave it in daylight and then bump it slightly in the colder direction in post, maybe 300K below the camera Daylight setting.

The original is definitely too warm but Jerry your edit is way too cold and has a green cast too for my liking.

When shooting night-time pictures I highly suggest just clicking the button and checking out the result. That gives you a great base to work from. If I saw something like Nate's photo on my LCD I'd either switch to manual, or set the exposure compensator to -1.3EV or so.

Just changing the aperture is more likely going to result in the camera compensating by extending the shutter time.
 

JerryPH

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As I said, it was a quickie. and I could do better had I invested another 15 min into it. My CS3 skills are medeiocre at best... but at least the white building is closer to a more relaistic shade of white and not orange. I also did this on a JPG, which is a lot harder than if I had the original RAW, if available. Quality of the JPG dropped some after I resaved it.

It is overly cold, I agree.

Changing aperture is going to reduce exposure, but the WB is still going to be heavily skewed toward the warm side, just better exposed, no?
 

Joxby

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You dont need filters to create starbursts, they are made using a small aperture, the number of light "fingers" is dependent on the number of aperture blades in the lens, the diffraction occurrs where 2 blades overlap.
An even number of blades say 6, will give 6 fingers, an odd number gives twice as many, I don't know why that is....I'm too stupid, I just know its true.
 

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