Night Photography - February Photo Project

ArtByQJ

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Hi All!

My philosophy with my camera has been learn by doing. I created a blog www.artbyqj.com to help show case some of my photos. Each month I have decided to focus on a theme or photo project and post the photos on the blog. January was the Zoo and this month was night photography, I used the monuments and memorials around DC as my subjects.

Comments & Nice Critique wanted. Composition with the monuments are challenging because I didn't want to just grab the typical wide shot (although you'll notice some of those). Also I am still trying to figure out if the camera is straight or crooked on the tripod, some of the photos had to be straightened.

And before we begin let me just say ... Im sure there are a gagillion exposure problems...but these were some pretty cold January Nights ! :lol:

Also if others could post night photography too. I would like to see what everyone else is doing too!

Here's a few, I linked them to the blog and you can see more there.



United States Air Force Memorial by Art by QJ, on Flickr


Ulysses S. Grant Memorial by Art by QJ, on Flickr
 

Joey_Ricard

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Quincy, you did pretty well and you have a good attitude.

When I shoot at night (at least where something is lit, there are lights or something illuminated by lights) not talking moon or natural light, I give priority of the exposure to the hottest portion. In your case, the Capitol dome. It's tough I know but there appears to have been a good amount on the remaining portions to have brought it down overall. I as a viewer, would rather sacrifice and have a darker remaining scene than I would have a hot dome. Afterall, this is the Capitol and when you think of it, I think of the dome.

You could always take 2 shots and do a composite in processing.

Your exposure in #1 is pretty good overall.

Remember, with detail - you can always take some away, but where there is none, you cant create it after the fact.
 
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ArtByQJ

ArtByQJ

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Quincy, you did pretty well and you have a good attitude.

When I shoot at night (at least where something is lit, there are lights or something illuminated by lights) not talking moon or natural light, I give priority of the exposure to the hottest portion. In your case, the Capitol dome. It's tough I know but there appears to have been a good amount on the remaining portions to have brought it down overall. I as a viewer, would rather sacrifice and have a darker remaining scene than I would have a hot dome. Afterall, this is the Capitol and when you think of it, I think of the dome.

You could always take 2 shots and do a composite in processing.

Your exposure in #1 is pretty good overall.

Remember, with detail - you can always take some away, but where there is none, you cant create it after the fact.


This one is tough and some great composition tips needed... capital is actually supposed to be the background the focus all should be on the grant memorial...but the capital is so large and the dome so bright
 

JG_Coleman

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This one is tough and some great composition tips needed... capital is actually supposed to be the background the focus all should be on the grant memorial...but the capital is so large and the dome so bright

Well, the difficulty is simply that the memorial is such a small portion of the frame... it's hard for it to be the focus of the composition.

If you want the memorial to really stand out as the subject of the photo, you could try using a wide-angle lens and getting up close to it. Thanks to the perspective provided by the wide-angle, the memorial will look big and nearly frame-filling, while the capitol dome will comparatively look very distant.

Also, Joey_Ricard's idea of compositing two exposures to "cool off" the capitol dome is probably easiest way to keep a sufficiently bright exposure without overexposing the dome.
 
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ArtByQJ

ArtByQJ

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This one is tough and some great composition tips needed... capital is actually supposed to be the background the focus all should be on the grant memorial...but the capital is so large and the dome so bright

Well, the difficulty is simply that the memorial is such a small portion of the frame... it's hard for it to be the focus of the composition.

If you want the memorial to really stand out as the subject of the photo, you could try using a wide-angle lens and getting up close to it. Thanks to the perspective provided by the wide-angle, the memorial will look big and nearly frame-filling, while the capitol dome will comparatively look very distant.

Also, Joey_Ricard's idea of compositing two exposures to "cool off" the capitol dome is probably easiest way to keep a sufficiently bright exposure without overexposing the dome.


Thanks JG ! FYI I grew up West Hartford, CT
 

DiskoJoe

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Quincy, you did pretty well and you have a good attitude.

When I shoot at night (at least where something is lit, there are lights or something illuminated by lights) not talking moon or natural light, I give priority of the exposure to the hottest portion. In your case, the Capitol dome. It's tough I know but there appears to have been a good amount on the remaining portions to have brought it down overall. I as a viewer, would rather sacrifice and have a darker remaining scene than I would have a hot dome. Afterall, this is the Capitol and when you think of it, I think of the dome.

You could always take 2 shots and do a composite in processing.

Your exposure in #1 is pretty good overall.

Remember, with detail - you can always take some away, but where there is none, you cant create it after the fact.


This one is tough and some great composition tips needed... capital is actually supposed to be the background the focus all should be on the grant memorial...but the capital is so large and the dome so bright

You may have wanted to make the statue the focus but the capital building is too prominent and steals the show. I would suggest going up closer to the statue so the capital building is only partially showing in the background as opposed to the whole building being in the frame. This would be a good shot for an hdr treatment. I would go all out and use like 5-7 shots to get a really nice balance between the shadows and highlights.

I agree with JG on the air force memorial too. The lights from the buildings behind it caught my attention more and make the memorial look like its just in the way.
 

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