Night shot gone wrong


TPF Noob!
Aug 16, 2003
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Toronto, Canada
This is a restaurant that's nicely lit at night. My futile attempt at night scenes didn't do any justice to it. Any recommendation on how to make better night shots? I've done a few that I like but pretty much 95% of them were just awful. Maybe I should just give up on my night photo aspirations.


This one taken at the fair is more presentable.

night shots and i have never become friends :lol:
Hmmm... first one looks like an earthquake shot. Second one isn't too bad. I'm with Oriecat- are you using a tripod? If not, try resting against a solid object (car/building etc), or wrapping yourself around a pole or something to cut down on the camera shake.

If you apply a little creative thinking you can take some amazingly long exposures without a tripod. But, the bottom line is the camera has to be still during the exposure. :)

Don't know what the CNE is. I took mine at a traveling carnival in Dallas, TX.
Well, aside from the tripod thing I'm assuming you're using a digital camera at the moment. If so, I'd hike the ISO up beyond 100 for most night shots but where there's massive lights you can get away with the ol' 100 shots. I try and keep a small aperture for my night shots just cause I prefer a larger DOF but if you've got a small DOF needed you can open it up for more light, which means faster shutter speeds which means less blur.

95% of my night shots are done with tripod and minimal man-man lights (ie: graveyards, beaches, grasslands, etc). In fact, I shoot with a tripod on almost all my 'setup' shots if I see something where time isn't of the essence. Just helps to get it right, especially if you've got a heavy camera and you're trying to compose everything just so.

but that's just me...
I could be wrong...
probably am... :)
I went back to that restaurant tonight and took this photo. I used my tripod, set the camera to ISO 200, aperture F2.8 or 3.5 (can't remember because I took several and didn't have a pen/paper with me to take notes), 1/3 shutter speed. Oh, and I used the self-timer to avoid any shaking of the camera.

It's not perfect but a lot better than the first one.

I also have one of ISO 400 but it came out with a lot of noise.

not bad -

i've been practicing night shots in the past months and i generally like to use slower speed slide films (ISO 50, 100, etc) for their intensity of color and lack of grain. i'm also leaning towards stopping down/longer shutter speeds effects such as the picture below. stopping down gives more depth of field in addition to the cool optical phenomenon of star shaped lights. longer shutter speeds allows motion of people, cars, etc. This "practice" shot of mine below captures all of that.

- 28mm with Fujuchrome sensia 100, ~4-8secs at f/22 -

remember, a good tripod/solid foundation is also essential - a slight breeze can ruin a long exposure shot on a flimsy tripod.

dunno if this leans towards your taste but i hope my reply gave you some ideas...

good luck

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