Night shots out of focus

Nam Le

TPF Noob!
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Hi guys,

I'm a newbie trying to picking up night photography :) I'm using a Canon 600D and 18-55mm kit lens. I wanted to take sharp, crisp photos of Singapore scenery at night. So what I did was using a tripod + smaller aperture f/21 and using a remote control, ISO 100, shooting in raw. I use manual focus and set exposure time to 1-2 mins. But the results are quite bad :( I don't know why I can't get the buildings focused and there is noise even I used ISO 100.

Is anyone kind enough to give me some tips on how to make my photos better, as in focused, brighter, more even lit, etc.? Thank you :)
cRIS-vK0X-mDDyXr474Yo1ExguX0hPGJosgXqv9b9HnzRHLNPurShPsT9M7AJ-GGwh47iP5-bwa5KpO9Kz6euPkgFE66XTgqajh4ySgzfT48qPXf6ToJnonRdM5GUq8gfgC7jmunlFWtqx8lmrwczQYQ01pd6pv_49Xlz2B944kd2EyY16eiCc_WHoqtlJhYvFb8HEgqhq-l22GuvpKmR9Xp7dHuU-LpbInSFgZWEho7unoXRyZl_-VhUQiuT4qGPCR78ZJdpMfZOufJcmzPq_zPL4OZog-X54GJQC_fyighFS0w6eN9hmVMNRkUTN3FOiY4MRyMQ8-aPsWLDyTpcwjSY3LVabTSXRiSC_y7lYIaMaAfkIF152mw3zgNT37UWKfsnhJqwApeUQBVNe1uHG4ClchGgiHcyfhd5yzl87-C8COmoU9nFeskT1wKx_150UBH8BZo-NwJthUYiHYmXOoYJ3ro5hJkISn9H2TCbQFE9ecsqBUrpLQeTzjjrwafZkF2YDB6LGdiScKgNaYzqCLdlSNppdrAz6s_HgxfsEk=w1259-h839-no

EcpXbqPfh7lGUHDQMKj8vVJ4jEgRfOrk4xuv9YY5XMZYAUPelU4eZTgQXr9cRbFsWChM98ndbDmoimOjpelhWQ_DPk_B7KAb9jagSsNvi80eVeqkj5xNLlISo740iYKEskirHrxnZoaE1CLYe0wgrlMmHOnpoen13HX5DA60O4d96uvF8mqGy2XMfNzCE8RLzm5UILejGZdJ6HIUuU4mSEF5Seire6r6vNvPp5jzd9r6uOotLRYymWaTzHW0VUu5Ba9czKFJAiG6Ajxj_w2ZIVsZTPXp-q0k5OxCMtLXF0eCjpcmMOj9Vxri-zre8j9l83hla7CmsNYeEW0RzVThavE98A0FMhst5Jq5v4TQkLx7gCiyejPSRmYcHFX_9fDlrn1iutNojS2tGD4a7kLYZAQA-L3ZpySFQDcKyAuyelp-tF9PHeyEmhrqQpwbRxxZrzh5-_zdXcx5L4JJLjc_DwgO9wYgkpD5GcMTLHbEqtxq_QIz4nYZ-ftIQ-EuxXE-Ozm95XK5KxWhytQ8SH-fO8CwYsUrzV3gESDoZINJYOE=w1259-h839-no
ejyQu7BBkiKve9yZWzcjD5mk_lzDHudTueibGQ6sD6q8USYgpyFX4btMRbGeOv9ksTNa5EtbP-3ClmS-Ki0PnUhOFerqJK-57u_rcoO2YZ3glx_PLB9EpGufEDhpYT8Et9jF3vAZmlVdh3uN2FIVAYGMgs0JxPihRROAkJid8nQFLXNIgB4oZvkjqHfvpfhHLvHpyQ-myTf0fSEmxfpQuK2yRVYd8oM5vwOAEM3RJOberKCt5k5VVRsl5kJ32ivWI12F66UrhgK1ns6vNDpSjg6g4Aqzc55om0Jh6jQfrIjVJrka0GPy4p4dZe96FvPio4GbUFqcPZOfputdVQ62FeUTArB0XSJbkoOaiA0jY0D_mVK2UkXSpJaTVazIIUOsog18wKwhRrzGx0dy03qA5tuoVywsPPWKnmMS78PStfjW1AjR0fQqeVK9WvzEvJKsDamx2kUBO9mFebNyHTkSqzed2fjt2lhqRSd95Rz5oQAsWkBKkiiE4OMOqa0ZRxp3UXAWnr1mR08oGlyD5jW424D5ujfG0Ku23vXvK_W0iHE=w1259-h839-no
YdBvBf_x4XRQuCXsysre-as29EtxHPBwVHgx_TuoK0xy8x28yk4VhhwxT35uRYzy-iLTNjBPdpbFxf26gmudhQoNAK87dKqBXRZqyPbeoJm6Zn_75o0jMZyUfsqN1GaLY7oMJsCRpdwpSDfUabiANmLSgQ18dx51Gn0aGBarPZApvcevU4cYFbbMQ7UjdjI59WNmnBuJUL6h5MwagVSPixPFiBJL6BPKg3UCQ8UjB5mhMBusJJ-aYVRQRKeTPkCfP2WThIT7nUwrh26fY19Wrc6JpIqr9xoeQkrRA-wkkhx8iImy9HHawGKtynbeEe8LHZCW_tpDbv677VboExmkflcSO8in56XjaB2yGCigeMFMh9hDO11nPahmk-RC8Ka8y0ZsYnvqG6R83fdnkMPB7hy7XRQ6jdreXvYnyHZ62mpD-3JgkpWICWJO6pkIQzhdX_YTCoVfwSyJWmCc6n8PxcYEz0xpps2N6IoxiwnELH5CocOXHVjBCE2X5PEUnp4_ymVDohiJoW6DlLbGk55wrEYnXERJNO5apYbevGduUts=w1259-h839-no
 

spiralout462

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Dec 4, 2014
Messages
1,069
Reaction score
495
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I don't see a bad focus problem. I see a pretty powerful color cast in a couple, which may or may not be desirable. Digital noise is introduced not only at high ISO but also during long exposures, even at ISO 100.
 

EIngerson

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
3,544
Reaction score
1,650
Location
San Diego, California
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I would honestly use auto focus, and if using manual focus make sure you find the correct hyper focal length for your lens.

Two questions, What tripod are you using? and was your IS on?

Make sure your tripod is very secure. Add weight and stableize against camera vibration. Also use the timer and second shutter when doing long exposure. Also, a remote or wireless trigger will help.

Not sure if you did any of this, but these things come to mind when you say tripod.
 

BillM

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2014
Messages
3,166
Reaction score
1,920
Location
Hanson MA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I'm not an expert at this type of photography, or any other type for that matter lol, but try again at f/8 or f/11. And make sure you don't under expose, having to bring exposure up in post will really bring out the noise.
 
OP
Nam Le

Nam Le

TPF Noob!
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Wow very helpful, thanks guys!

@spiralout462: I can't attach here a full res photo, if you zoom in you can see blurry details. Long exposure can produce noise? Will check that out, thanks.

@EIngerson: I use a Slik carbon fiber tripod, came with the camera sale. I think just a standard one. I tried both with and without IS but not much diff. Some said IS helps some said IS actually worsens the focusing, what's your opinion?

@BillM: ok, will try, thanks :)
 

EIngerson

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
3,544
Reaction score
1,650
Location
San Diego, California
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Wow very helpful, thanks guys!

@spiralout462: I can't attach here a full res photo, if you zoom in you can see blurry details. Long exposure can produce noise? Will check that out, thanks.

@EIngerson: I use a Slik carbon fiber tripod, came with the camera sale. I think just a standard one. I tried both with and without IS but not much diff. Some said IS helps some said IS actually worsens the focusing, what's your opinion?

@BillM: ok, will try, thanks :)

If you are on a tripod or shooting action at high shutter speed IS serves no purpose. Not necessary. Not a great tripod, but not too bad either. Like I mentioned before, add the weight to stabilize it. No need to buy expensive gimmicks for weight. Be creative and rig something up that isn't too cumbersome to travel with.

Also, I noticed you were shooting at F21. I usually shoot night scenes between F8-11.

Good luck and have fun.
 
OP
Nam Le

Nam Le

TPF Noob!
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Thanks EIngerson, will try :)
 

soufiej

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
714
Reaction score
113
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Your camera has a noise reduction system for long exposures. How well it works and whether it is worth using in most situations is debatable; Night shots with 600D: Canon Rebel (EOS 1200D-300D) Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Use the mirror lock up feature to prevent camera movement.

Also, switch off the image stabilization circuits when using a tripod. The servo network of the IS system will create blur when used on a tripod due to the motor's internal vibration. The longer the exposure, the more vibration will be recorded.
 
Last edited:

MRnats

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
May 5, 2014
Messages
149
Reaction score
55
Location
NJ
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Was there any wind or vibrations? 1-2 min exposure is a long time for something to sit completely still, even on a tripod.
 

astroNikon

'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
13,669
Reaction score
3,344
Location
SE Michigan
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
To add to the above

If you are taking such a long exposure then when you use a remote shutter to activate the shutter you don't want to be standing next to the camera. I've found even on a concrete platform that walking here and there and not standing still introduces some shakiness. If you are on an even less stable platform then just walking around the camera while it is in an exposure is going to introduce movement.

Then add any heavy winds, etc. which you'll have to position yourself to block direct wind.
 

dcbear78

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
149
Reaction score
62
Location
Gladstone, Queensland
Website
www.crewonephotography.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I'm not 100% sure on how your camera works but my tips are:

Use the 3 second timer if you don't have a remote. Usually also engages mirror lock up mode too.
Use live view and magnify in on a light to confirm focus and manually adjust as necessary.
I like f16 as a nice balance that also usually creates nice starbursts.
Look up "exposing to the right" technique.
 
OP
Nam Le

Nam Le

TPF Noob!
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Thanks guys, looks like it all boils down to the vibration. Yeah, Singapore is quite windy, I will try a larger aperture and shorter exposure time and see how I can secure the tripod :)
 

amitbhatt

TPF Noob!
Joined
Oct 10, 2015
Messages
20
Reaction score
2
Website
www.bundleofjoy.co.in
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
it really depends on what your subject is...ie how far away it is. Are you shooting a night panoramic? Are you shooting a night portrait? both require very different techniques.

if you are shooting a night pano with out much light then manual focus is your friend. set the focus point at infinity and shoot way.

if you are shooting a night portrait then your on camera focus assist or focus assist beams on your hot shoe flash should do the trick.:1219:
 

The_Traveler

Completely Counter-dependent
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
18,743
Reaction score
8,046
Location
Mid-Atlantic US
Website
www.lewlortonphoto.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
besides the vibration, unless you have poumped up the color in post-processing I think these are overexposed, and the reds are super-saturated.

Lowering the red saturation and the exposure overall plus some noise removal, makes at least this one look better.

redbldg.jpg
 
OP
Nam Le

Nam Le

TPF Noob!
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
it really depends on what your subject is...ie how far away it is. Are you shooting a night panoramic? Are you shooting a night portrait? both require very different techniques.

if you are shooting a night pano with out much light then manual focus is your friend. set the focus point at infinity and shoot way.

if you are shooting a night portrait then your on camera focus assist or focus assist beams on your hot shoe flash should do the trick.:1219:
Hi Amitbhatt, thanks for the tips, I am trying to capture night panorama. I used manual focus too, the objects (building) are very far away, I think around 1-3km.
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top