our first nighttime shots. c&c please

naptime

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ok, so the daughter and i went downtown christmas eve and tried out hands at a few long exposure nighttime shots.

these were shot downtown, on the river front. i think it might have been about 10 degrees outside. we were both freezing. the tripods felt like ice.

it was quite dark out. dark enough that we both had difficulty framing a shot in the viewfinder. and i couldn't read anything on the lcd panel.

as a result, i have no idea what any settings were that the camera chose. like iso or aperture..

i shot these on a/v mode, on a tripod with a cable release. they were average 30 second exposures. except the light painting which was more like 45-60 seconds .


please feel free to c&c and let me know what we could have/should have done differently.

a few of the shots i think can use a small crop.

overall, I am very happy with the results, as it was our first day with the camera and our first time shooting at night..

but i know there are things that could have been done better in regards to composition and camera settings.


also, for those that haven't followed us.. these were shot with film. this particular roll was fuji iso 200. and processed at walgreens onto cd.

none have had any post production of any sort.



#1 - i think this could use a crop to get rid of the foreground rocks. i'm not sure what the small red/white lights are in the center of the sky. perhaps radio towers.


Cherry Street Bridge by jaythomson, on Flickr


#2 - i like this one as well. i think it could use a crop to get rid of the partial buildings on the furthermost left and right borders. maybe less sky would have been better as well? i couldn't go lower with the camera, or i would have had a handrail in front of me. the camera was set just over the top of the handrail. i probably could have shot below the rail and through the bars, and put more water, less sky into the frame.


Downtown Toledo by jaythomson, on Flickr

#3 - i am really really shocked at how bright this entire scene is. both the dock area and the sky. i mean it was so dark here i couldnt tell you what anything on the lcd was reading, and i was framing by the lights on the bridge. this was a 30 second exposure, but i really didn't think it would get that bright. i feel like this could use a small crop to get rid of the small "lighthouseish" thing at the bottom. when i look at this i feel like the horizon is tilted because of the way the bridge is leaning.. but i THINK the camera is actually level, because the bridge DOES curve down like that. and the docks spread out to an angle on the left, making them appear to lean. but the buildings on the left, the rooftops are almost perfectly level.


Toledo Skyway Bridge by jaythomson, on Flickr

#4. we wanted to try our hands at lightpainting. we had seen a few videos on youtube, and it seemed simple enough. i like the way this came out... or rather, im just glad it did come out.. i obviously got a little carried away with the led. i should have stopped once she was outlined. the squiggly line behind her was overkill. and i really didnt think the bridge in the background would show up on the camera. but, we did have a 45-60 second exposure. however long it took to set the release, outline her, draw my overkill lines, and then walk over to the came to end.


Light Painting with Asia by jaythomson, on Flickr
 

blackrose89

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I think they're pretty good first tries, and you guys are using film right? One thing to watch for, your horizons are tilted. Very easily fixed in PP.
 

etphotos

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Hey! Awesome work! I'm a noob too! So i can't really provide a lot of technical or 'professional' criticism but I really like these pics!

1. The rocks actually don't bother me that much, I think they help with the atmospheric perspective because they have a warmer color.

2. I'm interested to see what it would've looked like if you re-took it as you say, with more water/less sky. I think the buildings on the left and right are ok, they almost border the picture because they're darker than the other buildings.

3. This one is just excellent, I love how the ambient light feels.

4. haha! very cool! so you run over there and draw the lines?
 

tevo

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Wow, great job! I like how the color of the buildings reflects onto the water.
 
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naptime

naptime

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on image #2, why do my buildings on the outer edges lean in towards the center, while the buildings in the center are straight up.

these were shot with a canon 28-80 and zoomed out to 28mm

they appear to have the beginnings of a fish eye effect imo.

is this the nature of using a multiple focal point lens?
 

Buckster

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Very nice outcome on your first night shots!

Here's a handy tip: Perspective and bridges that have a slope and lens distortion can all throw you off when it comes to judging whether your horizon is straight. What you can always rely on though are water reflections; They're always perfectly vertical with whatever they're mirroring, and that tells you that your horizon is actually straight, no matter what else might be throwing the perception off. :thumbup:;)
 
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Very nice outcome on your first night shots!

Here's a handy tip: Perspective and bridges that have a slope and lens distortion can all throw you off when it comes to judging whether your horizon is straight. What you can always rely on though are water reflections; They're always perfectly vertical with whatever they're mirroring, and that tells you that your horizon is actually straight, no matter what else might be throwing the perception off. :thumbup:;)

thanks :) i wouldn't have consciously thought about that... but when i was editing and straightening, my outer buildings were leaning in and the middle buildings were straight, and the bridge angles down... so i ended up using the reflections in the water :)
 

DiskoJoe

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So grainy!!!! For night shots I always leave my iso at 100. ALWAYS!!!!!

These also need distortion corrections. You can do this with PS or if you want to get fancy get PTlens.

Not bad though. I kinda like them grainy.
 

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