Shooting at night...


TPF Noob!
Mar 19, 2006
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I recently started shooting some cars at night at the local boat launch. The landscape and location are perfect, but some shots just dont come out right. Very dark. I use a tripod and set my Rebel Xt to ADep mode, some shots work awsome. So what am I doing wrong. Do I not use the light the right way? Some suggested playing with the ISO setting but what will that do my pictures. I dont even know what my ISO setting is set to. I am total noob but have taken some great shots and I am in love with them, and then theres others that just plain suck. I know thats going to happen, but how can I make it happen less. Thanks for looking/helping, look forward to reading your answers. this is where some of the good shots ended up. Stupid photobucket resizes the images cause I havent forked over 25 bucks yet.
The ISO isn't the issue in night photography - set it to ISO 100 or whatever's lowest to minimise noise. Try lighting the subjects with creative methods, like torch or off-camera flash.

It'd really help if you post a bad example, cos the good ones are good!

When one comes out too dark you might try switching the camera to manual exposure, and set all the settings the same as you just used, except double the amount of exposure time. If this is still to dark, then double the exposure time again.

Has anyone figured out what reciprocity breakdown for long exposures is like with digital compared to film?
Thanks Rob and Matt I will certainly try the manual setting next time when I go try more shots. And thanks for the great comments, those pictures I really liked. The only bad ones, were when the pictures just came out too dark.
ksmattfish said:
Has anyone figured out what reciprocity breakdown for long exposures is like with digital compared to film?

I haven't documented anything specific, but usually if you go past 30 seconds to 1 minute, doubling the time makes little difference, and you need to get into several minutes to see a change, and of course you start to build up noise. I took a shot at f/8 with a digital rebel a few years ago, that lasted over 30 minutes, and got some nice star trails, and the noise wasn't that bad. C1 LE did a nice job of cleaning it up. It was mostly a few dozen hot pixels that could be cloned out easily.

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