your best nightshot advice?


TPF Noob!
Jun 27, 2003
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i was sifting through my photo gallery and realized i dont have not one night shot :shock: (ok, maybe i avoided them because im no good at it :p ) ... im gonna get me some night shots this weekend to show a little variety in my photo galleries .....

what is your best nightshot advice? .. technical or otherwise


p.s. im almost done with my website (ok, im holding back a little, trying to increase my photos) .. but if u find my work remotely interesting :p ... i participate in banner exchange :D
funny I was about to post the same kinda thread

I'm still reading the manual of my new camera

experimenting with all features at the moment :)
If you don't have a cable release then the self timer is your best friend, along with your tripod. Choose shots that are not too bright, on a long exposure they will be blown out....I was taking a shot at night one time and the top half of the shot was super bright and the bottom was dark..I set for 30 sec exposure and waved a piece of paper in front of the lens (top only) and "dodged" at the lens. It works.
i do have a tripod and remote control for the cam .... Jdog??? .... just wave a white peice of paper in front of the cam??? can u elaborate more of what this does to the cam?
It's just like with darkroom dodging. You are preventing the bright light from overexposing the shot. Kinda like a ND filter but not :)
pls. explain more about that paper placed above the got my attention (im a newbie). it will block my flash? or in that case u did not use it? please consider my questions grade one :? . thanks.
Well you wouldn't be using the paper with a flash. This is only used for long exposures.
Hi Dew,

I guess this shot is too night time! but it was a simple shot really, 28mm wide angle aperture wide open, 30 second shutter speed and most importantly a really dark sky with little or no light pollution. If you feel like taking pics of the night sky, I use Fuji superia 400 for shots like this, its not too grainy but still fast enough to pick up detail.
One thing to remember about taking pics of stars is that, like our sun, they move through the sky so taking an exposure longer than 45 seconds on a 28mm lens will make the stars appear as streaks. This can give a good effect if you point you camera north and leave the exposure going for about 15 minutes, as you’ll see the streaks taking on a curved shape, which is due to our planets rotation!

This picture is of The Big Dipper, which is also known as The Plough, you may have to stand back to see the shape it takes. The streak underneath it is a satellite.


My best nightshot advise would be long time exposure and when I say long I mean not only a few seconds. It can be minutes or even hours.
Yes I'm serious. It's interesting for example when you photograph stars.
But in most cases only secondes or minutes can be enough. Just don't trust your meter. If you do so, your pictures might just be very dark.
If you have for example
f(4)2 secondes on your meter you should do a 4 secondes exposure
f(4)8 secondes on your meter you should do a 36 secondes exposure.....
I think it depends on what you're taking pictures of. Stars are a longer exposure like they're talking about, but like objects, or people or something like that then a shorter one will be possible. I haven't done a whole lot either though so I may be incorrect. But I think the absolute most important thing you need will be a tripod.
What about shooting a panoramic shot of a lake at night? Assuming there are lights that coruscate across the water, how do you know how much exposure time to allow??

I tried for years to get a decent picture of a full moon. One day a pro photographer told me: speed 1/ISO, f8 for 100 speed film, f16 for 200. I took it as gospel and it did work! I have an 11x14 print of a beautiful full moon! How he came up with that, I have no idea. Most likely years of experimenting. Hope this helps.


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