View Full Version : Night Photo Help?
03-07-2010, 12:48 AM
I haven't taken many photos at night and I live in Chicago and figured it would be a great opportunity so does anyone have any tips for night shots. F stop and such.
Also anyone from Chicago have any good locations or cool things to take pictures of. Thanks.
03-07-2010, 12:50 AM
And I have a Nikon d40.
03-12-2010, 10:32 PM
With the digital, you can experiment in-camera as far as "f-stop and such". However, one thing you will need is a tripod and shutter release cable. Hand holding night shots can be fun, but for a really good, sharp shot, you will need to use the tripod.
As far as suggested shutter speeds and aperture, that is something you'll have to experiment with that. Do you want stop action? If so, you'll need high ISO, and fast shutter, and possibly a fill flash. Do you want light trails from cars and buses? In that case, low ISO, small aperture, and long shutter times.
There are too many variable involved for anyone to give you exact f-stops and such.
Experiment, and don't go off of what it looks likes in your view screen on the camera. DON'T ERASE ANYTHING, EVEN IF YOU THINK IT IS A MISTAKE!!! You may be pleasantly surprised at what you have, once you get it on your computer.
One more suggestion: Shoot everything RAW, and process it on your computer. You can really play with it if you do it that way. Shooting jpg will make you miss some really nice shots.
Good luck and don't forget to post some of the shots here on TE. Shoot me an email and let me know when you do.
03-15-2010, 10:26 PM
The feedback Vic gave you are all very good things to do and consider. Here are my tips:
****Tripod and cable release are mandatory for sharp images*****
1. I have found that night photo's can be very difficult to get good results. Start your experiments in the blue-hour while there is still light in the sky and the urban lights are just coming up - this is a forgiving environment to experiment. The blue-hour is that period after sunset when there is soft reflected light in the sky. It lasts about 45-60 minutes after sunset in the mid latitudes.
2. Depending upon your subject, I will assume a landscape, select an appropriate f/stop (f/11 is a good starting point). Have the camera set to Aperture Priority and matrix meter. Take a meter reading of the sky (go for average tone and brightness) and expose using the cable release or the timer.
3. evaluate the histogram and make adjustments using +/- EV's.
4. The bright lights will OE but try for an exposure where the OE is not significant.
5. The slower the shutter you will get light trails from the moving vehicles. Since this is your first attempts try for tail lights as they will not be grossly OE'ed.
6. When you evaluate the images on your computer you will more than likely notice a color cast, which is a result of your white balance being in conflict with the lighting of the scene. For starters use daylight or cloudy until you are comfortable with the night techniques then experiment. Tungsten turns the scene blue, fluorescent turns the scene green (sometimes), and cloudy and overcast turns the scene golden. You will have to learn to post process these situations but save that until you figure out the techniques.
I am not familiar with Chicago but try for an elevated place like a bridge or maybe a parking garage looking down one of the wide boulevards. Or try the pier on Lake Michigan looking back toward the city. I think elevated is better but that is just one's choice. Not to be self promoting, but I have several blue-hours in my gallery that you can look at.
I hope this helps you get started.
03-28-2010, 04:21 PM
I guess the tips were not very helpful!
03-30-2010, 09:03 PM
Tripod and if you don't have a remote, use the timer on your camera. The settings on the camera will all depend on the light situation at where you take it. You just have to play with it. However, most important of night shots is definitely tripod.
03-31-2010, 01:53 PM
prerequisites definetely are a good tripod, a cable OR remote shutter release, good setup ; Good setup means aperture 2-3 stops down from your lens max. aperture and exposure 0EV besides try 1EV and -1EV OR better if your camera afford it, use Auto exposure bracket, good eyes to make sharpness setup maximum of course :)
04-03-2010, 10:32 AM
I have taken hundreds of night photos, as others have said a tripod either full sized or mini is essential. I found that the easiest way to do it was to use a compact, I used a Canon ixus 750. put it in the tripod, turn it to program mode, use the timer for a few seconds delay, press the button and wait.
If there is not enough light the picture wont be very good,if there is enough it will be good.
I tried using a Nikon D80 but I think it was too clever and tried too hard to make the picture look normal.
I alter the ISO setting depending on what effect I want, (movement of people or cars and so on).
Do not get complicated about it. In short, compact camera, tripod, shutter delay, press the button. go home and enjoy it.
I find that even the most dull places in daylight come alive at night with colour and movement. Try anything.
05-21-2010, 12:19 AM
A while back I wrote an article (http://www.shalamarimages.smugmug.com/gallery/5602484_ZtxyM) on this very subject. This is a genre I enjoy as well. Check it out..
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