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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HOW TO: Taking night shots




When taking night shots, the first thing you should consider is if your camera is capable of taking night shots. Generally, there should be a mode with the picture of a Crescent Moon or a person with a Star. Other indications of night mode is Shutter priority mode. I cannot say what to exactly look for for each make of camera since each company has different ways of indicating "night mode" or "shutter priority mode.

*read your manual.

Now, if you're camera is capable of taking night shots, there is one thing you must or should have (I highly recommend):

1. TRIPOD! TRIPOD TRIPOD unless you have steady hands :


Let’s get started.

There are 2 ways of taking night modes:
1. Scene mode (Night mode) – which is often indicated by the crescent shaped moon or the person with a star.
2. Shutter priority mode – which you can manually adjust the shutter speed, but the aperture and exposure compensation are automatically adjusted.

The Modes are indicated in red

Sony



Canon



- I highly recommend you don’t use a flash. First off, you exclude the background of the picture and only focus on the foreground, and it just looks too amateurish. And lastly, you defeat the purpose of using night mode. Disable your flash.

TURN OFF Flash

NIGHT MODE (SCENE MODE)
- Put your camera on the tripod
- Go to Night Mode
- Set your white balance (if you can) – white balance adjusts the overall tone/color of your picture
- If you have a self timer, enable it now.
- Press shutter ½ way to focus
- Take the picture and the self timer should work now. The self timer prevents the extra shakiness / blurriness in the pictures

To adjust how bright or dark your pictures are, you can play with something called the exposure compensation which is often indicated by “EV”. For example, +2.0 EV or -1.3EV. If you want more light to come in, raise the EV towards the “+”. If you want it darker, select a setting closer to the “-“. In essence, what you are doing is increasing the shutter speed or decreasing it.


SHUTTER PRIORITY
- Put camera on the tripod
- Go to you shutter priority mode
- Set your white balance (if you can) – white balance adjusts the overall tone/color of your picture
- Select the proper shutter speed
- shutter speed is often indicated as followed:

15, 13, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3.2, 2.5, 2, 1.6, 1.3, 1, 0.8, 0.6, 0.5, 0.4, 0.3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10, 1/13, 1/15, 1/20, 1/25, 1/30, 1/40, 1/50, 1/60, 1/80, 1/100, 1/125, 1/160, 1/200, 1/250, 1/320, 1/400, 1/500, 1/640, 1/800, 1/1000, 1/1250, 1/1600*, 1/2000*.

o Whole numbers (such as 1,2,4,8,15,30) are slower shutter speeds and the higher the fractions (such as 1/1600), the faster. In this case, we want a slower shutter speed, so select something appropriate. This will take a few shots to get the right settings that you want. Generally, most digital cameras will show the shutter speed as (8”) (kinda like eight inches, but the “ means seconds). The 8” (eight second) shutter does not always mean the shutter will stay on for 8 seconds. Beyond my knowledge, I don’t know why it doesn’t take the picture for eight seconds. For my camera, it usually stays on for about 12 – 18 seconds and that depends on how dark the objects are.

- Enable the self-timer
- Press the shutter ½ way to focus
- Press the shutter all the way to take the picture. The self timer should have enabled.
- Look at the picture and decide if that's what you want. Now adjust your shutter speed as necessary
- With Shutter Priority, you can also adjust the exposure compensation. For example, if you wanted a faster shutter speed, but still wanted more light – just raise the EV (exposure compensation) and lower your shutter speed accordingly.

OTHER NOTES:

- You don’t have to buy a $100 tripod. Just get one from Wal Mart for $20. You can also get the table top tripods, which I find very helpful for ground shots.

- If you don’t have a tripod, try resting it on something or use a shirt as prop until you get the right angle


- I suggest using the self timer for night shots for every shot. YES, it takes a lot longer, but you decrease the chance for extra blurriness in your photos.

- If you can get a remote (either infrared or cable) for your camera, I would invest in one. It makes the photosession go faster and rawks in uber cold weather.

Thanks to AccordTuner.com
 

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240-kid
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OH going RB now :D
Wow Tri-Pods are like the god/key art in taking great photot's

Im gonna go buy a 20$ one at my local camera store :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
240-kid said:
OH going RB now :D
Wow Tri-Pods are like the god/key art in taking great photot's

Im gonna go buy a 20$ one at my local camera store :D
i have a 100 dollar one..(by Sony, hence my camera is Sony)

It has controls, like zoom, on/off, capture etc.. so I don’t have to touch the camera.. And its super strong and sturdy..

i also have a smaller one for when on the go..
 

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240-kid
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Nice, Im gonna go get it maybe later on today, might buy another xD card too, and another USB Flash Drive :( it broke, but it was like 2 years old so yeah :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
240-kid said:
Any good pics on the 512?
no it was just a thumb drive with music and files..

but as far as my memory cards.. go..

i have a 512 Ultra 2 compact flash, and a 256 sony memory stick 2
(my camera can take both, i have them in both at the same time)

but i also had a 1g SD card but i gave that to my girl..

i think i have another SD laying around, might be a ultra

the Ultras have a faster write speed so the picture saves faster..
the sony member stick 2 is the same.
 

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Since you suggested using the self timer, i assumed that you are taking pictures of stationary objects. If so, it would be alot easier for you to just use the aperture priority mode and let the camera meter the correct exposure/shutter speed for you. you aperture size will depend on your required depth of field.

shutter speed priority setting is more for taking pics of things that are moving.
 

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You left out one very important thing. f stops...
 

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You left out one very important thing. f stops...
since he left it out, maybe you can do some explaining???

when taking night shots, do you guys check the histogram to see how well lit the photo is? do you guys chance the exposure as well with using long shutter speeds?

also, do you guys adjust the white balance or just keep it at auto?

mind you, im using a point and shoot camera, Canon SD550.
 

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since he left it out, maybe you can do some explaining???

when taking night shots, do you guys check the histogram to see how well lit the photo is? do you guys chance the exposure as well with using long shutter speeds?

also, do you guys adjust the white balance or just keep it at auto?

mind you, im using a point and shoot camera, Canon SD550.
your camera does not have the ability to chage the f-Stops ( aperture)

for any shot, checking the histogram is good practice.

white balance depends on the lighting conditions. 90% of the time i am on auto. If you shoot in RAW format you can change the white balance later in post process.
 

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Here is a photographers trick.

f16/f22 -15/30 seconds.
stand it on a tripod. hold that shutter down, and then take flour (if not foggy) and throw it over where the headlights are shining. 3 times.
 

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The best camera's for the job...

the Bad ones
Sony-----CCD senors...awful
Nikon-----CCD AWFUL!! NOISE
Fujifilm/olympus/samsung/etc....AWFUL! NOISE! CCD SENSORS!!


The Good...
CMOS, CMOS, CMOS!! ask if the camera has this sensor, it is much more light sensitive, it is able to more picture and less distortion. The best camera set up price range wise...

Hassablad HC-1 w/ telephoto------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 30,000+ USD

Canon 1D Mark 3 (April 08 updated) with L lense (telephoto 300mm 1.8 does amazing work)-------------------- 9,000 USD

Canon 5D with same L 300 mm 1.8L--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6,000 USD

Canon Rebel XTI w/ preferrably L lenses Only--------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3,000 USD
-Cheaper...28-300 Tamron lense---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1,500 USD

Mimaya Large formate Camera
Film cartrage Ilford HP4 black and white
(or)
Film Kodak 100-400VC (VC for vivid color)--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 150 bucks

Why film? it is expensive [the film. $7.00 a roll], but the large formate cameras are incredibly high resolution prints you can edit them after scanning them into photoshop like a digital print. but your going to get some amazing pixels/resolution!
(note: now a lot of kids and Nikon nuts will say Nikon is "just as good" or "better" but if you do enlargements of these photos like I did at Nissan, you will see that the Nikon ED-IF [thier nice lenses] are crap compared to the L lenses and Nikon uses Sony electronics meaning they are slow to pick up the CMOS technology and actually use it well enough to product a nice working camera. I have both Nikon's best and Canon's and it is night and day difference).


Q: Why 300mm lense/Telephoto lenses?
A: The lower the mm (eg. 18mm) the greater the distortion and bend in the image. if you want a accurate shot of say...a model and make her not look ten pounds heavier, you use a 300mm telephoto on a tripod to get a accurate to the eye shot of her...the same with your car. you take a shot of your car and you want that "fish eye" look you use the 18mm fisheye but if you want a gallery shot no distortion, use a 300mm (as said before) set up.
 

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also i forgot to say. if your tripod is shaking a little take a plastic shopping bag and fill it with sand or dirt, tie it around the center neck of the tripod that holds the camera on the very bottom where the neck splits into the braces to the three legs, that will stop any shaking in case you do not have a timer mode or the weather isn't the best.

if you have a neck that does not split into the three legs (eg. Gitzu tripods...which are the best) you might see a hook below that you can place something there to hang, you can use your back pack or what ever...if not...just get a rope and lash it around the neck at the bottom and that should do. so long as you put a good amount of wieght on it to keep it still at slow exposure settings.

i recommend the f16/f22 at 15 and 30 seconds.
 

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Wow, and I thought my kodak was expensive. Good find Tom. :thumbsup
 
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