View Full Version : Empire State Bldg at night - how?
3rd of August 2001 (Fri), 23:01
The Empire State building is Blue and Yellow tonight but I can't seem to take a single photo that looks any good .... (I'm taking the shot from about a mile away ... Canon G1, resting on a ledge - no tripod)
I have experimented with most settings but I always get the 'shudder warning' and a blurry photo OR a photo that is too dark to be useful.
I believe the G1 should be able to do it .... just not sure how .... any hints, advice, example settings welcome (the more detail the better ... you're talking to a relative beginner here)
4th of August 2001 (Sat), 10:39
Welcome to the wonderful world of digital photos, where it is possible to be a "relative beginner" and get some rather great shots. The key is expermentation! and the digital benefit is that the learning is free:) well, kind of free after buy the equipment. :p
Here's what I would do to start your lessons.
First of all you are going to have to get yourself a tripod. (Everything just works better and you would really mess up the free lesson if you had to retrieve your camera from the street.)
Then you might start with Tv Mode. 1/60 1 shot, then 1/40, then 1/25 etc. till you get to 8 seconds. (The reason you need the tripod is that you will want to use the handy little remote to trigger your shot, you can use the timer too, but the remote is a neat gadget.)
You will have taken about 10 shots with this approach and I would bet that one of them would be a great shot. If you have used the RAW mode then you can look at the EXIF data to see what the setting was. If not you should make note of the settings as you take them to round out your learning. Once you see what was best then you can expand your learning my using the Manuel setting and then changing the Av or Tv a little to see the effect.
Again the GREAT thing about being digital is that you can learn this lesson yourself, hands-on. If you are learning on a film camera, then your options are books, instruction or lots frustration.
The last thing you need to do IS, post your results and what you have learned on this forum. That way we can all learn a little bit as well.
4th of August 2001 (Sat), 16:11
Eric F is definitely correct about the tripod. If you don't want to invest a lot at the beginning, try one of the little ultrapods.
Suggest you begin your exposure at 4sec, f/2 and bracket (f/2 at 8, f/2 at 2, for example. These settings would be for ISO 50.
5th of August 2001 (Sun), 07:22
The hardest part about night shots is the bright light parts get over-exposed, and bloom - or the low-illuminated parts don't get enough exposure (or both).
Some tricks you can do...But first.
GET A TRIPOD!!!
Make sure you get something with a quick-release. (so you don't spend all your time screwing in the camera to the tripod).
Also get something that is lite and small enough that you will actually take it with you. There is nothing worse, then getting a nice tripod, and then leaving it in the car when you go somewhere with your camera. If you aren't going to lug it around, don't bother buying it.
Okay. Now that is out of the way.
1) Take a whole serious of bracketed shots. Its difficult to predict how much light you are going to need to get a good shot, so play around with different exposures. I would probabaly open the apperture all the way, and then slowly drop the shutter speed.
2) Try playing the masking game. In the old days of film, I would have taken two shots exposed onto the same frame. The first would have been nice and slow, and I would have built a small mask to cover the bright spot. (perhaps its the moon, or a very well-lit building). Not all scenes are condusive to this kind of shot. Then I would have taken a much faster exposure with the moon (or whatever) uncovered. In digital photography, you can't double-expose in the camera. So you could try holding your hand over the right part of the frame, and trying to time it yourself.
3) Mask in photoshop. - Or...You could use your tripod, and take two pictures. One exposed for day, and the other exposed for night. Merge them together in photoshop, and (assuming the blooming isn't a problem), you should get a pretty nice picture. THe over-exposed areas should be filled in with the proper exposures from both shots. I haven't tried playing around in photoshop enough to know how to easily create the masks, but I am pretty sure its possible.
4) Use the remote control, even if you have a tripod. Don't forget that when you press the shutter button with the tripod, unless you have one of those 20 lb monster tripods, its going to sway a little. Use the remote control so you don't have to touch it.
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