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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Urban Life & Travel 
Thread started 05 Dec 2010 (Sunday) 22:07
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Christmas lights ... why so dang hard?

 
copenhagen69
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Dec 05, 2010 22:07 |  #1

Finally got around to putting up the lights today and wanted to shoot them and share them with the family ... but they are way off ...


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The middle big tree is suppose to be multi color but came out white? They also look pretty blurry ... is that just gonna be somewhat normal with these types of lights?

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FlyingPhotog
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Dec 05, 2010 22:10 |  #2

Try shooting before it gets pitch dark out. Having some ambient light helps keep the exposure times shorter so you don't blow out point sources like the lights.


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Edsport
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Dec 05, 2010 22:11 |  #3

Best time is before it gets too dark and make sure to use a tripod...


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copenhagen69
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Dec 05, 2010 22:17 |  #4

ok I will try it when there is still some light out ... I used a tripod, is it that bad you cant tell? :(


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FlyingPhotog
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Dec 05, 2010 22:18 as a reply to  @ copenhagen69's post |  #5

Filter on the lens? If so, take it off so you don't get bloom or reflections.


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copenhagen69
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Dec 05, 2010 22:21 |  #6

FlyingPhotog wrote in post #11402049 (external link)
Filter on the lens? If so, take it off so you don't get bloom or reflections.

Nope no filter ...

shot at about 930 pm


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Aressem
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Dec 05, 2010 22:46 |  #7

I'd also kick your ISO down to 100. 20 sec exposure vs 5 second exposure isn't gonna make a difference if you're using a tripod and will just clean up the noise since you're shooting with an Xsi. Just make sure you use a remote. If you don't have one, set up a timer. Hope that helps :)


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Celtic ­ Tiger
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Dec 05, 2010 22:59 as a reply to  @ Aressem's post |  #8

Try this method:

http://strobist.blogsp​ot.com …aph-christmas-lights.html (external link)

I did the other night and it turned out pretty well.


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tonylong
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Dec 05, 2010 23:18 |  #9

I agree with the suggestions of shooting earlier. The alternative to me would be to have a lot of lights illuminating the building. Your first shot seems to have that but the shot was overexposed so bringing out the lights on the building blew the lights on the trees. On the other shots the lights were much better but the building was just dark.

If you can find a well-lit building with good lights then a night-time shot can come out really well, but otherwise the idea of shooting with enough outside light to allow you to get a good shot of the building will give those lights a good "context"/background.

Just my take...


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bsmotril
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Dec 06, 2010 11:29 |  #10

This would be a perfect situation to apply a multi exposure HDR.


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tristinGrind
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Dec 06, 2010 14:16 |  #11

bsmotril wrote in post #11404451 (external link)
This would be a perfect situation to apply a multi exposure HDR.

I was going to suggest this as well. I think you would get the best result from HDR as you can get the highlights of the bright lights, while still getting all the detail from your house and trees.


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copenhagen69
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Dec 06, 2010 15:22 |  #12

Aressem wrote in post #11402192 (external link)
I'd also kick your ISO down to 100. 20 sec exposure vs 5 second exposure isn't gonna make a difference if you're using a tripod and will just clean up the noise since you're shooting with an Xsi. Just make sure you use a remote. If you don't have one, set up a timer. Hope that helps :)

Ok I will try that ...

Celtic Tiger wrote in post #11402254 (external link)
Try this method:

http://strobist.blogsp​ot.com …aph-christmas-lights.html (external link)

I did the other night and it turned out pretty well.

thanks for the link I will take that into consideration ... I like how they say you got about 10 minutes :)

tonylong wrote in post #11402325 (external link)
I agree with the suggestions of shooting earlier. The alternative to me would be to have a lot of lights illuminating the building. Your first shot seems to have that but the shot was overexposed so bringing out the lights on the building blew the lights on the trees. On the other shots the lights were much better but the building was just dark.

If you can find a well-lit building with good lights then a night-time shot can come out really well, but otherwise the idea of shooting with enough outside light to allow you to get a good shot of the building will give those lights a good "context"/background.

Just my take...

ya I will aim for just after the sun goes down and there is still light out

bsmotril wrote in post #11404451 (external link)
This would be a perfect situation to apply a multi exposure HDR.

tristinGrind wrote in post #11405229 (external link)
I was going to suggest this as well. I think you would get the best result from HDR as you can get the highlights of the bright lights, while still getting all the detail from your house and trees.


ok I will try the HDR as well and see how that turns out ... I should have more pics up tomorrow. Wont have enough time to shoot today :(


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NaiohT
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Dec 08, 2010 10:02 |  #13

If you are looking to do inside lights - i did this just by setting a 10sec exposure and having some minimal (very dim) ambient light from adjacent rooms.

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copenhagen69
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Dec 08, 2010 10:32 |  #14

so should I be setting low ISO and higher exposure times to help with this as well?

by the way that picture looks amazing Naioh


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NaiohT
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Dec 08, 2010 12:36 |  #15

copenhagen69 wrote in post #11416493 (external link)
so should I be setting low ISO and higher exposure times to help with this as well?

by the way that picture looks amazing Naioh


thanks man!

here is all the meta info on that photo:
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/ianrt/417250814​1/meta/ (external link)

key points:
-1 EV
f/8
ISO 800
and a 1.3sec exposure (so i was way off)

with lower ISO and longer exposure, you might lose some of the softness, but what do i know?

take tons of shots and take a look and see what you like best, and what settings you used that made them look that way.


edit:
for comparison purposes, here is a shot i took at the same time:

IMAGE: http://gyazo.com/2c7d83aa71d2359963922a6f4326f8f0.png

and here is the meta information on that:
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/ianrt/417326407​2/meta/ (external link)

pretty similar, but this one is +1 EV and shorter exposure

|| Canon XSi/450D || Canon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 || Sigma 28-60 f/3.5-5.6 || Canon 580EX II || Manfrotto 055XB & 488RC2 ||
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Christmas lights ... why so dang hard?
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