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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Urban Life & Travel Talk 
Thread started 27 Jun 2009 (Saturday) 19:53
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Night shots of buildings question..

 
Scottes
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Aug 26, 2009 14:15 |  #16

Noiseware, Neat Image, Noise Ninja. And there are others, but those are the 3 that come to my mind immediately.

Noiseware does have a free version (at least I'd expcet that they still do - it's been a while since I looked at them).


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chopper5654
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Aug 26, 2009 16:27 |  #17

ive heard good things about 1 and 3.

scottes, i dont know if youve seen any of the capitol shots i took on that vacation, but the first one (KY) came out really lame because the dome of the building was poorly lit and the front of the building looked like a christmas tree. when there are obviously unevenly lit areas, is there anything you can do? or, do you do your best and move on?


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Straightening...lol. Every time I straighten the horizon, I hang the picture crooked.

  
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Scottes
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Aug 26, 2009 18:13 |  #18

Cheat.

Take another shot, and over expose until the dome look good. Put the good shot and over-exposed one in 2 layers. Erase the good shot where the dome is, letting the over-exposed dome show through. Change opacity if the dome is too bright and look unnatural.

Or go HDR. That's actually what I do with night shots to balance things out. It's tricky, but worthwhile.


Which forum did you post your shots in? I'll go take a look because I love night shots, but never have enough time to scroll through every forum here.


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Scottes
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Aug 26, 2009 19:24 |  #19

Chopper, I took a look at your Flickr album, and saw IMG_3269a and 3279a.

3269 is actually pretty decent. Considering how tough the shot is, you did a damn fine job. Those lights in front make that shot very difficult.

I like 3279 quite a bit. Strangely enough, popping the flash might have brought out those flowers in the foreground quite a bit. That flash might be obvious though, and would also light up the trees which might not be as beneficial to the scene. So you could try light painting. Bring a flashlight and move it over the flowers as the shutter is open.

Neither of the above shot are easy. You'd have to play with FEC for the flash shots, and timing the flashlight means a series of tests. If you're willing to take a bunch of shots, you could end up with a stunning shot.

By the way, thanks for this idea. Seeing this shot gives me some ideas about things to try.


But the dome, your original question. My "cheating" method is about the only way to bring out the dome. Or you could shoot in raw and use something like a Lightroom brush to the dome and raise exposure just to that area. By the way, if you did shoot raw you might be able to do my cheat method with a single shot, just exposed twice in the raw converter.

Given that the dome isn't lit, you did a fine job really. At least you can see the dome, and more importantly its edges. I have several shots where such a dome fades all the way to black on one side. They are a dismal failure. Your shots are just a bummer that they don't light the dome.


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chopper5654
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Aug 26, 2009 21:28 |  #20

thanks for looking. the ones posted on potn are in the "state capitols" thread, and i cant remember the subforum it resides in.....maybe urban? anyhoo, it doesnt matter since you saw the shots.

and, thanks for the compliment. i thought i did poorly, but it also felt as if nothing else could be done. the first one, frankfurt, ky, was at 130am local time. to be honest, it didnt feel like a great area of town getting there from the hwy. so, we didnt spend a heck of a lot of time trying to get it perfect....about 10 minutes. and, i wasnt walking around that poorly lit building in that much dark because of both the neighborhood/time of day AND the security issues of some dude walking around a capitol building in the middle of the night. i didnt need to be detained for questions..lol.

as for the second, it was charleston, wv, and probably the prettiest building we saw. 430am on that one, and another place i didnt want to stick around too long. not the neighborhood...just the security thing. the grounds crew made sure i knew they were there. but, i always am looking for something interesting in a foreground and saw those flowers. they werent working originally, so i popped the flash and said a quick prayer that something showed up. i actually quite like it.

i may play in pp some more, but honestly am content given the lack of time i could spend and the fact i am not looking for wallhangers....just a book of capitols i have passed through.

another thing. you can tell in the daylight pics, if you looked, that i had some fairly crappy skies to work with when we passed through the others at midday. lots of haze, which made things hard as hell without a polarizer. hmmm, next on the list? probably.

thanks again for the thumbs up and telling me those were tough shots to begin with. that will let me sleep at night. sometimes us newbies' confidence gets rocked when we see such pretty shots and forget how ideal the situation was....and how many times it took to make it right.


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Straightening...lol. Every time I straighten the horizon, I hang the picture crooked.

  
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Scottes
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Aug 26, 2009 21:54 |  #21

Well, they could be a lesson learned: Don't bother taking shots that aren't worth it.

But where's the fun in that?? ?? ?? I always take shots that I know aren't going to be wall-hangers. (And then there are the many which aren't wall-hangers, even though I had hope when I clicked the shutter... :D )

On both, though, you could try an "extensive" post-processing sessions with them... Cheating, I know...


Polarizers are precious. Don't leave home without one. Water, clouds, or just when you need a couple stops of slower exposure... IMHO, they are the first filter to buy. And don't skimp! B+W Multi-coated Kasseman, or be damned. (I wish that I had done that - I got an excellent Hoya, but it's not a B+W... One of these days I'll upgrade...)


"...and forget how ideal the situation was..."
Don't forget that most of those good shots came from knowledge and preparation. Knowing where to shoot, when to shoot, how to take the shot, etc, etc, etc. It ain't always luck - though sometimes a little good luck does help!

Next time you'll know to go right before sunrise, when everyone bad is asleep. Wait for a little sunlight in the sky to light up the dome better. Study the weather report and go on a day when there will be a few clouds in the sky to add interest. Bring an ND filter to slow down the shutter so you get clouds streaking across the sky. Bring a few friends, just in case. Bring a flashlight to light-paint the flowers better.

Make the situation ideal for your shot. It ain't always luck. :cool:


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chopper5654
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Aug 26, 2009 23:49 |  #22

agreed. i learned a lot. but, in my defense, if you remember an earlier discussion...

- i was on a family trip from STL, MO, to Myrtle Beach, SC.
- no time to stay long.
- no timing, as we were only trying to "get there."
- never been to those cities and likely wont be back to shoot the capitols. i have my shots. (and the wife will never let me stop again if we've already been there...lol)

so, these were literally "one chance" shots. no site prep. no daylight timing. those factors that go into sweeeeeeet shots weren't going to be possible.

but, i do understand better the NEED for prep after this. i knew before, but now i have a much better understanding of what to think about once on site.

as for polarizers, i gambled by not buying one in advance. i knew better, but just jumped back into photography in january after 15 years or so away from the hobby. but, boy i regret it. the haze was so bad in myrtle beach. i had no idea that the sea breeze wouldnt do squat to it. and, i thought "midwest humidity" wasnt nearly as bad there. honestly, it was about the same.

great time. got some great pics. and, scottes, you were a pretty big reason i even got the night shots i did. for that, i thank you. just getting me up to speed on some technique things really helped. not that i'm up to speed. but, i am a lot closer thanks to potn and its posters/helpers.


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http://www.flickr.com/​photos/chipnjo_99/ (external link)
http://backyardbirdgar​dner.wordpress.com/ (external link)
Straightening...lol. Every time I straighten the horizon, I hang the picture crooked.

  
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Scottes
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Aug 27, 2009 05:44 |  #23

chopper5654 wrote in post #8530201 (external link)
i learned a lot. but, in my defense...

No worries about a defense! You learned. That's more than enough.

Very few of my wall-hanger shots were taken on a first visit to a location. You learn the location, and plan. After a while the planning becomes second nature, the experience is built, you learn what to expect and what to look for, and you will get wall-hangers on a first visit.

chopper5654 wrote in post #8530201 (external link)
got some great pics. and, scottes, you were a pretty big reason i even got the night shots i did. for that, i thank you. just getting me up to speed on some technique things really helped. not that i'm up to speed. but, i am a lot closer thanks to potn and its posters/helpers.

Considering all the help I've gotten here over the years, I know the feeling. I'm glad that I could give back a bit of what POTN has given me.


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Dec 08, 2009 21:31 as a reply to  @ Scottes's post |  #24

Let's keep this thread alive.




  
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chopper5654
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Dec 09, 2009 13:15 |  #25

would love to post some more night shots, but its just so hard to get out w/ young kids at the proper times.


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http://www.flickr.com/​photos/chipnjo_99/ (external link)
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Straightening...lol. Every time I straighten the horizon, I hang the picture crooked.

  
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Scottes
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Dec 09, 2009 13:34 |  #26

Sleep less!

Go to bed when they go to bed, then wake up at 2 AM to go shooting. You'll be back home just in time for them to wake up wanting breakfast.

LOL!


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chopper5654
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Dec 09, 2009 20:14 |  #27

Scottes wrote in post #9165529 (external link)
Sleep less!

Go to bed when they go to bed, then wake up at 2 AM to go shooting. You'll be back home just in time for them to wake up wanting breakfast.

LOL!

cuts into my poker income....lol


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Straightening...lol. Every time I straighten the horizon, I hang the picture crooked.

  
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Butch ­ Cassidy
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Dec 13, 2009 09:02 as a reply to  @ chopper5654's post |  #28

Some GREAT INFO here for me, I have just got in to DSLR photography after a 25 year hiatus from shooting pics.I have never taken night photos, but have always wanted to try. Thanks for all the info


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chopper5654
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Dec 13, 2009 12:08 |  #29

Butch Cassidy wrote in post #9187914 (external link)
Some GREAT INFO here for me, I have just got in to DSLR photography after a 25 year hiatus from shooting pics.I have never taken night photos, but have always wanted to try. Thanks for all the info

feel free to post your stuff here, too.


http://throughmyeyes-choppography.blogspot.​com/ (external link)
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/chipnjo_99/ (external link)
http://backyardbirdgar​dner.wordpress.com/ (external link)
Straightening...lol. Every time I straighten the horizon, I hang the picture crooked.

  
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Night shots of buildings question..
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