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Thread started 31 Jul 2006 (Monday) 17:59
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Night shots with the XT

 
fuzzygraphics
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Jul 31, 2006 17:59 |  #1

I have an XT with the kit lens and I would like to snap a few city shots at night. I am using the built in flash (or no flash when possible), and I'm trying to photogragh things like neon signs and city streets (fairly lit). I usually shoot in Av mode but I've gotten some pretty fuzzy results my first few attempts. I ordered a tripod today, but am shooting handheld in the meantime.

Any and all feedback is appreciated.


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Jon
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Jul 31, 2006 18:07 |  #2

You need that tripod then. You're probably getting exposure ties of 1/8 sec. and slower, right? Until it comes, crank up the ISO as far as you can and/or meter the lights and lose the streets proper.


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Nick_C
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Jul 31, 2006 18:15 |  #3

If its night then a tripod is the only way to go, or resting it on a nearby wall, mind you dont scratch all the underside of your camera though.

Night shots are great.

Nick :-)




  
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Jim_T
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Jul 31, 2006 20:34 |  #4

One technique I discovered is to shoot when there is a bit of light left in the sky. Wait 15-30 minutes after sunset. By then all the city lights will have come on, so you get the lights, plus you get a hint of blue in the sky.

Late at night, the sky goes completely black and unless you're looking for this effect, I find it very cold and stark..

Here is an example of a night shot with the blue sky.. http://www.pbase.com/j​im_townsend/image/1860​5723 (external link)

Along with a tripod you should have a remote shutter release. That will keep you from moving the camera slightly from the pressure of your finger pushing down and letting go of the shutter button.. Most tripods will move a bit from this action... You can get away without a remote release by using the self timer.. After you've squeezed the shutter button then let go, he camera will count down and fire without your hand being anywhere near it.

I like to use ISO 100... I usually compose my shot then half press the shutter and note what the camera would have chosen for shutter and/or aperture. Then I put it in manual mode and dial in the settings the camera would have chosen..

When I start shooting, I 'bracket'.. I change the shutter speed up and down a few stops, then I do the same with the aperture. The reason for this is so I can find the best exposure for everything. (It's often tough judging night shots on the LCD screen or histogram).... Lights are hard to meter because there are so many different brightnesses. Don't worry if you get a some lights overexposed. Some times there's no way around this.

Most importantly... Have fun :)




  
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Ross ­ McT.
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Aug 01, 2006 01:43 |  #5

Crank that ISO up to 800 and have fun. Teach yourself to hold still.
This was a 1/2 second shot on the 18-55 kit lens.

Otherwise like the guys have already said, tripod, remote, etc.


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sando
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Aug 01, 2006 01:56 |  #6

/\ maybe the compression but that does look a little soft.

tripod, tripod, tripod!

or, take a cloth and use it to rest the camera on when resting it on a wall. :)


- Matt

  
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IainUK
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Aug 01, 2006 06:12 |  #7

If you havent't got a cable release the use the timer - it'll avoid any camera shake when you press the shutter


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IlyaM
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Aug 01, 2006 06:28 |  #8

fuzzygraphics wrote:
I am using the built in flash (or no flash when possible), and I'm trying to photogragh things like neon signs and city streets (fairly lit).

Flash is practically useless as it can hightlight only objects which are close to the camera. As others said get a tripod.


Ilya Martynov

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StewartR
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Aug 01, 2006 09:17 as a reply to  @ Jim_T's post |  #9

Jim_T wrote:
One technique I discovered is to shoot when there is a bit of light left in the sky. Wait 15-30 minutes after sunset. By then all the city lights will have come on, so you get the lights, plus you get a hint of blue in the sky.

I agree with the general point but I think I'd tend to wait a little longer - though the right time can come and go very fast. Here's an example of a sequence of shots as the light faded. I observed the sun go down over the mountains at 21:02 , and these shots were taken at 21:06, 21:41, 21:51, and 22:01. To my mind the best is somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd, which suggests about 45 minutes after sunset.

However the latitude at which you live has an effect. These shots are of Vancouver, which is at a relatively high latitude (49 N) so the twilight is quite long. On the day in question this sunrise/sunset/twiligh​t calculator (external link) says sunset was "officially" at 21:14 and civil twilight ended at 21:56. So that suggests that the best shots were taken about 3/4 of the way from sunset to the end of civil twilight. If you live in a low latitude the interval from sunset to the end of civil twilight is much shorter, so you need to work faster.

But the great thing about digital photography is of course that you don't have to time it exactly right. Just take a load of photos, like I did that day in Vancouver, pick the best and dump the rest. It's great fun.


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dave_bass5
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Aug 02, 2006 06:35 as a reply to  @ IainUK's post |  #10

IainUK wrote:
If you havent't got a cable release the use the timer - it'll avoid any camera shake when you press the shutter

and maybe use the mirror lock up fuction to stop the mirror from shaking the camera.


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Night shots with the XT
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