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Taking Photos At Night  
User currently offlineMacair SAAB From Australia, joined May 1999, 335 posts, RR: 0
Posted (15 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5744 times:

I would like to start and take photos at night, but I'm unsure about it. Does anyone have any info and/or tips? I am using a Nikon F60 camera and Tamron 28-200mm lens, along with a Nissin Auto 300AFZ Thyristor flash.

Thanks in advance!

- Macair SAAB

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlinePropfreak From Switzerland, joined Mar 2000, 157 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (15 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5596 times:

hi there
I've tried it several times and I found that it works out rather nicely if you put the apperture to about 8 and with the time on automatic or manual with about 6-10 secs (depends a bit if you have any lightbeams in the picture) use a tripod and forget the flash.
the best method is, I think, if you take several shots from the same spot with different timings. note them down with the pic-no.s and compare the shots with the timings afterwards
good luck

User currently offlineBrick From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1703 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (15 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5584 times:

I've been wanting to try some night time cockpit photography. The last flight at night I've had in the most recent months was on an ASA EMB-120....no room at all to setup a tripod!

Any suggestions for exposure times? Apperture settings? I'm using Fujichrome 100 (slide film). I try to stay away from 200 speed....a good idea or no?

I've got a night time DC-10-40 flight coming up next month, which is probably going to be my last DC-10 flight ever.   I'll get some practice time in before then (I have some AA MD-80/F-100 night flights this month). I definately don't want to screw up this opportunity!

Mark Abbott
Minneapolis, MN

A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man...
User currently offlineJormy From Finland, joined Jan 2000, 231 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (15 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5590 times:

Hi there.

If you want to take night shots of planes I really suggest you to forget the flash. Instead buy a decent tripod which doesn't shake too much. I'm not sure if a cable release can be used with F60 but if it's possible then buy a cable releaser. Another way to photograph without a cable release is to use self timer. Put the timer on and press the shutter, now camera waits about 10s and takes the picture.
When taking night time shots you have to think a little bit different than taking day shots. First of all the camera will use a very long shutter speed, usually 2-15 s. The camera must not move while taking the picture, you have to remember that the plane must not move either, you have to time taking the photo so that there wont go any cars or anything by the plane or the picture may look a little bit funny.

I really see that you have two options in your case:

1. Buy an objective with low f number such as 50/1.8 and fast film (>400ASA) and then you can take pictures without a tripod in plane.


2. Get a flash (only good in cockpit, not so good in cabin)

Helsinki, Finland

User currently offlineAirlinenut From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 3 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (15 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5561 times:

You don't have to use a flash per se, it is possible to take awesome photos at night with a tripod. Just pick a shutter speed and "bracket". Change your f-stop while keeping the shutter speed constant. You can also pick one f-stop (such as f8) and then vary the shutter speed, starting a 1/8 second, 1/4 and so on. Just practice and you will get the hang of it!!!

User currently offlineThomasphoto60 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 4280 posts, RR: 25
Reply 5, posted (15 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5532 times:

Accept, for some form of sturdy support i.e. a tripod, there are no hard and fast rules for night time photography. It really depends on what type of photo you are trying to create, it you want the light steaks of ground support equipment around a given aircraft, the I suggest a somewhat small f stop, and an expousure time of anywhere from 5 sec-20sec, and sometimes longer.

Check out http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=13935 Granted that this photo is a little dirty, and I also had a roll of Tungsten(indoor)balanced slide film in the camera, but it is a good example of what I'am talking about.

I have asked before, and I'll ask again. How do you upload a photo to this forum ? I may want to post some examples in the future, that Johan may not feel is appropriate for A.net, and get some feedback.

As to flash photography at night, again it all depends on what you are planning to shoot. Most pros i.e. Lawerence Fier will use a slow shutter and flash combination. I have and still use a techinque know as 'flash and blur' some love it and some hate it, since I use it, I love this style. But it does take some practice. I have a wonderful example taken at IAH featuring a wing walker, during a push back. Johan will not post since the plane is not the main subject of this photo. Aside from taking portraits of people and or aircraft, leave the flash at home.

Again, if anyone can give me any info on how to post pics on this forum I would be most apperciative.


"Show me the Braniffs"
User currently offlineHawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3241 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (15 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5513 times:

Photos cannot be directly posted to the forum. If they are not already hosted at Airliners.net they will need to be somewhere on the web, then included by typing in a standard HTML image reference. For example:

<IMG SRC="http://www.crosswinds.net/~midpac/737/aa738lax.jpg">

Would embed one of the photos posted at my web site. If you don't have a web site already, you might want to consider a service like Yahoo photos at http://photos.yahoo.com/ which will allow you to display photos without having to create an entire web site.

User currently offlineBrick From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1703 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5501 times:

When I say that I'd like to take a shot a night time cockpit photography, I'm not talking about not using a flash. I'm looking to capture the "glow" of the panels... I've got two night flights this weekend on an AA MD-80 and F-100. I guess I'll just play around with different exposure times and keep a log of the settings I use.

I just had a thought a moment ago about films....Most film is balanced for natural light/sunny conditions. Is there film out there that is balanced towards different types of light?

Mark Abbott
Minneapolis, MN

A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man...
User currently offlineFastGlass From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 0 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5502 times:

You might be referring to a slide film that is "Tungsten balanced", designed for ambient light other than the sun. However, with proper scanning technique you can correct the colors using Photoshop or an advanced version of other imaging programs by setting the "White Point"...

User currently offlineRol From Germany, joined Feb 2000, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5484 times:

You can use a daylight film at night if you correct the temperature of the artificial light (ususally about 2500 - 3500 Kelvin) with a blue correction filter (correction blue No. 6 or 12) to daylight (5000 - 8000 Kelvin). But this reduces the speed. However - you need a tripod.

Roland Cartarius

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