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Night Photography Tips Required  
User currently offlineStu1978 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 125 posts, RR: 4
Posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4727 times:

Very shortly ill be off to Tokyo of a 2 week stay and hope to take full advantage of the various viewing decks that can be found out there on me trip.

Ill be visiting both the Tokyo airports and have done me research in finding that these decks, are open till 2000 local time....having looked on various weather sites it also mentions that the sun set's at roughly 1830ish....if this is true then it gives me a hour to and half to get some night shots of the various aircraft that I may encounter.

I've tried some night shots before but have had average results with what I've got.....some of the pictures that I have seen recently on Anet is far superior to what I have ever achieved.

I have heard that shooting RAW at night far out way's, shooting JPEG due to the fact your able to play with the image more when viewing/editing on your PC.

The equipment that I'll be using to experiment with will be 10D + 100-400L and a 28-105EF.

So what I ask is for your tips / thoughts on what's the best way to achieve these shots or even settings that you may use.

Cheers

Stu

39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGary2880 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4715 times:

Always use a longer shutter speed over a higher ISO, I normally use between 20-30seconds exposure. Keep your sensor clean as night dust spots are the biggest pain in the arse ever, if you have a lens hood put it on, you can still shoot into the light in the dark so try to avoid bright lights being behind your subject, use your body as a wind breaker and contrary to what most people say they turn out fine with IS on.

And use a shutter release cord!

Edit :

to illustrate my point. as you can see here the antonov is on the correct side of the bright lights and the tornado I am shooting into the lights, however both are nice in their own right. But a better effect comes from using your light correctly, the antonov was taken from the hill that is visible behind the tornado


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Photo © Gary Stewart



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Photo © Gary Stewart



I personally always use manual focus, as that tornado was in pitch black and I used a 40 second exposure I had to focus on a small glint coming off its nose and there's no way the autofocus would have hut it.

Hope I have been somewhat helpful!

[Edited 2005-08-13 23:07:27]

User currently offlineClickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9608 posts, RR: 69
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4700 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

read and learn about white balance, and practice before you get there.

User currently offlineGary2880 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4694 times:

and hope that they don't use bright orange lights like the BAA do. otherwise you`ll be lucky if you can find the correct balance to turn orange into white.

User currently offlineDehowie From Australia, joined Feb 2004, 1057 posts, RR: 33
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4659 times:

G'day Stu
You willl get some awesome results.
The decks at Haneda are open until 2200 which will give yo uplenty of time to practice.
For most of my shots i settled on shutter speed around the 10-20 sec mark using auto as a guide but shooting full manual.
Sometimes you will be lucky like this when they pop the lights on just prior to commencing taxi.

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Photo © Darren Howie


Take a good tripod as one of the things about shooting off the decks at Haneda and Narita are you will have to learn to deal withthe holes they cut for lenses in the fences which willmean a good tripod is a must.

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I really like the JAL side of Haneda at night with the background lighting providing some nice backdrops but you can get good results on both.

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Photo © Darren Howie


Given the frequency of departures you will get plenty of practice but try starting around the 10 sec/F8 range on some parked aircraft before you shoot goodies toget a feel for the lighting n different parts of the ramp.
Have fun mate Japan is a super place for aviation photography with great access to ramps rwy ends etc.
You will have a great time.
Darren



2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
User currently offlineStu1978 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 125 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4607 times:

From what I have gathered from the above I'll be shutting manual and varying my shutter speeds for different lighting effects until I find a pleasing one that I like.

Reading about the white balance and color temperature setting does this make much of a different from using the AWB to say going to the Tungsten setting on the white balance.......

Results that I'm looking for would be the ones similar to Darrens above, where it looks more natural.

I know the airport lighting will be a major player on this and the results that I will achieve, from what I remember from the majority of the UK airports that I have visited at night they seem to portray a yellow/orange affect.

This can not be said for the country that I'm soon to visit as I do not know what effect they will have at night. From looking and admiring Darrens pictures I can only assume that they are a lot better than the ones in the UK.

With regards to using a shutter release cord, I do not have one of these at the moment....but hopefully the 10sec delay function that is avialable on the camera will compensate for me not having this. Providing the aircraft stays stationary for up to 45sec max, depending on my chosen shutter time.

Thanks for the replies so far

stu


User currently offlineDehowie From Australia, joined Feb 2004, 1057 posts, RR: 33
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4559 times:

Stu
Before you head out get on the train and head into Shinjuku to go shopping.
You willpick up a shutter release for not much and it makes a big difference to your quality.
Also use the mirror lockup if you have a 20D or better.Not sure if the 300D/350D have mirror lock.
I like the yellow look myself which is the color that you see when you look at the ramp with your own eye's.
Having spent so much time on airport ramps it just looks real weird to see a temp corrected shot where white is white.
Still looking to find an airport which has ramp lighting which is actually white!!
Have a greattime.
Darren



2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
User currently offlineTransair737 From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 73 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4551 times:

I have limited experience but a few things that I have found useful
- a good tripod
- shutter release as has been mentioned or I use a battery operated remote
- mirror lock up is a good feature if you have it on your camera

Good luck with the photos and have fun!


User currently offlineSenorcarnival From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4549 times:

Quoting Stu1978 (Reply 5):
Reading about the white balance and color temperature setting does this make much of a different from using the AWB to say going to the Tungsten setting on the white balance.......

I'd go for a custom white balance. When you're there at Haneda ready to go, take a clean sheet of white paper, hold it in front of your camera, and set the white balance to that.
Also, I found a macro for PS7 to reduce the excessive yellow tinge that night av photos can have. Unfortunately, I've never used it so I can't tell you how well it works. Let me know if you want it, I'll send you a copy. Good luck!


User currently offlineLGW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4520 times:

Stu,

Main thing I would say is to shoot in RAW which of course gives greater flexibility to edit colours etc when back at home on the PC

Enjoy your trip

Cheers

Ben Pritchard


User currently offlineSaxdiva From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2382 posts, RR: 42
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 4522 times:

One of the more stunning night shots I've seen here. To make it even better, Wietse included his settings.  Big grin


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Photo © Wietse de Graaf - AirTeamImages



-Leanne


User currently offlineStu1978 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 125 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4465 times:

Cheers for the replies guys

The 10D does have the option of the mirror lock up.
There is a very good chance that i'll be able to pick up a shutter release cord, as one of me hotels is in Shinjuku area.

My Tripod is on the way is apparently capable of the requirements of me gear.

Is there much difference in the quality produced from say shooting in F8 like on some of Darren's shots and F22 in Weitse shot ?

Or is there pro's and cons to both.

Me personally I've only ever gone for around the F8 - F11 mark.

Once again cheers for the info

Stu


User currently offlineTZ From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2003, 1085 posts, RR: 53
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4449 times:
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Quoting Stu1978 (Reply 11):
Is there much difference in the quality produced from say shooting in F8 like on some of Darren's shots and F22 in Weitse shot ?

f22 will give you greater depth of field, if that is what you want in your composition.

It has the added benefit that it (the tremendous depth-of-field) compensates for inaccurate focusing, which is always a problem with night-shots.

Furthermore, the small aperture gives a much longer shutter speed, which blurs motion in the background, giving some "life" to the image.

I recommend f18-f22.

TZ



TZ Aviation - Aeropuerto de los Banditos Team Images
User currently offlineTimdeGroot From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 3674 posts, RR: 64
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4439 times:
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Shoot RAW, only way to go for nightshots. Personally I always use autofocus and have never once had it fail on me.

Tim



Alderman Exit
User currently offlineAndrewUber From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2528 posts, RR: 41
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4432 times:

I end up doing a lot of night shots due to my job. The ramp lights here in FWA tend to cast a yellow glow onto everything, but it can be removed in PhotoShop. I too reccommend f22 or so, and I like long exposures. Some examples:

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Photo © Freight-Dawg



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Photo © Freight-Dawg



Sometimes it's acceptable here to upload a photo "exactly as it was taken". I thought this one would get rejected "BADCOLOR" but it made it in:

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Photo © Freight-Dawg



Have fun, and good luck!  bigthumbsup 

Drew



I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
User currently offlineTZ From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2003, 1085 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4431 times:
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Quoting TimdeGroot (Reply 13):
Personally I always use autofocus and have never once had it fail on me.

Obviously you're not as dim as me then Tim....  Wink

TZ



TZ Aviation - Aeropuerto de los Banditos Team Images
User currently offlineClickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9608 posts, RR: 69
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4426 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

Maybe Tim's 300D has some settings your camera doesn't Big grin

User currently offlineDC10Tim From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1406 posts, RR: 14
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4403 times:

Hey this is all really useful info. for truely "dark" shots guys!

What would you recommend for "dusk" shots? I was out the other day shooting on ISO 400 at about f8 and 1/30 and they came out looking like I had tried to expose them in really poor daylight and didn't reflect the conditions at all.

Regards,

Tim.



Obviously missing something....
User currently offlineDehowie From Australia, joined Feb 2004, 1057 posts, RR: 33
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4386 times:

HI Stu
I was shooting at F8 as i wanted to keep the shutterspeed down to 10 secs.
Unlike Wietse's shot which was of static arcraft the effect i was trying to capture was to have the shutter close just after the taxi lights where turned on.
With a 30 sec exposure the 744 would have been long gone.
In two nights of photography the top one was the only one to be perfect.
Sometimes the Japanese crews pop the lights on after starting moving which was a pain.
Dont know how many shots i got where the aircraft just started moving or the shutter closed just before the taxi lights came on but there where a few!!
I'd shoot F22 of a static as well when there is no chance of movement but for something which is about to move you cant afford the benefit of F22.
Even at F8 the background is in focus so 22 may be a bit of overkill if simply aiming at DOF.
Have fun.
Darren



2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
User currently offlineJofa From Sweden, joined Apr 2002, 320 posts, RR: 15
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4379 times:

I have some experience with nightshots, and nothing beats shooting in RAW. Like others have said a solid tripod is a must especially if its windy. Also a cable or similar release is very useful. As for the in camera settings, i usually boost the aperture to about 16-22 and choose shutter according to the histogram. No need to worry about whitebalance if shooting raw. ISO100 always. Also, perhaps the most important, you gotta know what you're doing when it comes to post processing.


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Photo © Johan Kellerman
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Photo © Johan Kellerman



[Edited 2005-08-16 03:45:48]

User currently offlineStu1978 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 125 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 4330 times:

Thanks to all that has contributed to this thread.

I'll now be able to go away and experiment and enjoy me trip with a lot more knowledge and info that I never knew before.

Excellent pictures that have been posted by various members as well, a joy to view.

Thanks again

Stu Lawson


User currently offlineDonder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6659 posts, RR: 21
Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4320 times:

How much is a cable release for the 10D out of interest?
Thanks,Alex


User currently offlineChrisH From Sweden, joined Jul 2004, 1136 posts, RR: 16
Reply 22, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4316 times:

You dont need a cable if you've got self-release timer. On the D70 it can be set from 2 seconds or more so timing isnt a problem. Mirror lockup isnt needed on times over ~1 sec either.


what seems to be the officer, problem?
User currently offlineDehowie From Australia, joined Feb 2004, 1057 posts, RR: 33
Reply 23, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4305 times:

Actually Chris you will find that mirror lockup is need all the time on any time exposure shot.
The concept is it stops the mirror moving and causing vibration through the camera assmbley by opening the mirror prior to opening the shutter and the sme in reverse the shutter closes then a short time later so does the mirror.
Darren



2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
User currently offlineChrisH From Sweden, joined Jul 2004, 1136 posts, RR: 16
Reply 24, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4273 times:

MLU is the option to manually lock the mirror up well in advance of releasing the shutter, so to avoid vibrations, yes, however these vibrations will only ever be seen in a shot with a shuttertime between 1/30-1sec thereabouts. Think about it, the vibrations die out within half a second. What impact will that have on a 20 second exposure, or even 5? None at all. It's not essential.


what seems to be the officer, problem?
25 Javibi : I have to disagree; if you are shooting motion night shots like the one that is currently PC (a 13 sec. exposure at f20, BTW), if you do not use mirr
26 Post contains images ChrisH : Javibi, in the event of light-streaks you are right that it would be visible. What I do though is fire the shutter before the plane is visible in the
27 Post contains images Aviopic : I do agree with ChrisH. Never used mirror lock up and not even a remote control. When using exp. from 10s and above I have not problem to press the s
28 Post contains images Dehowie : You guys may want to tell all the landscape shooters and pro's over at FM's that MLU is not required for time exposure shots.  Any blurr is evident o
29 Post contains links ChrisH : Now Darren I hope you are taking the piss here, cause I know you aren't dumb. The MLU function would not have made a lick of difference in the shots
30 Dehowie : Thanks Chris interesting read. However one of the first replies talks about the situation exactly as i described with longer lenses being far more sus
31 ChrisH : The D70 does not have prerelease of the mirror no. I have the IR-remote control though, so I don't have to time pressing the shutter 2 seconds in adva
32 Dehowie : I agree fully about the wind it plays a much bigger part than almost eveything else particularly as your lens gets longer. Even my sturdy Manfrotto wo
33 Donder10 : How exactly does mirror lockup work when taking night shots with 10-20sec exposures?
34 Dehowie : Hi Donder What mirror lockup does is to move the mirror out of the way well prior to opening the shutter. The comcept being that any vibration associt
35 Donder10 : Hi Darren. My question was too vague in the previous post.What I meant was how does the operation of the shot work while using mirror lockup.Perform a
36 TZ : Yes. Normally when you take a shot: You press the shutter button, the mirror flips up out of the way, then the shutter opens, then closes, then the m
37 Donder10 : Thanks,Tamsin. So the procedure for taking a night shot with both mirror lockup and self-timer would be to press the shutter down once to activate mir
38 Post contains images TZ : Hehe! Don't wanna admit to being blonde If you operate the camera in shutter-delay mode (the one which displays the little clock on the LCD panel) WI
39 Post contains images Donder10 : Hehe! Don't wanna admit to being blonde Make that too blonde Thanks a lot for the reply,Tamsin.Think I've got my head around that now! Roughly how muc
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