777ER
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Night Time Photography Question

Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:11 am

Hi Everyone

I have a question regarding night time photography.

I find night time/dusk/dawn photography to be really interesting but every time I've tried to take a photo with a fast shutter speed it always come out too dark/can't see the subject.

What suggestions are there in terms of camera setting/techniques for fast shutter speeds during darker hours?

I use a Canon EOS1100D
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vikkyvik
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RE: Night Time Photography Question

Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:07 am

Quoting 777ER (Thread starter):
What suggestions are there in terms of camera setting/techniques for fast shutter speeds during darker hours?

Assuming that a flash isn't practical for what you're doing, you have two major options: open the aperture or bump the ISO.

I take a lot of photos in the evening on either side of sunset at 150-300mm, and my settings will typically change like this over a couple hours:

Start at around 1/500, F7.1, ISO160.
1.) I'll reduce shutter speed first, down to around 1/250.
2.) Then open aperture till I get to the max (F4 on my lenses).
3.) Then reduce shutter speed again, till probably 1/100.
4.) Then start bumping ISO, till around ISO1600.
5.) Then reduce shutter speed more, and/or bump ISO. I usually call it a day around 1/20, F4, ISO2000.

I'm not great at panning, so I don't usually go below 1/20 or so, but as I get better at it, that will enable me to keep ISO down for longer.
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PHX787
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RE: Night Time Photography Question

Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:34 am

Careful with your ISO. if you bump it up too high you risk a bunch of noise on your photo.

Personally for me, I'm having difficulty trying to figure out how to adjust the aperture settings and shutter speed on my D3200....the instructions are in Japanese and I'm a slave to my iPad (can't really access much other sites) so what do you suggest I toy with to get a good setting?
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JKPhotos
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RE: Night Time Photography Question

Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:44 am

It is easy: use a tripod! And go for standing objects!

I personally would not go up with the ISO as it will produce grain. Noise reduction is a handy tool, but it is not able to do miracles. So with a normal body more than ISO800 will prevent you of getting a decent image quality-wise.


I take my night shots with Manual settings (like my daytime shots too, but at night it is really a must), something like f9 and 3 seconds exposure and always ISO100. If you want the images to be brighter just increase the exposure time.
With a tripod this should not be a problem. And it It is recommandable to turn off the image stabilizer when using a tripod!


Taking night shots without a tripod is of course possible as well (you can find some wonderful shots in the db made this way), but it needs a some experience and a camera which is pretty noise-resistant even with higher ISO's. Some top models obviously are able to do that.
 
Stealthz
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RE: Night Time Photography Question

Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:24 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 2):
Personally for me, I'm having difficulty trying to figure out how to adjust the aperture settings and shutter speed on my D3200....the instructions are in Japanese


This is one of the things that has driven many competent and helpful members away from this forum.

Not questions.. questions that are answered then those answers ignored and asked again...

PHX .. I provided a solution to your difficulties with the instruction manual in another thread!

D3200 Long Exposure-best Settings? (by PHX787 Mar 31 2013 in Aviation Photography)

Was I just wasting my time like others before me?

Cheers
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vikkyvik
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RE: Night Time Photography Question

Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:34 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 2):
Careful with your ISO. if you bump it up too high you risk a bunch of noise on your photo.

True. But with a bright enough exposure, and some practice with noise reduction, you can do pretty well. I have a couple ISO1600 images accepted here. But underexposure + high ISO = a mess of noise.

Quoting JKPhotos (Reply 3):
It is easy: use a tripod! And go for standing objects!

True, and I should have stated that I wasn't referring to that in my reply. 777ER - I was assuming that you were shooting moving aircraft, in which case you can potentially use a tripod, but likely not a 3-second exposure.  
Quoting JKPhotos (Reply 3):
So with a normal body more than ISO800 will prevent you of getting a decent image quality-wise.

I wouldn't say it will prevent it. It may make it more difficult, but I shoot at ISO800+ almost every time I go shooting, due to the time of day.
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JKPhotos
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RE: Night Time Photography Question

Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:32 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 5):
I wouldn't say it will prevent it. It may make it more difficult, but I shoot at ISO800+ almost every time I go shooting, due to the time of day.

You're right Vik, "prevent" was a bit hard, I should've better said it makes it rather difficult.

Like I said there might be differences depending on the camera someone is using.

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