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  1. #1
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    Shots at night - NEED HELP!

    Hi guys,

    I was out trying to take some night shots with my car, but couldn't seem to capture it properly.

    Can anyone shed some light (pun intended) on how to get more natural looking photos.

    Thanks






  2. #2
    Check out our D300 Pro Review! deckcadet's Avatar
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    Re: Shots at night - NEED HELP!

    The camera is exposing for all the bright lights, not the ambient light. Try using center weight or spot metering (or if you have it, partial) away from the lights, use exposure lock and recompose. Or, dial in a lot of exposure compensation. Better still- try manual exposure.

    You may need a sturdy tripod or other surface to rest the camera on.

    Did you use flash in the first shot? what's illuminating the pavement between you and the car?

    And what camera, lens, and exposure parameters (shutter speed, aperture, ISO)
    Harrison
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  3. #3
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    Re: Shots at night - NEED HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by deckcadet
    The camera is exposing for all the bright lights, not the ambient light. Try using center weight or spot metering (or if you have it, partial) away from the lights, use exposure lock and recompose. Or, dial in a lot of exposure compensation. Better still- try manual exposure.

    You may need a sturdy tripod or other surface to rest the camera on.

    Did you use flash in the first shot? what's illuminating the pavement between you and the car?

    And what camera, lens, and exposure parameters (shutter speed, aperture, ISO)
    Thanks for the response.

    I was shooting with a Nikon D80 using a Nikon DC 18-55mm lens.

    Here are the details for each photo:


    Shutter: 2.5
    Aperture: F9
    Exposure: Manual (0. 0)
    Focal Length: 24mm
    ISO: 100


    Shutter: 1/10
    Aperture: F10
    Exposure: Manual (0. 0)
    Focal Length: 38mm
    ISO: 400

    What do you think needs adjusting?

  4. #4
    Check out our D300 Pro Review! deckcadet's Avatar
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    Re: Shots at night - NEED HELP!

    It's obvious that both of the photos are severely underexposed. I see you were shooting with manual metering, however I assume you used the camera's meter to determine when you had the correct settings? Use trial and error with longer exposure times at ISO 100 or 200 (with Long Exposure NR enabled)... the second shot would need to be at least 5 stops slower in shutter speed and aperture overall. So you could shoot it at f/7.1 with a shutter speed of around 1.6 seconds, or you could go down to 3S at f/10, or 3s at f7.1 ISO 200 instead.

    The Top shot again needs a longer exposure, did you use flash or what is illuminating the pavement between the camera and the car?
    Harrison
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  5. #5
    Tel
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    Re: Shots at night - NEED HELP!

    Yeah, up the exposure quite a bit. Especially on the Second and Third one.

    Experiment. Try like 10 seconds, then try 5.

    You can't get any better if you don't practice, so get out there!

    Canon Digital Rebel with Quantray 19-35 F3.5-4.5 basically Glued on. :P

  6. #6
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    Re: Shots at night - NEED HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by deckcadet
    It's obvious that both of the photos are severely underexposed. I see you were shooting with manual metering, however I assume you used the camera's meter to determine when you had the correct settings? Use trial and error with longer exposure times at ISO 100 or 200 (with Long Exposure NR enabled)... the second shot would need to be at least 5 stops slower in shutter speed and aperture overall. So you could shoot it at f/7.1 with a shutter speed of around 1.6 seconds, or you could go down to 3S at f/10, or 3s at f7.1 ISO 200 instead.

    The Top shot again needs a longer exposure, did you use flash or what is illuminating the pavement between the camera and the car?
    Hi,

    To be honest, I didn't even know about metering (I'm a total newbie).

    The light betweent he camera and the car that is illuminating the pavement is from the street lamp.

    I'm going to go out and try the tips you gave and I'll post some more photos later this evening.

    Thanks again

  7. #7
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    Re: Shots at night - NEED HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by deckcadet
    It's obvious that both of the photos are severely underexposed. I see you were shooting with manual metering, however I assume you used the camera's meter to determine when you had the correct settings? Use trial and error with longer exposure times at ISO 100 or 200 (with Long Exposure NR enabled)... the second shot would need to be at least 5 stops slower in shutter speed and aperture overall. So you could shoot it at f/7.1 with a shutter speed of around 1.6 seconds, or you could go down to 3S at f/10, or 3s at f7.1 ISO 200 instead.

    The Top shot again needs a longer exposure, did you use flash or what is illuminating the pavement between the camera and the car?
    Ok, I switched the "Exposure NR" to ON, and took some shots. Here are a couple:

    3S at f/10 ISO 100:


    3s at f7.1 ISO 200:


    What do you guys think?

  8. #8
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    Re: Shots at night - NEED HELP!

    Anyone................?

  9. #9
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Shots at night - NEED HELP!

    Those are much better. NR will only reduce noise on long exposures no set the shutter speed. Higher f/stops will help in not blowing the lights. f/11 or 16. And then try several shutter speeds until you hit one that you like.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  10. #10
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    Re: Shots at night - NEED HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by sean_damien
    Ok, I switched the "Exposure NR" to ON, and took some shots. Here are a couple:

    3S at f/10 ISO 100:


    3s at f7.1 ISO 200:


    What do you guys think?

    This is better, but you are dealing wth several problem areas. The vehicle appears to be a dark colored vehicle in minimal light with the building behind it having quite a bit of light. The balance of light or in this case the lack of balance of light is going to be a real problem. A higher apeture such as f11 or highter with an ISO of 100 and a longer shutter speed will help. You are going to have a hard time from blowing out some of the background however with the amount of light on the building.

    My personal suggestion would be some fill light for the vehcle and roadway. If you have a flash unit, you might experiment with it a bit using it as fill flash on the vehicle. You would still have the bright headlights showing but would brighten the area around the vehicle. Good luck.

  11. #11
    Check out our D300 Pro Review! deckcadet's Avatar
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    Re: Shots at night - NEED HELP!

    The use of an external flash would have to be carefully done to match the color temperature of the ambient lights, of course...
    Harrison
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