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  1. #1
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    Night photography

    I have some questions about night photography. My equipment will probably just be an Iphone camera and bike lights and/or camera flash for lighting. The bike lights are very intense but narrow. I tried to take a few shots on a ride the other night and had trouble getting anything to come out. Everything is grainy or washed out by the powerful spot bike lights. I know better equipment would make a huge difference, but realistically this is what I am going to have with me. I could probably take a Canon A710is powershot, but definitely not the T2i. I am not even sure if what I am hoping to do will be possible with the equipment i will have available but hopefully you guys can point me in the right direction. Here are a few shots that I took on the ride with the Iphone. Shots 4 and 5 are almost the same shot. Shot 4 I was trying to get a silhouette of the bike with the moon in the background, instead I got a picture of a dot.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Night photography-img_2083.jpg   Night photography-img_2084.jpg   Night photography-img_2086.jpg   Night photography-img_2088.jpg   Night photography-img_2090.jpg  


  2. #2
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Night photography

    You are going to have to have something better than the iPhone. There are plenty of compacts on the market now. Maybe even an off camera flash. Something like the E-P3.
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  3. #3
    Woe is me! wfooshee's Avatar
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    Re: Night photography

    As for that particular shot, I'm thinking the last thing the riders want is a bright light or flash in their face from straight ahead. They come to that point and see nothing other than your light.You might think about shooting from the side rather than directly ahead, even if it's not exactly the shot you want, just to protect the cyclists' night vision. I would suggest no more than 45 degrees in front of perpendicular.

    The problem you're discovering is that you have to have light to take a picture. Placing the light so you get your picture without interfering with the subject's action can be a challenge.

    Even a compact camera will be able to use its flash light the full field of its lens, though, which would be an improvent over what you were able to do here, and a flash might be more tolerable to the riders than a steady floodlight. But silhouetting against the moon? The moon's just going to be a white dot in the pic unless you zoom it far enough to make it a major portion of the frame, and even then it's probably going to be just a biogger white dot.

    The other thing you're discovering is that the eye can see things the camera just can't. Also, when you look at a scene, you see selectively. You take in those branches in front of the moon and think, "Hey, that's kind of cool looking!" Your camera tries to take in everything it's pointed at, and tries very hard to force something to show up. Darks are black and lights are white, all washed out.

  4. #4
    n8
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    Re: Night photography

    I don't know what the iphone's camera can do, but I'm sure there's an app for long shutter speeds, or video. I agree with Greg, popping a speedlight at the right moment might be your best bet to illuminate your subject.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Night photography

    great question i will follow this closely

  6. #6
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    Re: Night photography

    You're going to have to use something more then a Iphone. An Iphone will automaticly jack up it's ISO the try to preserve detail in the picture. Some point and shoots won't shoot night photography either. You will have to get a DSLR or some kind of camera that will allow you to manually set your ISO, shutter speeds, and aperture. I mean, theirs no doubt about it that you're going to have to get something other then an Iphone camera if you want to be serious about your photography.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: Night photography

    A phone camera just will not do for night photography and also most of the point and shoots will not have the controls required.

    For night photography you need MANUAL controls Aperture & Shutter, external flash and High ISO settings are not required but are nice additions just like interchangeable lenses.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Night photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary View Post
    You are going to have to have something better than the iPhone. There are plenty of compacts on the market now. Maybe even an off camera flash. Something like the E-P3.
    I've got a DSLR, but I'm pretty new to actual photgraphy. I was hoping this wasn't the only answer but perhaps other lighting techniques using what are essentially flashlights. Riding bikes offroad at night makes it tough to carry the proper gear to get really good shots. I'm hoping to improve my ability enough to get shots that are passable for just memories, but nothing like a professional shot.


    Quote Originally Posted by wfooshee View Post
    As for that particular shot, I'm thinking the last thing the riders want is a bright light or flash in their face from straight ahead. They come to that point and see nothing other than your light.You might think about shooting from the side rather than directly ahead, even if it's not exactly the shot you want, just to protect the cyclists' night vision. I would suggest no more than 45 degrees in front of perpendicular.

    The problem you're discovering is that you have to have light to take a picture. Placing the light so you get your picture without interfering with the subject's action can be a challenge.
    This particular rider, I don't really care what he wants. He will do whatever I want to get the shot. In fact, I made him turn off his lights on the bike and ride down the trail in the dark for 50ft before the shot We've known each other since kindergarten so we make each other do all sorts of silly stuff
    But yes, I'm discovering photography is all about the light even when you have good lighting.



    Quote Originally Posted by freygr View Post
    A phone camera just will not do for night photography and also most of the point and shoots will not have the controls required.

    For night photography you need MANUAL controls Aperture & Shutter, external flash and High ISO settings are not required but are nice additions just like interchangeable lenses.
    I do have a point and shoot that wouldn't be too much trouble to carry along on the night rides. I will try that one one of these days.
    I didn't take it on the last ride though, I did get another Iphone shot that came out a little better. Well, not really better in terms of quality but kind of cool I thought.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Night photography-img_2370.jpg  

  9. #9
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    Re: Night photography

    A gallery of night photography capturing the mood and atmosphere of moonlit landscapes, abandoned places, lightning, fireworks and more on Beachportraitsmaui.com

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