Author Topic: "Night Photography", Weekly Photography Assignment for Nov. 30 - 11 Dec. 2011  (Read 2537 times)

Michele

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Get out your tripod, flash units (or not), and a really warm coat because Dave has this crazy idea to do some night photography for this week and a half’s assignment!  

This is a very broad assignment as there are so many techniques and styles to night photography.  

To list a few nocturnal shot ideas you can try out:

- Sky lines or lights on houses, buildings, street lamps, etc.

- The moon and the stars (astrophotos)

- Evening or night parades and events

Or you could try some interesting (and fun) long exposure techniques such as:

- Timed multiple exposure (one long exposure time using multiple light flashes):  This is when you set your camera on a tripod using a long exposure and setting off a flash (usually off camera) over and over for multiple exposures in one photo.

- Light trails (cars moving on a highway, stars moving in the sky, etc.)  

- Light graffiti (painting with light) This is when you again set your camera up with a long exposure and using a flashlight or sparkler (any bright hand held light source) and scribble the light into your photo.

- Mess around with multiple exposures for a cool HDR look.  (For this kind of shot, you will need a software such as Photoshop or Photomatrix so that you can merge the layers from the various exposures you have taken.)

Etc.

For each of these styles there is a lot of trial and error but one tip that never gets old is using a tripod.  Another tip is the lower the ISO, the better the photo quality, so you need to use a long exposure time.  However, the higher the ISO, the faster the shutter can be set.  You might want the higher ISO if there is movement in the shot that you want to capture.   Another tip is if you don't have a cable release, use your timer!

There are no real hard and fast rules.  I have been reading a lot on the different styles and they are all quite different.  I really think it is just a matter of adjusting the camera as you go to get the look and feel that you want to achieve.

I did find one interesting table about the moon shots at ISO 100.

Full moon:
F/16 at 1/60 second
F/32 at 1/15 second

Half moon:
F16 at 1/15 second
F/32 at ¼ second

Sickle moon:
F/16 at ¼ second
F/32 at 1 second

Also, to do a star trail photo shot, using a 50 mm standard lens set to F/2.8 with a shutter speed of 8 ½ minutes at ISO 100 gives great results.

Let’s just say patience is the key to night photography.  Get the coco (or irish coffees) ready because it’s gonna get cold!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 01:35:29 PM by Michele »

sue.pepin

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Re: "Night Photography", Weekly Photography Assignment for Nov. 30 - Dec. 2011
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2011, 10:23:14 AM »
Rick and I have been playing around with this since our Yellowstone trip.  It's really a lot of fun!

prairiedust

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Re: "Night Photography", Weekly Photography Assignment for Nov. 30 - Dec. 2011
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2011, 11:09:43 AM »
Button up your overcoats!  This could be a cold one.  Thanks for putting this together for us Michele.
Dave Leiker (PrairieDust)
Exploring the Rural Midwest

Michele

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Hey Sue, can we see some of those shots that you mentioned?  Are they more star shots like the one we saw from the trip?

Michele

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I was just asked by a friend why I had not added any guidelines to the assignment.

So here are some general tips for night time photography.  There are really two types.  Static or with movement.  Static photos, i.e. buildings, skylines, etc.  are the easier type to take at night. All you need is a tripod, a camera that can shoot long time exposures and either a shutter release or a timer on the camera.  Set your aperture to the DOF you want to use (F/8-F/22).  Set the ISO to 200-400.  The great thing is that you do not have to go higher because you could just increase the exposure time.  Try different times out such as a 2 second exposure or really boot it up to a 30 second exposure.  This is the trial and error I was talking about.  Play around and experiment.

The second type of night photography is with movement.  This is a bit trickier.  If you want a sharp image of something that moves, you are probably going to need a flash.   For the best shots, you are still going to need a tripod and should fill the screen with the subject you want to take.  Set the camera to a higher ISO.  Open up your lens.  Try using an aperture of 2.8 - 4.  Set the shutter speed to 1/100th of a sec. - 1/160th of a sec.  Start by letting the TTL setting decide what it needs to be.  Try bouncing the flash with your flash pointing upwards.  If you don't have a special bouncer, you could use a reflective cardboard to do the trick.  Again, take some test shots and adjust as you go.

To get creative, such as the multiple exposure shot I was talking about, you could try an exposure of 30 sec.  Set the camera up on a tripod and use  your flash off camera by setting it off with the test button.  Try it at least three times in different areas.  It gives a cool result.

I'm not sure how much this is going to help because, as I said earlier, it really is so diverse that many people try different things.   I hope this kind of gets you started and you can adjust as you go.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2011, 01:49:33 PM by Michele »

sue.pepin

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Michele, yes, if you look at the Yellowstone 2011 pictures you will see a few night shots.

sue.pepin

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Michele, I have 2 pictures to post but cannot find the album to upload the pictures.  I see the album in the gallery, but when I go to upload, it's missing.  What am I missing?

keithsnell

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Michele, I have 2 pictures to post but cannot find the album to upload the pictures.  I see the album in the gallery, but when I go to upload, it's missing.  What am I missing?


I changed the album permissions so that visitors could upload files.  You should be able to see the album in the upload list now.

Keith

Michele

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Oops, I am so, so sorry guys.  That did not happen on the other folder from Abstract or did someone correct that for me?  I promise that I will not do forget to check that ever again.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 01:00:31 AM by Michele »

sue.pepin

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Thank you Keith & Michele.  I uploaded some pictures.  By the way, I love having 2 weeks in which to do assignments.  Last weekend I wanted to go out, but it was snowing and couldn't.