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Old Aug 28, 2011, 4:19 AM   #1
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Default How do I make Night Shots Better

I took some night shots last night and they look alright, but how do I make them better?





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Old Aug 28, 2011, 11:01 AM   #2
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If you want more of the details to show up, you can wait until the full moon (or a couple of days on either side of her) or slow your shutter speed some more.

I'm not terribly experienced shooting lights at night, so I don't really have any advice for that...

Maybe spy can help? He's really good with light...

When I was first interested in night photography, I found this website to be incredibly inspiring:

http://www.lostamerica.com/index.html

And here is how he does it:

http://www.lostamerica.com/technique.html

Last edited by JeannieBug; Aug 28, 2011 at 11:02 AM. Reason: To add the page on the technique.
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Old Aug 28, 2011, 1:42 PM   #3
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Wow, those pictures are so damn good. I wonder if I will be able to do that with my Pentax K-x and kit lens.

I want to, but I guess I will have to keep trying.
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Old Aug 28, 2011, 3:37 PM   #4
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G'day Raylee

As 3 images go - they're 'okay' for night shots ... they show what many of us get
However, to improve them & bring in the 'wow' factor is not too difficult

Several thoughts:-
- would be to start shooting at twilight when there is still some light in the sky and thus we would see builting outlines, not just a solid black sky
- in image #2 all your illumination seems to be the same light source - incandescent / tungsten bulbs, so a qwik change of WB to incandescent will bring these colours to life [WB changes are less successful when yo uhave mixed light sources, like street lights & shop window lights]

Hope this helps a bit ...
Regards, Phil
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Old Aug 28, 2011, 5:12 PM   #5
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If you choose to slow the shutter speed down use a tripod...... I also second what Phil said, I would have said something similar myself.......

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Old Aug 28, 2011, 9:16 PM   #6
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To extend on what Phil said, shoot near sunrise or sunset. Make sure the clock in your camera is set right, and make a note of the official time of sunrise/set. Set your camera on a tripod and fire it off every couple of minutes.

When you take a look at the photos, note which one looks the best and how that (read the EXIF data) time relates to sunrise/set time.

The best time will depend on how your subject is lit, but is likely to be a few/several minutes after sunset or a few before sunrise.
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Old Aug 28, 2011, 9:44 PM   #7
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Have a look at http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/ .
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Old Sep 1, 2011, 2:04 AM   #8
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For #3, I tried to get more light for the background and foreground but then the fountain would be over expo. Is there way to do that?
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Old Sep 1, 2011, 6:49 AM   #9
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You would have to shoot closer to sunrise/sunset as Bill Drew suggested.
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Old Sep 3, 2011, 10:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raylee011 View Post
Wow, those pictures are so damn good. I wonder if I will be able to do that with my Pentax K-x and kit lens.

I want to, but I guess I will have to keep trying.
The Pentax Kx with the kit lenses will do a wonderful job. just as Jeannie has linked to. A tripod will help along with an external shutter release (for the Kx you will need an IR one, and they are not very expensive at all). Experimentation and practice helps a great deal.
You can also "stack" images taken a number of minutes apart so as to emphasize different aspects of a changing scene. The attached image is a composite of 4 that was taken across about 20 minutes, getting both the sky, silhouetted hills and the valley lights. And yes as you can see I used Photomatrix - their trial version.
There are several free software utilities that are available that can help...
TPE or The Photographer's Ephemeris is an excellent tool for sun rise and setting times, angles and directions.

PhotoMe is wonderful for reading everything contained within the EXIF meta data of the image file. Very helpful.

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Last edited by interested_observer; Sep 3, 2011 at 11:01 AM.
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