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Old Feb 8, 2008, 12:54 AM   #1
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Tonight, I had to run to the store, and grabbed my D300 to try out a night shot. Now, please bear in mind that this shot is FAR from being anythimng spectacular - and it wasn't meant to be so. My sole aim was to see how well the camera captured 'at night', because that is what I like to shoot most. My camera was outfitted with the 18-200VR, and I believe that I shot this at 70mm. The ISO (I believe) was 800, and I have no clue what the aperture setting was. I was in a hurry, and just two shots. The first was a little too much on the dark side (its ISO was 200), and I just bumped the ISO up to 800 for the next one. It was shot in jpeg (fine), and nothing has been done to it - other than an attempt at resizing.

From what is seen here, what might I have done differently? What settings do you feel might have worked better? Also, there is a greenish-looking horizontal smear, about a third of the way up, on the brick wall, just to the right of the 'red' ATM machine. It had to have been something that was affected by my lens, but would anyone be able (if possible) to offer an exact explanation for it? And how it could best be countered?

As always, your help is never taken for granted, for it is truly appreciated.

~ and Blessings ~
Nathan
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Old Feb 8, 2008, 1:38 AM   #2
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Hello Nathan, You have a great camera and lens combination, capable of what you want. I noticed that shot was made at iso 800, lens at 70mm and f/5 (wide open) and shutter speed 1/15 sec. Aside from camera movement, the image suffers from general softness which could be remedied by stopping the lens down another f/stop or two. VR is great, but it cannot work as effectively as a tripod in many cases, this possibly being one such case. The green flare under the atm is lens flare I believe, from the strong light source at the machine, combined with the lens being wide open. I'm sure others will have more ideas...

Robert
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Old Feb 8, 2008, 2:49 AM   #3
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Thanks Robert.

This is just the kind of information that I was looking for. I hand-held for this shot, from within my truck, and - though VR was indeed activated - I guess that I wasn't as steady as I thought I was. Anyway, it wasn't a shot of any importance. I am just trying to get a feel for what I need to do for certain types of shots. This way, when I am out & about for some special captures, I should be more apt to emerge successful within doing so.

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with you, on the very high caliber workmanship of this camera, and feel so very blessed to be one of the owners of such a fine instrument.

Blessings,
Nathan
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Old Feb 8, 2008, 7:49 AM   #4
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It is a little soft but that can be improved with a touch of unsharp mask. The copy below was adjusted in PhotoShop using settings of ammount 80% radius 2.0 threshold 3. This is of course a very subjective view and many may not see this as an improvement.

Shooting at night I would always shoot RAW not JPG. You have so much more control over the final look in terms of white balance and exposure that to me it's well worth having whenever you are in a tricky lighting situation.

Having said I'd shoot RAW I don't think this shot needs the sort of adjustment that would give you I just think it's worth having the option.



Ken
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Old Feb 8, 2008, 9:02 AM   #5
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For still like this with high dynamic range there no way out!

Got to use a tripod and take at least two shots @ different EV and recombine them
-> VR might help but you need to take several shots @ the exact same position which is rather unlikely plus like the other poster have suggested correctly you need to increase the aperture to get more DOF and decrease the flare
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Old Feb 8, 2008, 10:32 AM   #6
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Hey Ken.

What you did with the Unsharp Mask, in Photoshop, really did improve upon this shot. I can almost read the bank's hours of operation on the teller's window :-).
I will, as a rule, begin keeping my camera set at the 'RAW' file position, and change it only for those times when I know that I will be shooting just snapshots.

But, man - this is all just SO much fun.

Blessings,
Nathan
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Old Feb 8, 2008, 10:41 AM   #7
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NHL,

You know, I am going to have to check into this 'HDR' matter. I have seen some very impressive outputs from users who employed that method on application for some of their photos. Regarding thre tripod, I do have a nice one that I will definitely be taking out with me, much more often than I have been. I have also toyed with the idea of getting myself a monopod, which would require less time & effort to set up. I am not lazy :-), but I would have been more apt to pull out a monopod, for that insignificant shot last night, rather than setting up a tripod. Then too, I was interested in finding out how well I'd do by hand-holding the camera for that shot.

Blessings,
Nathan
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