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Old Jan 31, 2010, 12:15 AM   #1
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Default Night Photo

Last night while flying home, I decided to pull out the LX3 and see what it would do. Its at 10.30pm at 38,000 feet doing 500mph, dark outside with a full moon. Tried to capture sufficient light, with a reasonably short shutter time to minimize the ground movement. They were not all this good... I did apply some noise reduction to clean it up a bit.

ISO 400, f2.0 at 1 second
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Last edited by interested_observer; Jan 31, 2010 at 12:19 AM.
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 3:30 AM   #2
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Nice shot from the airbus a320 window.
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 8:12 AM   #3
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...and if you had been using the new ZS7/TZ10 you would have sure confused the GPS
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 1:32 PM   #4
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Nice photo, interested observer-

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 1, 2010, 8:05 PM   #5
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wow!...cool shot..
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Old Feb 1, 2010, 8:25 PM   #6
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This very good photo offers a nice learning situation. The best night shots are taken right after the sun dips below the horizon. That way you still some ambient light to work with in your photo. Be sure to use spot metering on the the clouds, not the lighted city. And finally you may also have to use some plus Exposure Compensation to even out the exposure.

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Old Feb 1, 2010, 8:43 PM   #7
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very cool shot. i like it!
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Old Feb 2, 2010, 3:05 AM   #8
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Thanks for all of the comments! Obviously you need the window seat, for these. Sarahj comments are right. On the way back east, there were a couple of cities that had just the right amount of cloud cover coupled with their illuminatence would have been a wonderful image - but wrong seat - no opportunity - no picture.

On the GPS, you know it would be nice to get a fix while on an airplane. Its not much to open up the front end velocity gate to allow for the increase in speed, but with my handheld GPS unit, it would just not lock. Not really surprised but still the same I was kind of disappointed. I have been doing GPS since 1975 and it would have been nice to see just where we were at times.

I took about 60 images, most just experimenting to get an f stop, ISO and shutter speed that worked relatively well. These were done in manual mode. Actually, I started out in IA mode to see what the camera would try to do as an initial starting point. I varied between ISO 400 and 1600. 1600 was just too noisy. I also varied between f2 and f5.6 (across the ISO range). Shutter speed, was also critical - anything slower than 1 second was just too slow and the ground lights and highlights just smeared due to ground speed. Faster, and you were dealing with dark images. Actually at 1 second, I was amazed that I got anything at all. Also, tried the zoom to an extent, but it just added to the ground smear - so 24mm was it. Even at that, I needed to apply noise reduction on the PC to get a cleaner image even at ISO 400.

Holding the camera up against the window was a trick - first to try to not get the reflection from the lights in the cabin, and then to minimize the camera movement and the induced vibration. All of this for a second - and again, I was very surprised that anything turned out.

Having a full moon with snow on the ground actually helped with the light. Without then snow cover, even this shot would have not turned out. I think I could have done better with a full dSLR, but for this trip - just too large, too much to carry and 3 cities, 4 sets of meetings in 4 days - it was just not happening.

On the topic of dSLRs - I have a Pentax K100 and K20. I would like something smaller along the lines of a Panasonic G1, but a larger sensor is still nice. Some of the smaller newer offerings that are mirrorless are interesting, but for me still not there yet.

Last edited by interested_observer; Feb 2, 2010 at 3:10 AM.
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Old Feb 2, 2010, 9:57 AM   #9
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interested observer-

What makes that shot so very good was the planning that went into the photo. You nicely avoided interior reflections from cabin lighting, go exactly the correct cloud coverage, were spot on with the exposure. Well done.

Yes, I agree with you. I also use a DSLR and and a P+S camera, for those times when the bulk of the DSLR is just not practical. The LX-3 has served you very well.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 2, 2010, 1:58 PM   #10
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Beautiful picture! I'm quite surprised a shutter of 1 sec didn't got things blurred ; the earth tends to move quite fast when flying a jet airplane

About the gps thing, I have the little i-gotU gps logger / tagger, and tried it on two flights; on one of them it got lost halfway the flight (airbus A321), on the other flight, it made a very precise recording all the way (b737 classic).

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