Technocrat Tuesday: Night Photography

by Kevin Marshall November. 14, 2006 5087 views

Technocrat Tuesday: Night Photography… or why the hell is this image shakey and blurred?

Night photography is a very interesting field, which I'm going to skim over today, with both good and bad examples (again, from the EOS's and the camera phone).

Some things you will defiantly need to consider before going out to shoot at night:

- Has my camera got anti-shake? Anti-Shake is useful as the camera has to use very slow settings to capture the image and process it. If you've got anti shake, a lot of the following won't apply to you, but even, then, read it…

- A lot of cameras have an evening setting - use it!

- For with access to manual settings and DSLR crowd without a Anti shake -

Set your ISO Speed (film equivalent speed) upwards. It could be an idea to review at to see how bad the image noise (or grain) is before you shoot a picture. You may find its more than acceptable… You may find its totally unacceptable…

Increase the appature to its maximum (such as f2.8, f2.0, f1.8, f1.4, etc). Its possible to us lower appatures, but you will need a much longer exposure.

Invest in either a mini pod or a tripod - Movement is the REAL killer in night images - one minor shake can ruin an image quickly. Therefore you NEED give the camera as stable platform as possible

And for everything listed above : BE PREPARED TO MAKE MISTAKES!!!! I've lost count of the night pictures I have had to dump because of a little camera shake (and you can only see your mistakes when you've blown up the pictures on to the big screen)

So lets examine some examples:

1) Brindley Place, Birmingham - The Cameraphone is trying to compensate, but is failing badly. Notice the amount of noise on it.
2) The main railway bridge, Colgne. Notice major camera shake here.
Shot at 400ISO, 1/3 second expose at f1.8. A higher iso and shorter exposure would had helped. Shot on a 300D
3) Same bridge in Koln. slightly shorter exposure at 1/6's second .. and better handholding. Shot on a 300D
4) Evening photography at ISO 200, 1/15 and f3.5… and a star filter - this is what happens when it goes right, again in Koln. Shot on a 300D
5) The bullring (selfridges), Birmingham. Shot on a 20D with an F4.0 apureture, 1/60 shutter and pop processing at ISO 800 - Notice that there is distinct noise and some movement shake to the bottom of the image
6) Back to the 300D. the shake and fog go well togehter for once. Again, this is done by pure chance. Shot at ISO800, 1/50, f1.8

Coming up:

Mad for it In Manchester
It's rather British old chap - The Emergency Services
Technocrat Tuesday - This time - Image noise
London Baby Yeah!

And coming up in December, All series make way for an ADVENT CALENDAR!!!!! - From the 1st December till the 25th I'll be releasing an image from my archives (both recent and no so recent) which inspire a theme toward Chrimble.

If you've got comments, I'd love to hear them - Why not join and add a comment?

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