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MINI2 No.1
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello... I've recently got a new camera after dropping and smashing my old camera to pieces on our door step!

I've been doing some night photography, MINIs mostly, and it's a bit hit and miss to the results.

Anyone have any good tips on photography in low/no light. I'll be (have been) taking photos in the country side (dark, moonlight) as well as under street lighting etc.

I might be able to put up a few photos in a bit to show what I'm getting at the moment, but I'm looking for help on various camera settings (film speeds, shutter speeds etc.).

Thanks for any help!

Paul
 

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Totalled
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7,388 Posts
Some nice pics Paul (I recognise a few of the backgrounds ;) )

Can't really offer any help on photography though :( :)
 

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6X therapist
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13,907 Posts
Paul Mullett said:
No cable, but it does have a self timer so I can set it up and walk away to avoid my shakiness.

Not even sure what you mean on the bulb function?
manual release via a cable so you can time the exposure your self

I can demo on the darkness with my canon
 

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MINI Traitor
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4,974 Posts
Paul - first thing you need is a really solid tripod. Then remember, aperature works just the same at night - so the higher the f number the more the depth of field. Ie, f16 will give you good depth of field, so focus will likely be better. Find out how your expesure meter works. If it is centre weighted, try to point it at an area of indicitive brightness across the field. this stops something bright causing under exposure, and dark patches causing over exposure.

Now, onto colour. I'm not sure entirely how the digital things handle colour at night, but when shooting on film remember that it's balanced for daylight which is a particular colour temperature. i.e if you photgraph under incandescent light, it will appear very yellow. You can counteract this with a blue filter. If you photograph under flourescent, you'll get a blue tinge requiring a orange or warming filter. As to how the AWB on your camera handles all this - good luck with the trial and error.

Don't forget about multiple exposures. I've done this with some of my photos - used ambient to get the field in, and then used flash to illuminate the subject in the foreground. Works great !!
 

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MINI2 No.1
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Discussion Starter #11
There's a choice of how the exposure meter works I believe.

I was wondering if there's any ballpark figures for ISO rating (film speed) and exposure times and apature settings that are generally good stating points for various night time scenarios?
 

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gadgetmeister
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6,220 Posts
Paul,
You could try PMing MGB Boy - he's a photography nut and has given me a lot of useful advice. He sent me some ballpark figures for night shots once, but I seem to have lost them - sorry. :(
I would think that the center weighted metering is probably the best one for night shots, or full manual using exposure bracketing (taking a series of shots at different settings). The good thing about digital is that the data stored with each shot will give you good feedback about the right settings to use. Start with trial and error and make a note of which settings give better results and you should be able to narrow it down fairly quickly.
 

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MINI Traitor
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4,974 Posts
The problem is with guides is that light is really hard to judge. Thing is, our eyes are constantly adjusting, so we are behind the 8 ball when it comes to judging the amount of light out there :( At night this is even harder, because a streetlight somewhere might be several times brighter than one 500m away, and as our eyes adjust it might only look a little brighter ...

As garget gav says, try bracketing. with digital, it doesn't matter how many you screw up :D
 

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Once lost, now found..
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204,985 Posts
Might also want to try 'Hafid' - his night shots are some of the best you will ever see ;)

Sure he could give some very useful tips :D
 

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Havin' fun...
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Paul, don't forget to use the histogram function (if you have it).
That will be a great help for not so much establishing the correct exposure, but indicating whether the shot will give you enough data to be able to post process in your photo editor.

Does your camera have night vision capability - can you see what you want to photograph in near total darkness?

I'm not familiar with the Z3, but my A1 has a button that will measure the light temperature and set the cameras AWB to its reading (if that is what you desire). I consider that to be the best feature of the A1, and use it all the time under any artificial light situation.

Finally, do consider using your matrix metering, it will give you an exposure reading based on (probably) 14 different zones within the scene.

Good luck with your shooting, I look forward to seeing the results.
 

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Havin' fun...
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Dead simple. Basically it works like this...

If the graph is all up one end, the chances are you won't be able to use the shot - even with the help of Photoshop.

However if the graph registers even by a fairly small amount, either in or towards the middle, then there may be enough data on the file to fish something out of it. OK, you won't win any prizes, but you should be able to end up with a record of the event.

You can of course play around with the histogram in any lighting situation.
Once you've got your head around it, you'll find it an invaluable tool for tricky lighting situations.
 

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MINI2 No.1
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42,467 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Harpo said:
Dead simple. Basically it works like this...

If the graph is all up one end, the chances are you won't be able to use the shot - even with the help of Photoshop.

However if the graph registers even by a fairly small amount, either in or towards the middle, then the may be enough data on the file to fish something out of it. OK, you won't win any prizes, but you should be able to end up with a record of the event.

You can of course play around with the histogram in any lighting situation.
Once you've got your head around it, you'll find it an invaluable tool for tricky lighting situations.
Cool, there's a feature to just flash it up on the screen while composing the shot too (if I recall right) which could be really helpful.

No nightvision though, so you're shooting sort of blind.

:)
 
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