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Want Pointers Light Trails - question

herne

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Took my camera out last night for a first time experiment with car light trails (see below). I wanted another point of interest in the picture as well, so that's a Sainsburys on the left (albeit cut off, need to work on composition).

I like the minimal amount of light trails (not much traffic about) but my question relates to the sky. It's pitch black even though there was a little light in the sky, how come? This particular photo is a 20 second exposure so I'd have thought at least a little sky light would creep in? Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining and actually quite like the black, so this is more a question for knowledge rather than a what did I do wrong question, if you get my drift.

DSC05741.jpg
 

Southern Gent

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It has to do with the difference in exposure value of the elements in the frame. Your camera is limited to 12-14 stops of dynamic range (the ratio between the maximum and minimum measurable light intensities), and captures a slice in time with the limited view in front of it. The human eye by comparison is supposedly capable of capturing 30 stops of DR, but only 10 stops at a time (much like the camera view), but as your eyes take in the scene the brain assembles those "snapshots" into a combined image.

Light trails are fun. One I did from awhile back https://flic.kr/p/CtKAex
 

herne

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It has to do with the difference in exposure value of the elements in the frame. Your camera is limited to 12-14 stops of dynamic range (the ratio between the maximum and minimum measurable light intensities), and captures a slice in time with the limited view in front of it. The human eye by comparison is supposedly capable of capturing 30 stops of DR, but only 10 stops at a time (much like the camera view), but as your eyes take in the scene the brain assembles those "snapshots" into a combined image.

Light trails are fun. One I did from awhile back https://flic.kr/p/CtKAex
Thanks for taking the time to answer, much appreciated. More fun stuff to carry on with :).
 

Minor Problem

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If you'd taken the same shot earlier in the blue hour when the ambient light in the sky is brighter you would have been able to capture all the elements within the dynamic range of your sensor. I tend to shoot urban nightscapes around three quarters of an hour after sunset while there is still a decent amount of light in the sky.

As an example...

DSC_2838-Edit.jpg
 

herne

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If you'd taken the same shot earlier in the blue hour when the ambient light in the sky is brighter you would have been able to capture all the elements within the dynamic range of your sensor. I tend to shoot urban nightscapes around three quarters of an hour after sunset while there is still a decent amount of light in the sky.

As an example...

View attachment 314129
Interesting. There's so much to discover and experiment with, great tip thanks.
 

imagesBV

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I concur with the above....either effect is good......all black sky is good if you frame for that....but the blue hour is best for the type of shot as per Minor problem's excellent shot of the Kelpies above.
Its great to experiment....even try double exposures...so you could expose something else in the area that is otherwise black
 
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