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Night time settings

Discussion in 'Photography & Camera Basics Forum' started by Shaunmbs, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Shaunmbs

    Shaunmbs Active Member

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    Hi, I'm going to go to the local town hall tonight as it's going to be lit blue for world diabites day. I was just wanting to check that I had things set up as this is a first time night shoot.

    A tripod
    ISO 100
    Cable release
    VR turned off
    About f16ish
    Centre weighted or spot metering
    A shutter speed of I hope somewhere about 4-6 secs
    White balance I'm not sure?
    Expose level do I expose for blue lights or underexpose a couple stops?
    Any info be welcome
     
  2. DonS

    DonS Stuck in Toronto Moderator

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    Shoot raw, then white balance can be adjusted. I would shoot in Av mode myself and probably bracket a few shots to merge later.
     
  3. Shaunmbs

    Shaunmbs Active Member

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    When you say bracket you mean a couple under a couple over and merge?
     
  4. DonS

    DonS Stuck in Toronto Moderator

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    Yes. I, being lazy, would use the auto bracketing in my camera and then use the Merge to HDR in Lightroom.
     
  5. MikeB

    MikeB Always on Premium Member

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    Any group of different shutter speeds is considered an exposure bracket. I use one or two over and one or two under depending on the camera and the scene. You can bracket to determine whether one of the exposures is best for further processing, edit as layers and masks to maintain the best parts of each layer, or merge in HDR to have one image with a larger dynamic range where you control the range compression with tone mapping.

    You can also bracket for focus (focus stacking).
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  6. Shaunmbs

    Shaunmbs Active Member

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    This is all something I'm going to have to work towards as just learning the basics right now. It takes me all the effort to get the exposure set somewhere I think is correct let alone 2 stops either way
     
  7. MikeB

    MikeB Always on Premium Member

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    Many cameras, such as DSLRs, have a menu setting to easily set up the exposure bracketing so that the entire bracket is taken with one push of the shutter.
     
  8. Shaunmbs

    Shaunmbs Active Member

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    I've looked at the camera and I can't seem to see any setting for bracketing. Anyone know what I should be looking for on a Nikon
     
  9. MikeB

    MikeB Always on Premium Member

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    You need to state what camera you have and someone will be able to answer that question. In the mean time open up the manual and look up bracketing in the index.
     
  10. Shaunmbs

    Shaunmbs Active Member

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  11. Roger S

    Roger S Crazy Canuck Administrator

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    D3300 does not have auto bracketing. You'll have to put it in manual and set whatever exposure seems right, then take a shot, drop the shutter speed and take another, then increase shutter speed and shoot the third. It better be on a tripod. You can set the shutter speed as many times as you want, up and down for more range.
     
  12. Shaunmbs

    Shaunmbs Active Member

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    Hi just a quick one about the light meter scale in the view finder. It goes from - . . 0 . . + now my question is, are the dots one stop above and below the correct exposure and the 3 lines that it takes to get to a dot either way is 1/3 of a stop? Am I correct in thinking that or is one line one stop there for to the first dot is 6 3 stops below exposure?

    Sorry reading that back the 6 3 stops should only read 3 stops
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2017
  13. Mark 1

    Mark 1 Always on Premium Member

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    Just a quick question, Why f16 I assume you will be using a reasonably wide lens so massive DOF wont be needed I would say no more than f8 on a crop sensor. Your main feature will be the front of the building unless of course you're shooting at an angle showing the side as well it must be an extremely long long building to require f16
     
  14. Minor Problem

    Minor Problem Always on Premium Member

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    Each interval on the meter is a third of a stop. The same as each notch on the control wheel is to aperture and shutter speed.

    4-6 seconds at f16 sounds like much too little light to me. At night I'd start at 20 seconds and f/8 and adjust depending on the amount of artificial light around.
     
  15. Shaunmbs

    Shaunmbs Active Member

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    Please bare in mind I'm learning and all comments like this are helping me understand settings etc. I will bare all this in mind for the next time I go out and will experiment with the settings.
     
    DonS likes this.
  16. DonS

    DonS Stuck in Toronto Moderator

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    That is what we try to do :) I am really surprised to hear the D3300 does not have bracketing, I think even the cheapest model Canon does.
     
  17. Shaunmbs

    Shaunmbs Active Member

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    Yeah, I do like the help and advice here. I'm still getting my head round it all. Yeah I'm sure with a little practice I can work out how to bracket in manual.
     
  18. DonS

    DonS Stuck in Toronto Moderator

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    It will take a little practice. Like going out in the garden and giving it a go before you want to take any "important" photos. Like anything else you learn, practice is important.
     
    Ade Lee likes this.
  19. Ade Lee

    Ade Lee Old Hand Premium Member

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    Don is spot on, the best way is too practice and work out the effects different settings have on the final shot.
     
  20. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Old Hand

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    If your camera doesn't have auto bracketing it's still easy to bracket exposures in Av mode by simply using the exposure compensation control.
    In tricky lighting like this bracketing is usually the way to go.

    I generally find cameras default to too long exposures for night shots, they are trying to make the image look like a normal daytime shot. Shooting between +1 & -3 EC will generally give the best results, possibly merging several shots in post production but this is not normally needed IMO.

    As a beginner at night shots I would recommend you deliberately bracket more than you expect to need. The rear screen preview can be deceptive when viewed at night, having extra shots you don't need is no problem - not having the best exposure is more of an issue :)
     
  21. nanhi

    nanhi Member

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    I was at the Christmas Market Lighting show yesterday night - opening ceremony fanfare - in Toronto. Here is what I do:-
    a) Tripod is a big no no for the Amateur Photog - who bothers if your camera is knocked off in the hustle & bustle.
    So camera is hand held - and I am an old fxxt.
    b) Use RAW
    c) Use the widest and the fastest lens I have - 16-50mm f2.8
    d) Camera set to TAv mode - you set the Shutter Speed and Aperture and the camera chooses the best ISO.
    Now I know my hi dynamic range camera - Pentax K-5 IIs - can go upto ISO 3200 with little noise.
    Aperture f2.8 to 5.6 - why variable? In some parts of the Market street and show lights are pretty bright + I would use the
    built in flash now and then as fill.
    Speed between 1/30 to 1/60 sec.
    e) Matrix metering.
    f) WB to Shadow setting and to Kelvin in a few places where the lighting was too bright or very mixed.
    Note: My camera allows me to use 3-Kelvin settings and switch on the fly.
    g) Bright mode with all the 5-parameters to default.
    h) Finally, and here is the trick Pros will never tell you - use Lightroom CC to add pep, color, contrast, shadow and bright areas
    balancing to get perfectly exposed Pro like photo. Hey you can also use Sharpening with Noise Reduction - again a technique
    Pros will not tell you. And if I use Google NIK's Sharpener Pro - both before and after photo finishing, then I will not use LR's
    Sharpening Module.
    i) The hi dynamic range of my camera allows me to recover upto 12 EV's of under exposure and 8 EV's of over exposure.
    So much so that a perfectly dark photo - emphasis dark - I can recover to a beautiful night shot in LR - an example is attached.
    Sorry, cannot attach photos - says security error??
     
  22. Shaunmbs

    Shaunmbs Active Member

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    That is a very good reply however, I don't own a fast 2.8 lens therefore my aperture will be larger making it harder to hand hold meaning I would need a longer exposure. Something. That's out of the question when hand holding. Also the high ISO on my camer I'm certain will be too noisy compared to yours.

    I'm thinking of getting a prime for such occasions where I need a wider aperture. I'm torn between the 35mm f1.8 or the 50mm f1.8???
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2017 at 1:55 PM
  23. MikeB

    MikeB Always on Premium Member

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    For the D3300, a 35mm lens is considered a "normal" lens in that it closely approximates the same perspective our eyes provide us - 50mm on a full frame.

    A good prime lens is great to have in your kit, however it is not always be the best solution for nighttime shooting. A wider aperture brings in more light but is shortens the depth of field. If that's what you are looking for then a fast lens will perform well. If, however, you are looking for an extensive depth of field you will need greater camera-to-subject distances at wide apertures or the use of smaller apertures such as f/8. Smaller apertures mean longer exposure times and/or higher ISOs. Getting the balance of depth of field, exposure, motion and noise is up to the photographer as an exercise of creative intent.

    If nighttime photography is truly your goal then you need to consider a camera that is better suited - something having a greater ISO range than that provided by the D3300 - Sony and Nikon both produce excellent cameras with high ISO and low noise.
     
  24. Shaunmbs

    Shaunmbs Active Member

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    No, the confusion is probably my fault. What I'll be using for the night time is the kit lens that was supplied with the camera. The prime I want for something else. As for another camera right now that's not an option funds wise so I will have to make do with that I have. All I was saying is that I'm not sure handholding is an option at night with the set up that I have.

    I am after a prime for a different matter. I have started a post in the relevant forum about choosing between the 35 or 50 of you want to give an opinion on that matter.
     
  25. DonS

    DonS Stuck in Toronto Moderator

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    I thought about going down to that. I wish I had known.
     

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