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What best way to take Christmas light photos with Kodak EasyShare camera?

 
 
Dolu
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      12-16-2006
What is the best way to take Christmas light decoration photos using a simple
Kodak EasyShare digital camera? I do not have a tripod. For many years I have
taken many such photos with my film slr camera where I knew the the exact
exposer. For iso 400 film I could get good shots with 1/60 or 1/125 shutter
speed where I could hold steady hand. I am glad that the Kodak EasyShare
cameras have simplified lot of stuff, I just need to know a "mode" to select
that will tell the camera to use shutter speed priority while computing the
exposure. I thought the "action" mode would do the trick, but here I can not
specify a iso - the auto iso selection is limited between 80 and 125 where
even the fastest shutter speed selected seems too slow and introduces blur
due to shake (without tripod). I would appreciate any tip or trick to work
around this problem.

 
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=?iso-8859-1?B?bWlubmVz+HR0aQ==?=
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-16-2006

Dolu wrote:
> What is the best way to take Christmas light decoration photos using a simple
> Kodak EasyShare digital camera? I do not have a tripod. For many years I have
> taken many such photos with my film slr camera where I knew the the exact
> exposer. For iso 400 film I could get good shots with 1/60 or 1/125 shutter
> speed where I could hold steady hand. I am glad that the Kodak EasyShare
> cameras have simplified lot of stuff, I just need to know a "mode" to select
> that will tell the camera to use shutter speed priority while computing the
> exposure. I thought the "action" mode would do the trick, but here I can not
> specify a iso - the auto iso selection is limited between 80 and 125 where
> even the fastest shutter speed selected seems too slow and introduces blur
> due to shake (without tripod). I would appreciate any tip or trick to work
> around this problem.


"Starry night" or "night fireworks" ??

 
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ASAAR
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      12-17-2006
On Sat, 16 Dec 2006 22:51:36 GMT, Dolu wrote:

> What is the best way to take Christmas light decoration photos using a simple
> Kodak EasyShare digital camera? I do not have a tripod. For many years I have
> taken many such photos with my film slr camera where I knew the the exact
> exposer. For iso 400 film I could get good shots with 1/60 or 1/125 shutter
> speed where I could hold steady hand. I am glad that the Kodak EasyShare
> cameras have simplified lot of stuff, I just need to know a "mode" to select
> that will tell the camera to use shutter speed priority while computing the
> exposure. I thought the "action" mode would do the trick, but here I can not
> specify a iso - the auto iso selection is limited between 80 and 125 where
> even the fastest shutter speed selected seems too slow and introduces blur
> due to shake (without tripod). I would appreciate any tip or trick to work
> around this problem.


You'll need to tell us which Kodak camera you're using, as not all
of their EasyShare cameras are alike. Or you could try to figure it
out by reading your camera's manual, comparing it with one of these:

On the low end there's the Easyshare C300, which for still
photography has only an Automatic mode, a Night Scene mode, and
exposure compensation. The specifications provide no information
about the shutter speed range. I hope that your camera is more
advanced than this one.

The Easyshare C503/C553 has Landscape mode, ten additional SCN
(scene) modes, and exposure compensation. The shutter speed ranges
from 4 to 1/1400 seconds.

The Easyshare C603/C643 adds exposure bracketing to the
C503/C553's feature set.

Even with all of the scene modes, the C503/C553 & C603/C643
wouldn't appear to provide any useful way to specify faster shutter
speeds. The ones described as modifying the shutter speed all
lengthen it, which is the opposite of the effect that you want.
Using a higher ISO might cause the camera to choose a faster shutter
speed, but you'd have to try it to see if it the reduced image
quality would be acceptable, but this still wouldn't guarantee that
a faster shutter speed would be used.

The Easyshare C663 differs by having 14 scene modes (none
appearing useful for your purpose), has a wider shutter speed range
of 8 to 1/1600 seconds, but adds the very useful P(rogram) and
M(anual) modes, which will allow you to specify different shutter
speeds.

If your Easyshare model doesn't allow you to choose a faster
shutter speed, your only recourse would be to brace the camera or to
use a tripod, which would allow you to get away with using slow
shutter speeds without ruining the shots due to excessive camera
movement. While a large, heavy, expensive, rock-solid tripod would
be nice to have, even a cheap, tiny, $10 tabletop tripod would help
considerably. But if you don't want to get a tripod, try putting
the camera on a beanbag or a sack filled with grits or rice, and
take some shots using the shutter or the camera's self timer. If
possible, try using different exposures (use exposure compensation),
since with normal exposures all of the different colored bulbs might
produce "blown highlights", giving them all the same bright white
appearance. Reducing the exposure, while darkening the rest of the
picture, might allow you to see the actual colors of the lights.

 
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Ron Hunter
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-17-2006
Dolu wrote:
> What is the best way to take Christmas light decoration photos using a simple
> Kodak EasyShare digital camera? I do not have a tripod. For many years I have
> taken many such photos with my film slr camera where I knew the the exact
> exposer. For iso 400 film I could get good shots with 1/60 or 1/125 shutter
> speed where I could hold steady hand. I am glad that the Kodak EasyShare
> cameras have simplified lot of stuff, I just need to know a "mode" to select
> that will tell the camera to use shutter speed priority while computing the
> exposure. I thought the "action" mode would do the trick, but here I can not
> specify a iso - the auto iso selection is limited between 80 and 125 where
> even the fastest shutter speed selected seems too slow and introduces blur
> due to shake (without tripod). I would appreciate any tip or trick to work
> around this problem.
>


For taking pictures of Christmas lights. Try setting your camera to
'night'. Most current Kodak cameras have this mode setting. Then find
something to brace the camera against, as the exposure WILL be rather
longer than most people can hand-hold. Obviously, a tripod is best, but
you can find a wall, fence, tree, or even your car (motor OFF), to brace
against.
 
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Dolu via PhotoKB.com
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-18-2006
Thanks ASAAR and everyone for responding promptly. You are right, it is very
difficult without a tripod or other forms of support. I experimented a bit
and discovered that instead of using any of the pre-programmed modes, the
easisiest and best way to photograph Christmas lights is actually to use the
"auto" mode with the following adjustments:

1) Set camera to "auto" mode.
2) Turn flash "off".
3) Select iso 400. By default the "auto" mode selects an iso between 80 and
125. My camera allowes a override to select iso, so I chose iso 400.
4) I think this is the most important part. By default the "auto exposure" no
matter what camera, or what mode one uses, it trys to adjust for non-
important large dark areas of the image that results in way over exposing
with large aperture and slow shutter speed values. Realizing this, I chose to
bias the exposure by -2 stops. This gave me a much lower exposure including
higher shutter speed, which in turn allowed me to control the shake - I am
accustomed to steady hand up to 1/30 shutter speed.

I have posted a sample at my gallery "Dolu's Gallery". Soon I hope to post
some more.

BTW, my camera is a low end digital, Kodak CD33 with optical zoom and it has
the following modes:
Auto
Action
Portrait
Close-up
Landscape
SCENE MODE with following options:
Children playing in the park day time
Party at night: indoor lights
Night scene portrait: people foregrand with flash, and night lighted
background
Fireworks at night
Scenery on sand day light
Scenery on snow day light

Other features include:
Timed exposures
Burst mode - takes 3 quick frames to capture the moment.

I am really impressed with all the stuff this little thing can do; but I
really miss the full manual control.


ASAAR wrote:
>> What is the best way to take Christmas light decoration photos using a simple
>> Kodak EasyShare digital camera? I do not have a tripod. For many years I have

>[quoted text clipped - 8 lines]
>> due to shake (without tripod). I would appreciate any tip or trick to work
>> around this problem.

>
> You'll need to tell us which Kodak camera you're using, as not all
>of their EasyShare cameras are alike. Or you could try to figure it
>out by reading your camera's manual, comparing it with one of these:
>
> On the low end there's the Easyshare C300, which for still
>photography has only an Automatic mode, a Night Scene mode, and
>exposure compensation. The specifications provide no information
>about the shutter speed range. I hope that your camera is more
>advanced than this one.
>
> The Easyshare C503/C553 has Landscape mode, ten additional SCN
>(scene) modes, and exposure compensation. The shutter speed ranges
>from 4 to 1/1400 seconds.
>
> The Easyshare C603/C643 adds exposure bracketing to the
>C503/C553's feature set.
>
> Even with all of the scene modes, the C503/C553 & C603/C643
>wouldn't appear to provide any useful way to specify faster shutter
>speeds. The ones described as modifying the shutter speed all
>lengthen it, which is the opposite of the effect that you want.
>Using a higher ISO might cause the camera to choose a faster shutter
>speed, but you'd have to try it to see if it the reduced image
>quality would be acceptable, but this still wouldn't guarantee that
>a faster shutter speed would be used.
>
> The Easyshare C663 differs by having 14 scene modes (none
>appearing useful for your purpose), has a wider shutter speed range
>of 8 to 1/1600 seconds, but adds the very useful P(rogram) and
>M(anual) modes, which will allow you to specify different shutter
>speeds.
>
> If your Easyshare model doesn't allow you to choose a faster
>shutter speed, your only recourse would be to brace the camera or to
>use a tripod, which would allow you to get away with using slow
>shutter speeds without ruining the shots due to excessive camera
>movement. While a large, heavy, expensive, rock-solid tripod would
>be nice to have, even a cheap, tiny, $10 tabletop tripod would help
>considerably. But if you don't want to get a tripod, try putting
>the camera on a beanbag or a sack filled with grits or rice, and
>take some shots using the shutter or the camera's self timer. If
>possible, try using different exposures (use exposure compensation),
>since with normal exposures all of the different colored bulbs might
>produce "blown highlights", giving them all the same bright white
>appearance. Reducing the exposure, while darkening the rest of the
>picture, might allow you to see the actual colors of the lights.


--
Message posted via http://www.photokb.com

 
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ASAAR
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-18-2006
On Mon, 18 Dec 2006 02:10:06 GMT, Dolu via PhotoKB.com wrote:

> Thanks ASAAR and everyone for responding promptly. You are right, it is very
> difficult without a tripod or other forms of support. I experimented a bit
> and discovered that instead of using any of the pre-programmed modes, the
> easisiest and best way to photograph Christmas lights is actually to use the
> "auto" mode with the following adjustments:
>
> 1) Set camera to "auto" mode.
> 2) Turn flash "off".
> 3) Select iso 400. By default the "auto" mode selects an iso between 80 and
> 125. My camera allowes a override to select iso, so I chose iso 400.
> 4) I think this is the most important part. By default the "auto exposure" no
> matter what camera, or what mode one uses, it trys to adjust for non-
> important large dark areas of the image that results in way over exposing
> with large aperture and slow shutter speed values. Realizing this, I chose to
> bias the exposure by -2 stops. This gave me a much lower exposure including
> higher shutter speed, which in turn allowed me to control the shake - I am
> accustomed to steady hand up to 1/30 shutter speed.


You're welcome, and congratulations for figuring out a way to make
your Kodak smarter than its designers intended. I'm surprised
that you were able to override the ISO, since the cameras I've seen
only allow Auto ISO when Auto mode is used. Maybe Kodak allowed the
override because their camera has no P mode?



> I have posted a sample at my gallery "Dolu's Gallery". Soon I hope to post
> some more.


I looked around PhotoKB.com and saw no links to access any
existing photo galleries. I did see that PhotoKB would allow me to
create a gallery if I registered, but did not say anywhere that
registering would add the ability to access any other galleries. Do
you have to provide gallery links to those that would see your
photos, or is your gallery not part of PhotoKB? PhotoKB has enough
ads on all of their web pages that I don't feel that I owe them my
email address.

 
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Dolu via PhotoKB.com
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-18-2006
ASAAR, I am a brand new member at photokb and find the interface quiet
confusing. As far as I can tell photokb is part of Advenet.Com , in fact
photokb is a "discussion group" under Advenet.Com . Once you registered at
photokb you are automatically registered at Advenet with same login/password ,
and it is there that the "galleries" are hosted.

1) Go to Advenet.Com
2) On the "top" navigation bar click on "photos". This will take you to a
"public" area - no login needed - where you will see the galleries of other
members. Since my upload is most recent upload, you will see my "thumbnail"
first on the list.

The direct URL to my gallery - Dolu's Gallery - is
http://advenet.com/photos/dolu/picture238.aspx



ASAAR wrote:
>> Thanks ASAAR and everyone for responding promptly. You are right, it is very
>> difficult without a tripod or other forms of support. I experimented a bit

>[quoted text clipped - 13 lines]
>> higher shutter speed, which in turn allowed me to control the shake - I am
>> accustomed to steady hand up to 1/30 shutter speed.

>
> You're welcome, and congratulations for figuring out a way to make
>your Kodak smarter than its designers intended. I'm surprised
>that you were able to override the ISO, since the cameras I've seen
>only allow Auto ISO when Auto mode is used. Maybe Kodak allowed the
>override because their camera has no P mode?
>
>> I have posted a sample at my gallery "Dolu's Gallery". Soon I hope to post
>> some more.

>
> I looked around PhotoKB.com and saw no links to access any
>existing photo galleries. I did see that PhotoKB would allow me to
>create a gallery if I registered, but did not say anywhere that
>registering would add the ability to access any other galleries. Do
>you have to provide gallery links to those that would see your
>photos, or is your gallery not part of PhotoKB? PhotoKB has enough
>ads on all of their web pages that I don't feel that I owe them my
>email address.


--
Message posted via http://www.photokb.com

 
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ASAAR
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-18-2006
On Mon, 18 Dec 2006 09:05:46 GMT, Dolu via PhotoKB.com wrote:

> ASAAR, I am a brand new member at photokb and find the interface quiet
> confusing. As far as I can tell photokb is part of Advenet.Com , in fact
> photokb is a "discussion group" under Advenet.Com . Once you registered at
> photokb you are automatically registered at Advenet with same login/password ,
> and it is there that the "galleries" are hosted.
>
> 1) Go to Advenet.Com
> 2) On the "top" navigation bar click on "photos". This will take you to a
> "public" area - no login needed - where you will see the galleries of other
> members. Since my upload is most recent upload, you will see my "thumbnail"
> first on the list.
>
> The direct URL to my gallery - Dolu's Gallery - is
> http://advenet.com/photos/dolu/picture238.aspx


Yep, it was very easy to find your picture, both ways. It's a
good shot and the colors came out very nicely. I don't know if you
played around with the jpg file, but I downloaded the largest
version, and using Irfanview (a very nice, free, small, picture
viewer/editor) boosted the gamma, which made several nearly
invisible objects appear. One being the wires or supports behind
the lights. I was also able to now clearly see "Christmas Eve"
below the lights. A bit harder to see may be a street address just
above this, which appears to be "5828".

 
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Dolu via PhotoKB.com
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-21-2006
Hi ASAAR, Kool you played with gamma and discovered objects hiding in the
dark. I do have Photoshop/ImageReady software. I think a big advantage of
digital photography is the ability to easily fix defects and/or make
enhancements for creative effects. Also the ability to check results on
camera LCD immediately after shoot is a huge convenience. I posted few more
photos at Dolu's Gallery, all taken without tripod, flash was used on one of
them only to light the foreground while leaving the background in natural
light. One other note I would like to add to my earlier observations
regarding my success in not requiring tripod while shooting night scene is
that I can only do this as long as I do not use tele-zoom; that would require
more exposure (slower shutter) which would put me in the shaky hand zone.

ASAAR wrote:
>> ASAAR, I am a brand new member at photokb and find the interface quiet
>> confusing. As far as I can tell photokb is part of Advenet.Com , in fact

>[quoted text clipped - 10 lines]
>> The direct URL to my gallery - Dolu's Gallery - is
>> http://advenet.com/photos/dolu/picture238.aspx

>
> Yep, it was very easy to find your picture, both ways. It's a
>good shot and the colors came out very nicely. I don't know if you
>played around with the jpg file, but I downloaded the largest
>version, and using Irfanview (a very nice, free, small, picture
>viewer/editor) boosted the gamma, which made several nearly
>invisible objects appear. One being the wires or supports behind
>the lights. I was also able to now clearly see "Christmas Eve"
>below the lights. A bit harder to see may be a street address just
>above this, which appears to be "5828".


--
Message posted via PhotoKB.com
http://www.photokb.com/Uwe/Forums.as...photo/200612/1

 
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John Turco
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-23-2006
ASAAR wrote:
>
> On Mon, 18 Dec 2006 09:05:46 GMT, Dolu via PhotoKB.com wrote:


<edited, for brevity>

> > The direct URL to my gallery - Dolu's Gallery - is
> > http://advenet.com/photos/dolu/picture238.aspx

>
> Yep, it was very easy to find your picture, both ways. It's a
> good shot and the colors came out very nicely. I don't know if you
> played around with the jpg file, but I downloaded the largest
> version, and using Irfanview (a very nice, free, small, picture
> viewer/editor) boosted the gamma, which made several nearly
> invisible objects appear. One being the wires or supports behind
> the lights. I was also able to now clearly see "Christmas Eve"
> below the lights. A bit harder to see may be a street address just
> above this, which appears to be "5828".



Hello, ASAAR:

I tried what you did, and got the same results. Even without affecting
the gamma, though, I spied a white dot, within the top-left quarter of
the picture. (You'll need to "zoom in" slightly, to see it.)

Presumably, it's a bad pixel, in the original poster's ("Dolu") Kodak
CD33's image sensor. My own P850 (also a Kodak) is plagued by this
very defect, sad to say.


Cordially,
John Turco <(E-Mail Removed)>
 
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