Night Shots

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Okie, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. Okie

    Okie Guest

    Hey,

    I'm trying to improve my night shots. I've recently took this pics
    (guess the occasion).
    http://picasaweb.google.com/mattdeclaire/Fireworks
    Google provides the settings information on the right of each picture
    when viewed.

    I'm having trouble focusing at night. Should I be setting the f-stop
    higher? Wouldn't that be getting me toward infinite depth of field?
    Am I using the terminology right?

    Side note: I'm not entirely sure that the picasaweb is available to
    anyone to look at. Can you guys verify that for me? I'm afraid you'd
    have to login to get access.

    - Matt
     
    Okie, Jul 8, 2006
    #1
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  2. Okie

    acl Guest

    Okie wrote:

    > I'm trying to improve my night shots. I've recently took this pics
    > (guess the occasion).


    Guy Fawkes night?

    > I'm having trouble focusing at night. Should I be setting the f-stop
    > higher? Wouldn't that be getting me toward infinite depth of field?


    If you have problems focusing, try locking focus on a distant building.
    Possibly the easiest way is to switch to manual focus, focus on a
    distant building, and then forget about focus until the end of the
    shoot (since the fireworks are all at infinity, as far as your lens is
    concerned; so no need to refocus). This will prevent the camera from
    hunting for focus whenever you try to take a shot.

    Actually, check the focus every few shots (on the LCD), you may
    accidentally change it as you handle the camera.
     
    acl, Jul 8, 2006
    #2
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  3. Okie

    Steve Wolfe Guest

    > I'm having trouble focusing at night. Should I be setting the f-stop
    > higher? Wouldn't that be getting me toward infinite depth of field?
    > Am I using the terminology right?


    A numerically higher f-stop (meaning a geometrically smaller aperture)
    will, indeed, get you a longer depth of field. However, the overall depth
    of field will depend upon the focal length and focal point, as well. With,
    say, a 17mm focal length and f/16, you'd have a hard time *not* keeping the
    fireworks in focus. With longer focal lengths and/or smaller apertures,
    that changes.

    Someone else provided the tip of focusing on a distant object, switching
    to manual focus, and leaving it there. In addition to that, you may want to
    adjust your white balance if you're going to include scenery, so that it
    looks a little more natual, and use a tripod to keep the scenery in focus
    during the long exposures.

    steve
     
    Steve Wolfe, Jul 8, 2006
    #3
  4. Okie

    Marvin Guest

    Okie wrote:
    > Hey,
    >
    > I'm trying to improve my night shots. I've recently took this pics
    > (guess the occasion).
    > http://picasaweb.google.com/mattdeclaire/Fireworks
    > Google provides the settings information on the right of each picture
    > when viewed.
    >
    > I'm having trouble focusing at night. Should I be setting the f-stop
    > higher? Wouldn't that be getting me toward infinite depth of field?
    > Am I using the terminology right?
    >
    > Side note: I'm not entirely sure that the picasaweb is available to
    > anyone to look at. Can you guys verify that for me? I'm afraid you'd
    > have to login to get access.
    >
    > - Matt
    >


    I don't see an important problem with the focus. The
    exposures are a few seconds, so the fireworks are going to
    show the motion of the individual elements of a firework. I
    think it makes an interesting effect. A firework, when
    cropped close to isolate it from the background, looks
    rather flower-like.

    A long exposure helps with the problem of timing a photo
    with the time-development of a firework, especially if the
    camera has a long lag between when you depress the shutter
    button and the exposre is made. Taking photos in bursts,
    with short exposure times, may give results that you like
    better. Or even use the video mode, if you only want shots
    to view on a monitor, not to print.

    This July 4th, I took more than a hundred 1-second
    exposures, with a monopod and image stabilization. I liked
    the flower-like effect. But the next time I photograph
    fireworks, I'll try the video mode.
     
    Marvin, Jul 8, 2006
    #4
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