How to Take Better Night Photos

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gary.hendricks.user, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. gary.hendricks.user, Jan 10, 2006
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  2. gary.hendricks.user

    Tony Polson Guest

    Look elsewhere on this "basic" site and you will find such "basic"
    errors as:

    "An increment in the f/stop number doubles the amount of light let in,
    so f/2.0 lets in twice as much light as f/1.4."

    The trouble with this "basic" site is that the information it contains
    is less than useless, because it is just plain wrong. Avoid!
    Tony Polson, Jan 10, 2006
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  3. gary.hendricks.user

    How Bizarre Guest

    Here's a great guide for taking better night photos. Very useful for
    From that link above....."This is how it works. The next time you're out to
    take night photos, go ahead and snap a picture of Scene A, as you normally
    would. Then, when it's convenient, take a photo of the exact same Scene A
    again, but with the lens cap on."

    Why would you have to be in the exact same Scene A again to take a picture
    with the lens cap on?
    How Bizarre, Jan 10, 2006
  4. gary.hendricks.user

    wald Guest

    You might want to add that shooting at higher ISO values will help
    obtain lower shutter times and/or smaller apertures.

    wald, Jan 10, 2006
  5. gary.hendricks.user

    erics Guest

    erics, Jan 10, 2006
  6. 1st) You guys are being awfully hard on this guy, and this is a perfect
    example. If you read the next paragraph, you would see why the image
    with the lens cap on is needed. It is called a dark frame.
    If you wait and take the dark frame later, it might be at a different
    temperature and not work as well.
    So advising to take the dark frame while at
    scene A is appropriate. (But that too should be explained.)

    2nd) All you guys doing the heavy criticism and saying it is too
    basic are forgetting the real beginner in photography needs
    to start with basics.

    It would be more constructive to point out errors and hopefully
    the OP will fix them. Are you guys so perfect you never made a writing
    mistake. I know I haven't, and I know my articles have greatly
    benefited from feedback from these newsgroups.

    "The way around this is to use a tripod. I prefer to install a
    tripod with a shutter-release cable to ensure that I don’t
    jolt the camera at all." should be reworded to say you
    attach the cable release to the camera, not the tripod.

    Photos at
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jan 10, 2006
  7. gary.hendricks.user

    Lorem Ipsum Guest

    Yep, that site is not only wrong, but dishonest. The picture at the top is
    fake beyond belief.

    And this: "This is how it works. The next time you're out to take night
    photos, go ahead and snap a picture of Scene A, as you normally would. Then,
    when it's convenient, take a photo of the exact same Scene A again, but with
    the lens cap on."

    Why take a photo of the exact same scene with the lens cap on? That's
    crazy! The camera doesn't care where it is when the lens cap is on!
    Lorem Ipsum, Jan 10, 2006
  8. gary.hendricks.user

    Lorem Ipsum Guest

    So temperature makes that much difference? Is it that bad? Come on, Roger.
    To create the same outcome, one can sample from the single image to create a
    new layer.
    He needs to start with basics that are factual, too.
    Hope, hope, hope... nope, didn't work.
    Lorem Ipsum, Jan 10, 2006
  9. gary.hendricks.user

    W (winhag) Guest

    Okay, what am I missing here. If you go from one f/stop to the next
    (e.g. f/1.4 to f/2.0 or
    f/5.6 to f/8) does not the amount of light 'double' (from an exposure
    standpoint the same
    way as doubling the exposure time)?
    W (winhag), Jan 10, 2006
  10. gary.hendricks.user

    W (winhag) Guest

    Oops....backwards. Sorry I did not have my moring tea yet :)..uh
    W (winhag), Jan 10, 2006
  11. gary.hendricks.user

    wald Guest

    Agreed. I fully respect what he's doing, he puts time into writing this
    stuff with good intentions, and I'm sure there will be some beginners
    who will actually get up and running with his tutorials.

    But then again: I pointed out a very obvious error in that tutorial,
    where he states that f/2.0 lets in TWICE as much light as f/1.4 (it's
    mentioned in this thread too). This is a clear error, but he still
    hasn't done anything to fix this.

    I appreciate what he does, but he should respond more actively to
    constructive criticism.

    wald, Jan 10, 2006
  12. gary.hendricks.user

    wald Guest


    I meant his lens-buying tutorial, not the night photo tutorial.

    wald, Jan 10, 2006
  13. gary.hendricks.user

    Warren O Guest

    It's not a "great guide", it's just plain wrong and apparently written by an
    idiot with minimal education.
    Warren O, Jan 10, 2006
  14. gary.hendricks.user

    Frank ess Guest

    "Hopefully", someone will come along and edit the text, special
    attention to clarity: "...install a tripod with a shutter-release
    cable..."? Huh?
    Frank ess, Jan 10, 2006
  15. It's perfectly understandable to me.

    Taking a photo with the lens cap on results in a "null" photo--that is, it's
    completely black, except for perhaps any hot pixels.

    Taking the "null" photo at more or less the same time as the scene's night
    photo reproduces whatever hot pixels would occur at a given
    time/temperature/humidity level for a given camera.

    The tip subsequently describes masking out the hot pixels using layers,
    which is why the photo appears "fake". Masking out the hot pixels means
    using photo post processing software, and post-processed photos often look
    "too perfect", thus, "fake". There could have also been additional
    post-processing being done on that photo, in addition to just masking out
    the hot pixels.

    (Then again, some cameras with night modes do some sort of in-camera
    post-processing of night mode photos, such as taking a second exposure after
    the first exposure. The debate over the quality of the camera
    post-processing vs. photo post-processing software will not be revisited

    Really, that tip is just explaining how to deal with an obvious camera
    defect--hot pixels in night photos--that has been really accepted for far
    too long as a "normal" part of digital photography, primarily in the
    interest of lower-cost digital cameras.

    In all reality, a properly functioning digital camera should have zero
    missing or hot pixels on its sensor and on its LCD display.
    Daniel W. Rouse Jr., Jan 10, 2006
  16. gary.hendricks.user

    Peter Chant Guest

    I suspect that the newsgroup this went to really were not
    interested and anyone in the astro newsgroup it went to probally have far
    more technical expertise.
    Peter Chant, Jan 10, 2006
  17. gary.hendricks.user

    no_name Guest

    Basic photography for sub-dummies.
    no_name, Jan 10, 2006
  18. gary.hendricks.user

    no_name Guest

    It's backwards. Going from f/1.4 to f/2 halves the amount of light you
    let in. Go look into your lens while you step through the f/stops.

    The "higher" number makes a smaller hole (because it's fractions).

    Replace the 'f' with 1 -- 1/2 is smaller than 1/1.4 [which is actually
    closer to 1-1/2] --- 1/8 is larger than 1/16, so 1/16 can't let in twice
    as much light as 1/8.
    no_name, Jan 10, 2006
  19. gary.hendricks.user

    Jack Dale Guest

    I remember when movie camera tripods had a shutter release in the
    handle. You could press the cable relase while panning or zooming.
    But I am going way back for that memory.
    Jack Dale, Jan 10, 2006
  20. gary.hendricks.user

    Kernix Guest

    I didn't check out the site, but I don't think I will. How to take
    Better night photos.

    1st know what your'e doing by understanding the shutter-aperture

    2nd if it's really dark, you're going to have to experiment by leaving
    the shutter open on Bulb and do different exposure times. Depending on
    what you're shooting, 30 sec, 1 minute, or longer. Real long exposures,
    like the ones used where the camera is focused on Polaris for the
    circular star shot, may cause color shifts. Which leads us to:

    Who knows the best film(s) for loooooong exposure times?

    Kernix, Jan 10, 2006
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