Low-light/Night Photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Sammie Garvin \(Mobile\), Aug 9, 2003.

  1. Hey all,

    I do a lot of night shoots and I like to use the natural light if possible.
    I do most of my shooting outdoors with a Sony PSC-P71. I love what it can
    do but the problem is that I would love for it to collect more light. Any
    ideas? Any general ideas for shooting at night would be appreciated as
    well... Another question I have; can someone tell me how I can get better
    depth-of-field with a digital camera? I usually do my DoF in Photoshop
    after the fact. I have tried to use the "Macro" feature on my camera but it
    only really works well at very close distances. I know I really need a
    telephoto lens (which I can't put on my P71) but any ideas would be
    appreciated.

    Thanks
    ________
     
    Sammie Garvin \(Mobile\), Aug 9, 2003
    #1
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  2. Sammie Garvin \(Mobile\)

    JK Guest

    A good tripod and longer exposures. Use the night mode on the camera
    which allows slower shutter speeds.If you don't want to use a tripod,
    try using the ISO 400 mode, and use the lens at wide angle. You
    might be able to get an acceptable shutter speed to shoot without a tripod?
    Now you know why I am obsessed with cameras that have fast lenses
    (let plenty of light in). The Olympus C5050 for example has an f1.8-f2.6
    lens, which lets in around four times as much light at the telephoto end
    as the lens on your P71. Having manual exposure modes is also very
    useful for this type of photography.
    With a camera with a manual mode, one would lose the aperture a few stops.

    That is what macro is for. What are you trying to do?
    If you want nice night shots, get a camera with manual modes and
    a good tripod. A camera with a fast lens and an ISO 400 mode
    will allow you to get existing light images in moderate light without
    a tripod, such as indoors in well lit rooms. Since you seem interested
    in existing light photography, I suggest that you sell the P71 and
    get an Olympus C5050 or Canon G3 or G5 and a decent tripod.
    If you want to spend less, you might want to consider an Olympus
    C4000 or a used Olympus camera in the C3000 series(C3000,
    3020, 3030, or 3040).
     
    JK, Aug 9, 2003
    #2
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  3. Sammie Garvin \(Mobile\)

    Rob Davison Guest

    If it has a manual or aperture priority mode use that and open it up as
    wide as it'll go (lowest F number).

    Otherwise, try taking lots of shots (on a tripod) and 'stacking' them

    Using (for example):

    http://www.tawbaware.com/is_help/imgstack_help.htm
    Tripod of course. Auto focus can get confused (though the laser
    assist on my old 707 helps with close subjects) so you may want to
    try manual focusing.

    Get neatimage - it'll help reduce the image sensor noise that is all too
    apparent in low light images.

    If the camera has a TIFF mode try that instead of JPEG (it might make
    make the noise less obtrusive).

    This is the best I've managed so far...

    http://www.pbase.com/image/20125774

    (30 seconds @ F2 on a moonlit night)

    Of course, the real fix is to get yourself a DSLR. :)
    Which is 'better' - more or less?
    You want less DOF?
    Aperture priority (if the P71 has it?) and low F numbers if you can.

    HTH,


    Rob.
     
    Rob Davison, Aug 10, 2003
    #3
  4. Sammie Garvin \(Mobile\)

    Paul Cordes Guest

    Sounds like your trying to get less depth of field from the camera......blur
    the background behind the subject?

    If so try manual focus one step in front of the subject. Ie, putting your
    subject at the back of the range that is in focus.

    Clear as mud?
     
    Paul Cordes, Aug 10, 2003
    #4
  5. For general night photography ideas you might drop by my night
    photography site:

    http://www.nightfolio.co.uk/

    To be frank I am still working with film but there might still be
    something relevant to digital capture.

    Best wishes,

    David Baldwin
     
    photoshoptrainer, Jan 9, 2005
    #5
  6. Sammie Garvin \(Mobile\)

    David Zou Guest

    Why most of them are suffering from vignetting ?

    Wishes
     
    David Zou, Jan 10, 2005
    #6
  7. Sammie Garvin \(Mobile\)

    Bub Guest

    Looks like to me he is doing a good job.

    Besides what is vignetting?
     
    Bub, Jan 10, 2005
    #7
  8. Sammie Garvin \(Mobile\)

    Bub Guest

    I think he is doing a good job.
    I saw no vignetting , where do you see it or what is your idea of vignetting
    ..
     
    Bub, Jan 10, 2005
    #8
  9. Sammie Garvin \(Mobile\)

    Owamanga Guest

    Darkening towards the corners of the frame. I see quite extreme
    examples on nearly every landscape shot. Not that it looks unpleasant.

    Here is a specific example:
    http://www.nightfolio.co.uk/subpages/la11.html

    Even the bottom corners are darkened. This is vignetting.
     
    Owamanga, Jan 10, 2005
    #9
  10. Sammie Garvin \(Mobile\)

    David Zou Guest

    Yeah they are great photos...
    I am just curious that there is vignetting on almost every photo....is it a
    natual outcome from such lighting conditions, or due to other reasons?
     
    David Zou, Jan 10, 2005
    #10
  11. The correct definition of Vignetting is complete blockage
    of light. What you are observing as a darkening toward
    the corners is called "light fall-off." Light falloff
    occurs on wide angle images because the aperture becomes
    elliptical off axis.

    Roger
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jan 12, 2005
    #11
  12. Sammie Garvin \(Mobile\)

    Steve Wolfe Guest

    Here is a specific example:
    Every text I've ever seen that's dealt with "light fall-off" has called it
    "vignetting", and Webster's dictionary defines "vignette" as shading off
    gradually into the surround, not a complete end or blockage.

    steve
     
    Steve Wolfe, Jan 12, 2005
    #12
  13. Sorry to disagree. This the definition of vignette in Oxford Dictionary

    "A photographic portrait showing only the head or the head and shoulders
    and with the edges gradually shading into the background".

    So, gradual fall off of light is vignette.
     
    Gautam Majumdar, Jan 12, 2005
    #13
  14. Sammie Garvin \(Mobile\)

    chrlz Guest

    FWIW, the only `vignetting` I see (admittedly only from a fairly quick
    perusal) is simply what the natural scene would have looked like. In
    many of those images, in order to get silhouettes he is shooting into
    the glow from a sunset/moon/city lights/ etc.. So of course the light
    will fall off towards the edges. There may be some very minor
    additional effects due to lens design, but I see nothing indicating
    poor technique or `bad glass`.. (Although the images are IMO a little
    small and need a bit of sharpening!)

    The shot of Venus shows the falloff rather extremely, but remember
    Venus is the morning or evening star, so it is almost always in the
    strong glow of sunrise or sunset. Strong for a time exposure, anyway!
     
    chrlz, Jan 12, 2005
    #14
  15. Very nice pictures. Did you burn in the skies in "Field Near Cranleigh"
    and "Peperharow Plain"? If so, maybe that explains the OP's perception
    of vignetting.
     
    pjruiz(nospaam), Jan 12, 2005
    #15
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