Night shot, how was it done?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Hoshisato, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. Hoshisato

    Hoshisato Guest

    I'm looking at this shot and wonder how the photographer made it work:
    I realize that the shot is out of focus, but each time I attempt this
    sort of thing the result is very poor: the dark areas are all yellowy
    and the lights are all washed out. Where to take the light meter
    reading from? Would you use spot metering? What distance would you
    focus on? Just a bit out of focus or very much? Any other suggestions
    you have about this kind of shots?

    Hoshisato, Jun 26, 2007
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  2. Hoshisato

    Frank Guest

    Looks like no more than someone shooting using manual focus (deliberately
    making it out of focus) with a pretty decent lens looking at the bokeh.
    Then using a fastish shutter speed. Light metering is experimental with
    this type of shot.

    The tricky bit is finding the location that this was taken, as it is this
    that plays a big part of the shot.
    Frank, Jun 26, 2007
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  3. ....use one of these for short DOF determination:

    very slightly focus out...

    while the light meter measures you the right twilight....

    reduce EV by ~2...


    There you go with an excellent BOKEH
    Tom Apfelkamp, Jun 26, 2007
  4. Hoshisato

    Jim Guest

    You are overexposing the image. You judge the exposure by consulting the
    Jim, Jun 26, 2007
  5. Hoshisato

    Frank ess Guest

    Does the photographer not answer your queries?
    Frank ess, Jun 26, 2007
  6. Hoshisato

    Ray Fischer Guest

    Skip the light meter and use manual exposure. The nice thing about
    digital cameras is that you can try many different versions without
    spending money.

    At ISO400 I'd start at f2.8 and, say a 30th of a second. Don't reduce
    the aperture by much if you want the blur.
    Ray Fischer, Jun 27, 2007
  7. You are probably over exposing.

    Position yourself where everything in the near foreground is
    dark. Set the camera to the widest f/stop, focus it just
    slightly closer than the nearest object that is well enough
    light to be distinguishable in the image.

    Then expose at a relatively fast shutter speed and look at
    the histogram it produces. Change the shutter speed to
    position the brightest parts of the image almost to the
    right side of your histogram. Ideally that would be with
    the aperture wide open, but if you run out of shutter speed
    range it may be necessary to use an ND filter, or stop the
    lense down slightly.

    The problem with stopping down the lense is loss of what
    everyone has been saying is "great bokeh". With the
    aperture wide open it produces circular out of focus
    highlights, but if the lense is stopped down they will be
    the shape of your aperture. If you do have a great lense it
    won't be bad (if you have a 9 bladed shutter it might even
    be great!), but it won't be the same as the example image.
    The focus point, and the relative distances to highlight
    objects, will affect how the image looks. Hence you might
    want to look for a location where all objects are about the
    same distance (relatively, and keeping in mind that focal
    length of the lense will affect how relative that is) if you
    want the out of focus circles to look all similar.

    In any case, you'll have a very hard time judging what they
    look like through the viewfinder. It probably won't be all
    that easy to tell looking at an LCD display either! So take
    several exposures, each with the focus at slightly different

    And then switch focal lengths and do it again!
    Floyd L. Davidson, Jun 27, 2007
  8. Hoshisato

    Hoshisato Guest

    Much obliged for the clear instructions!
    Hoshisato, Jun 27, 2007
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