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Photography Question 
Sandy Kay

Getting night shots in a country setting

How can I achieve the best photos outside, in the dark. How to photograph stars and/or the moon, tree branches against the sky (like a silhouette). Any other ideas?

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2/1/2005 6:48:59 AM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  You will probably want to use an SLR camera that will allow you to keep your shutter open about 10 seconds at least.
Make sure there is at least one form of light in the picture so it's not completely dark or you probably won't have much of a picture.
The only times that I've tried shooting starts I used a wideopen aperture with a 30 second shutter speed and a tripod. I tripod or something else used to steady the camera is a must. Consider using a 10 second timer if your camera has one.
If you have a point and shoot camera that doesn't have a manual setting or a wide range of shutter speeds and aperture sizes, then you should still steady that camera as much as you can, but try to find a way to tell the camera that what you're taking a picture of is very dark, maybe by setting +2 exposure compensation.
If you are using an SLR and you have a button that lets you only use the camera's light meter in the centermost circle (about 8% of the total frame) use it while pointing directly at the mood as you can. If you're not sure about that last part, check out your camera's manual and that should help.

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2/1/2005 5:55:08 PM

Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  From what I've read, the moon is like any other object with sun shining on it except it's alot further (farther?) away. With a normal lense, it will be just a dot in the dark sky. With a telephoto/tripod use the sunny 16 or 11 rule.....or go to the search window and enter "shoot the moon".....
For the branches in daylight,.....I really like the search function can learn all sorts of things.


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2/1/2005 7:07:05 PM

Nick Boren   I would recommend that you use a high speed film for night photography, like Fuji 800. This will allow you to have shorter exposure times, thus avoiding star trails due to the movement of the earth at longer exposure times.

If you are interested in photographing comets when they come around, which isn't very often, I definetly recommend using the Fuji 800 speed print film with a stadard lens 50mm on your 35mm camera. Use a wide open apeture, focus at infinity, place your camera shutter setting set on the B to control the length of exposure times. Also for any night photography you need to mount your camera on a very sturdy tripod and use a shutter cable release to trip the shutter thus eliminating any vibration that can cause blurred images. Start your exposure times at about 5 sec.exposures and work up to about 1 min. exposures. Bracketing is a must, then chose the best from the bunch.

I hope some of this info helps you.

Nick Boren

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2/2/2005 10:12:45 PM

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