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Photography Question 
Debbie Crowe
 

shooting night pictures


 
  city at night
city at night

ISO 200
Aper 8,0
Shutter 5"
lens - 70-300 IS
location - river
time - close to midnight

© Debbie Crowe
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
I spend sat night shooting over 100 pictures on the river. The shots were our river view of the city, city lights etc. I am using Rebel XTI with a tripod and all manual mode. I made sure the settings what they should be yet they are still not clear images. I was able to get some beautiful colored reflections on the water, but still not clear images like many I see of the same shot. What am I doing wrong? I also used the handheld button to snap the camera so that I did not have to touch the camera at all. I used ISO 100 or 200, usually 200. #8 F stop but that varied. Shutter speed was 4" to 30" or more in some cases. I was all over the place trying to get a good shot. It seemed like the picture was taking 30 secs or so to snap.
What is the secret for getting this crisp sharp night pictures that I see so often?
I understand I can take the ISO up to 400 or more, but these pictures are not bad at 200.
Thank you.
Debbie


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8/25/2008 9:55:38 AM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
Contact Carlton
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carltonwardphoto.com
  Hello Debbie,
I noticed your lens has IS and you were using your tripod. Did you turn IS - OFF when taking these shots ?
I have the 70-200 & 100-400 that both have IS and I turn it off when shooting on a tripod. It does make a difference.
Carlton


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8/25/2008 1:02:32 PM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
Contact Carlton
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carltonwardphoto.com
 
 
  Lindau Lighthouse & Lion
Lindau Lighthouse & Lion
24-70mm lens, tripod & remote shutter
© Carlton Ward
carltonwardphoto.com
Canon EOS 40D Digi...
 
 
Hi Deb,
One more thing I would like to mention is to try to be ready to shoot a little after sundown because the sky will turn a beautiful cobalt color before it goes black and with city scenes & night shots, it makes it even more beautiful. You will get between 15 to 30 minutes with this color.
Carlton


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8/25/2008 1:21:11 PM

 
Debbie Crowe   Thank you Carlton for your response. I cannot recall if I had it off or not. These shots were taken probably between 9 pm and midnight - we were out there awhile :) I will make sure it is off next time I try.

The fellow at the store told me to always leave it on and only switch the Mode between 1 and 2 depending on whether I was continuous shooting or not. Maybe he did not mean the tripod.

Am I right in using all manual and getting the settings as close to the "0" on the view finder as possible - or even bracketing? Or should I be using one of the priority modes? I know they are valuable but I keep trying to do it in manual as I do not feel like I am learning anything if I do not use that mode.


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8/25/2008 1:28:57 PM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery
carltonwardphoto.com
  Hi Debbie,
I think your settings are fine. I was set for f/11, 10.0s, 34mm, ISO100 & the tripod. I may have been underexposed by a third but dont really remember and I was probably focused/metering on the lighthouse.
It has been stated & debated that the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS does not require you to turn IS off when using a tripod but I dont believe it and I always turn it off. If you have a sturdy tripod, what will it do for you anyway ?
The 2 modes of IS is for vertical & panning, not for using a tripod.
Hope this helps - Carlton


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8/25/2008 1:41:04 PM

 
Debbie Crowe   your picture is exactly the kind of photo I am trying to capture. it is simply beautiful and I see what you mean about the cobalt blue skies. I will follow your advice and try again this weekend. I will turn it off. thanks for your kind responses you always give. they are very helpful.
deb


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8/26/2008 7:40:07 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  Actually, Carlton & Debby if your lens is a newer generation (IS) Canon lens it does NOT need to have the (IS) function turned off. The lens has sensor that can tell its on a tripod. Why does the lens have a On/Off feature??? simply put to save your cameras battery power. The (IS) eats battery power...how much???? I have NO idea. And while I'm at it the setting for Stabilizer Mode 2 is for panning images...


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8/26/2008 9:17:26 AM

 
Andy 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
  It looks to me that the bridge is pretty sharp but the background is not sharp enough. It could be you don't have enough depth-of-field because the buildings in the background is far, far away from the bridge. From you data, you use f8 with the 70-300 lens. That won't give you the desire depth in this case (as different from Carlton's beautiful picture because his doesn't have close foreground elements). Try f16, f22 or even f36 (yes, exposure time will be longer). Hope this helps.


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8/26/2008 9:50:27 AM

 
Debbie Crowe   absolutely, yes, every bit of information and tips will help me. I see what you are saying. I think I get caught up in trying to find that "O" or close to it in the view finder. since I am using all manual, this was probably the setting for DOF that I was given to achieve that setting.
as for the IS - I got the lens about a year ago and so far, I am not getting the pictures I want as far as clarity, especially in action shots. but I know it is me, not the lens and it is all a learning process.


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8/26/2008 10:12:48 AM

 
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