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Photography QnA: Indoor/Low-Light Photography

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Category: All About Photography : Photographing Specific Subjects : Indoor/Low-Light Photography

Want to discuss low light photography candlelight scenes? How about indoor photography exposure settings? Any questions about low-light photography are welcome here.

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Photography Question 
Gord MacEachern
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Gord
Gord's Gallery

member since: 12/21/2007
  1 .  How to Shoot Interiors of New Homes?
Hi everyone,
I have been asked to shoot some interiors of new homes.I really don’t want to use flash, although I do have a Canon 420EX speedlite that I hardly ever use. I own a Canon 100mm 2.8, 24-105L 70-200 2.8 IS L Canon 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L Canon RebelXT. I would like to shoot in daylight, but is it better shooting at night with the windows dark? I have spent a fair bit on glass for the shooting I do, and this request will not pay much at all (returning a favor). Can anyone suggest the best lens if I were to go buy new or a cheaper new lens that would work good, or how to make my existing equipment work?
Thanks in advance!

10/20/2009 5:03:03 AM

  Hello Gord,
I would recommend a 16-35mm, 17-40mm or the 10-22mm lens to get wide enough. Especially with a 1.6 cropped sensor on your Rebel, your 24-105 is really like a 38-168mm - and 38mm is not very wide, especially when you are trying to shoot inside the same room.
You will also need to use more DOF if you want everything in focus. I would use my Alien Bees if there is not enough natural lighting or a couple of speed-lights with large diffusers to spread the light as much as possible. A tripod for slow shutter speeds may be needed. Most homes have very uneven lighting and the Alien Bees are easy to control for how much (power) light to use to get a darker area lit up better to blend with the rest of the room.
John Siskin teaches a very good class - An Introduction to Photographic Lighting - that takes the mystery out of these type of shots. He is very accessible and provides a ton of information in his course.
Good Luck.

10/20/2009 6:39:07 AM

  Thanks Carlton!!

10/20/2009 7:59:49 AM

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Photography Question 
Joann Cablas
joann-cablas-photography.com

member since: 9/25/2003
  2 .  Flash and Camera Settings for Indoors
I have been asked to take candid shots for a fund-raiser being held inside a hotel ballroom. My equipment: Nikon D300, SB800 flash, 17-200 F3.5 VR. My questions: Should I use a tripod or hand-hold? My lens is a VR (vibration reduction), so I can shoot handheld. And what are the best camera and flash settings to use? The shots will be posted on a web site, and possible prints 4x6, 5x7, 8x10.
Thank you!

1/10/2008 10:44:48 AM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
 
"Candid shots" are pictures of people who are UNAWARE of their picture being taken.

I'd like to see you pull that off with an SB800 flashgun....

LOL!

1/10/2008 11:18:39 AM

  Hi Joann,
I would avoid a tripod. It is useful if you set up some sort of portrait station, but not much good for shooting candids. The light from the SB800 will be harsh, so you might want to make adjustments that will help. For instance, you could set the flash compensation dial to a negative one. This will use more of the existing light and less strobe. You may also want to get a Lumiquest or a Sto-fen unit to soften the light from the strobe. Neither of these will make much of a difference if you are more than 5 or 6 feet from the subject. I would try to shoot with a wide aperture to isolate your subjects from the background.
Good Luck! John Siskin

1/10/2008 6:03:17 PM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
 
Better than a Lumiquest or a Sto-fen – and a whooole lot cheaper – is the http://abetterbouncecard.com/.

1/10/2008 9:07:55 PM

Joann Cablas
joann-cablas-photography.com

member since: 9/25/2003
  Thank you, John, for you input. I do have a Sto-fen, and I'll look into the Lumiquest and adjust the flash compensation. John, I looked at your photo gallery, and your shots using various lighting situations are really nice. Thanks again for the tips! Joann

1/11/2008 8:34:35 AM

  Hi Joann,
Thanks for your comments. After more than a quarter of a century, I have learned a lot about lighting. I guess that's why I enjoy teaching at BetterPhoto!
Thanks,
John

1/11/2008 8:52:36 AM

Ken Henry

member since: 9/16/2003
  I have a Simular set-up where your lens is a f3.5-f5.6. So I will be technical here.
Those f-stops constantly change while you are zooming in and out so there is no consistancy. f5.6 requires more flash power than f3.5.
Add a Sto-Fen which is a very strong diffuser, you have gone from f5.6 to about f11. This requires even more flash power and increases the flash recharging waiting time.

The Lumiquest(as well as decreasing the flash power again) has a way of increasing the center Hot-Spot, creating lower light on the sides.

Unfortunatley I am too technical. I have a box full of $flash $softening $gadgets as well as some $homemade $stuff. I haven't bought the www.garyfong.com thing yet.

Less Is More.

I very simply tape on tracing paper. WOW! A nice even spread of light. And soft(depending on your flash compensation setting). Uses a lot less of your flash power. The color is more natural versus some washed out blue light at times.

My settings are the following for interiors. Camera MANUAL settings at 1/20sec(picks up natural sourrounding light) and f5.6(constant f-stop no matter where I zoom). Flash compensation? minus 1/2 or 1. Maybe. Do a few test shots.

And manual focus, this eliminates the lens from hunting to focus on something other than your subject.

Most of these places are well lighted. So if my overall meter reading is 1/30sec at f5.6 then I will use 1/30 or 1/40. I will decide after a few test shots.

Sooo, that's my program.

Oh, And I am at ISO 100.

Have fun.

1/15/2008 7:49:56 PM

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Photography Question 
Cindy Zimbelman

member since: 7/10/2007
  3 .  Photographing Christmas Lights
Help! I want to take pictures of outside Christmas lights. However, when I put it on the fireworks setting, the pictures turn out blurry. Carrying a tripod with me is not an option. I know I will probably need to set it to manual and set everything, but I don't even know what aperture, shutter speed or ISO to even start with. Thanks!

12/4/2007 2:04:45 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  You can start with ISO 1600, shutter speed 1/60, f/2.8 ... Re-consider the tripod.

12/4/2007 2:19:16 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  A smaller aperture setting will expand the Depth of Field and create little starbursts of light off the most vibrant, brighter features of those displays. Set the aperture (in aperture-priority AE) and be prepared for a multi-second exposure time. This, of course, means that you WILL need that tripod.

12/4/2007 4:10:31 PM

Angie Ray
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/24/2006
  Consider taking one of BetterPhoto.com's online courses to get you more familiar with your camera and make you feel more confident when having to take pictures with a manual setting.
Don't be afraid to leave those auto settings behind, you will be glad you did, I promise. I, too, started with a camera specific course here at BetterPhoto and I can't even imagine what I would've done without it. Now, three courses later, I literally know my camera inside out and I don't feel overwhelmed anymore by all the terms and numbers and settings.You can do it! Good luck!

12/11/2007 4:21:42 AM

Sherry King

member since: 6/25/2006
  If you don't have a tripod, try taking a bag of rice and set the bag and camera on something stable at the appropriate height ... for instance a car (turn the car off if you do this). This reduces the vibrations, which caused the blurry photos.
Also, as others stated, a higher ISO, reasonable shutter speed, and watch your depth of field.
Or you could get a tripod: They come in a wide range of prices, with some fairly inexpensive ones.
Good luck!

12/31/2008 6:24:03 PM

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Photography Question 
Valerie 

member since: 8/3/2007
  4 .  Interior Photography - Simplified?
My husband and I have a company, designing and installing home theaters and entertainment systems. I'd like to take good "snapshots" of the rooms we do, for our Web site. I have a Sony DSC-F707 (fixed lens). To date, my photos turn out dark. I've been putting the camera on the tripod, hitting the self-timer, and hoping that the exposure would be long enough using ambient light - but it's not! In fact, it looks only slightly dark when reviewed through the lens, but when I get the images home, ugh! Do digital cameras experience reciprocity failure? Will some slaves be the answer? Do I need to use an incident meter and manually set my exposures? I try to get in and out of the houses quickly, to avoid annoying the client. I need to find a way to get good pictures, with minimal hassle. Thanks!

8/3/2007 7:15:26 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Simple interior photography is to use available light and use a flash to enhance or add a little to darker places if needed, instead of the flash being the light for the room. Camera meters can be fooled by uneven lighting and a very reflective object. So if you have manual, use a longer shutter speed - and the tripod.

8/3/2007 11:46:43 PM

 
 
  Entry Way
Entry Way
This shot required 5 strobes to balance the light. 4 Norman 200B units and a Calumet Travelite.
 
 
Hi Valerie,
Interior photography is probably the most technically difficult specialty there is in photography, since interiors are so different and require such wildly different lighting techniques. First, I would explain to clients that pictures of your installations are critical to your business, and you simply must take the time to do them properly. Many of my clients make arrangements for me to come in after the installation is finished and spend hours creating photographs they will use to promote their businesses.
Your Sony will probably allow you to change the exposure with an exposure compensation dial, which will be easier to use than a meter. Also, reciprocity is not a big problem with long exposures, but noise can be. Long exposures on my camera, for example, are almost useless because of noise. The best way to approach this would be with several strobes, but I do not know the sync situation with your camera.
You might want to look at this article, which I did for Photo Techniques: http://www.siskinphoto.com/magazine2c.html. I do not know if it will help, but you might want to take a look.
Practice helps! John Siskin

8/4/2007 4:50:38 PM

Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  This may sound stupid but have you made sure your FLASH is turned OFF??? Ambient light will always work, providing your exposure is long enough for the room lighting. If however you are still using your in-camera flash, then the light will fade away as the flash strength weakens over the distance (hence dark shots).
The trick is to take a light reading for the room using ambient light only, then bounce your flash light off the ceiling or similar (slow exposures for sure, so a tripod is a must).

8/7/2007 4:55:33 AM

Binh Phan

member since: 11/5/2005
  You may consider 2 options:
1. as your camera has a flash hotshoe, so please use a standard external flash with a swivel head. turn the flash head to bounce upto the ceiling and shoot at P mode or manual mode.
2. I'm not sure the F707 support the slow sync option. If yes, you can put the flash on (even with pop-up or external one), turn on the slow sync mode, evaluate the exposure values and ... shoot. the slow sync flash is a kind of balance fill, with add the light and make the color more natural.

8/13/2007 11:47:54 PM

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Photography Question 
Katie L. Chaves

member since: 5/8/2007
  5 .  Lighting for Stage Performance
I was wondering if anyone know what kind of flash would be best for taking photos of a dance recital? Also if I need a diffuser of any sorts. Keep in mind the harsh spotlights on stage. Any help would be greaty appreciated.

5/8/2007 9:29:26 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  The "harsh spotlights" often give enough light that you don't need flash. You just need specialized metering (such as using Spot or Partial metering on the performer) to keep the meter from being fooled by the dark stage and background.
Check with the instructor as to whether they even allow flash. Even if they do, to use flash you need to be relatively close to the performers - even with a high powered speedlight like the 580EX. At ISO 100 and a lens with maximum aperture of f/5.6, the 580EX is limited to subjects less than 34 feet away.

Editor's Note: Also check out this excellent BP article by instructor and portrait photographer Ibarionex Perello:
How to Photograph Performers on Stage

5/8/2007 11:55:26 AM

Katie L. Chaves

member since: 5/8/2007
  The insructor is actually my sister-in-law and I would be taking the photographs during the dress rehersal right up next to the stage.

5/8/2007 12:13:47 PM

Julie A. Young

member since: 4/16/2007
  Hi, my name is Julie Y and I am new. I took 189 photos @ my daughters fashion show. I was so excited, until I got home and saw all my yellow pictures. The flourescent lights and the distance back from the stage was my biggest problem. I am doing a photography course @ home and know now that my camera has specific settings for specific lighting situations and to change the ISO settings according to each subject matter. 189 pictures! What a hard way to learn!! I hope this helps. Julie Y

5/15/2007 11:54:06 AM

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Photography Question 
Paul D. Carter

member since: 4/19/2002
  6 .  Shooting Churches: Stained-Glass Windows
What special considerations should one remember when shooting church stained-glass windows in order to capture the intense, vibrant colors? I am thinking that I should underexpose about one stop or meter from the window close-up and not from the general interior of the church so as not to overexpose. I am using a center-weighted in-camera light meter and 35mm SLR manual film camera (Ricoh KR 5 super II). Thanks!

4/16/2007 7:29:11 AM

doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
  Be on the safe side and take one exposure governed by the light through the windows and nothing else. There might be enough variation in brightness intensities as to average out to a middle tone, which is what your exposure meter "wants". Shoot one/half stop over, one under, one whole stop over, one under. Generally, you underexpose a tad when shooting slide film, but overexpose when shooting negative film. Either way, you get more film density.
Unless you don't mind the windows narrowing from botton to top, use a wide enough lens to get all you want with a minimum of tilting the camera up. Consider also a short telephoto that would isolate certain interesting patterns and details.
Also, you need the stained glass to be illuminated from behind to really capture the colors.
Just my opinion, but I think you're going about the learning process in photography the right way, thinking about and questioning exposure!

4/16/2007 8:11:28 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Somebody's going to tell you to expose for the windows with one shot, then expose for the church in a 2nd shot, scan and then combine them with photoshop(layer masquerade). The fun way would be to do it as you're taking the picture.
What look you're going after changes what you might do. You want the church dark to give a dark framing for the windows, then exposing for just the light coming thru the windows you have to be mindful of the makeup of the windows. If you spot meter off the window, pay attention to the dominant colors of the area you're metering. The blues, reds and greens in stained glass that I remember seeing are pretty saturated, so you almost always have to overexpose to get them to look right. It's not like metering off green grass. But you have to watch out for making yellows too pale. Blues, reds, and greens have more room to overexpose but still look acceptable.
If showing the church inside with the glass is what you want, then if the church is dark with wood like old churches are, then you can try balancing the inside by camera on tripod, and a long enough exposure time wise for the windows that will allow you to hold a flash and fire of several burst of light to fill in areas of the inside. I wouldn't think an old church would have a ceiling that would be good for bouncing a flash off of. Probably too high and not a good material. Newer churches in the suburbs can sometimes have stucco ceilings, that although may be high, you can still bounce a flash off of, even if you have to do several on the same frame.
If you don't bounce, you can still shoot several lower powered burst to paint the room and avoid a lighted look that's too directional.

4/16/2007 11:02:23 PM

 
 
  Gulfport, Ms Presbyterian Church Stained glass
Gulfport, Ms Presbyterian Church Stained glass
1/5s, f/14, iso100, 20mm, tripod & remote shutter.
 
  Dove stained glass
Dove stained glass
1/40s, f/14, iso100, 37mm, tripod & remote shutter. Gulfport, Ms
 
 
I took these about a month ago with the inside of the church pretty dark but a nice sunshine was illuminating outside.

4/17/2007 6:01:48 PM

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Photography Question 
letitia johnson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/9/2006
  7 .  Photographing an Aquarium
I would like some help in knowing how to take pictures thru glass. I am going to an aquarium soon and need to know what to do about flash and what is the best exposure to use. I have a D70s. Any ideas are appreciated. Thank you,
tj

1/17/2007 9:16:44 PM

 
 
  anonome
anonome
1/30 sec, f/4.5, iso1600, 19mm - no flash
 
 
I just took a trip to the Seattle aquarium and used my 17-40mm lens. I used iso 800, 1600 and even 3200 on some pics with the lens held close to the glass to avoid reflections and No flash.
Most of the subjects had enough light on them. There were a couple of shots that could have used a flash but in those situations, it would have been better to have the flash unit held away from the camera to get illumination correct and again to avoid reflecting back at me. You may be able to shoot with the flash if you keep the lens close enough to the glass to avoid the reflection. Even with the high ISO settings, I was able to get dialed in with my exposure so that I didn't have to change anything in Photoshop to the point that noise became a problem.
I have some pics in my gallery and also list my exposure settings.

1/17/2007 10:25:34 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Use a sync cord so that you can hold your flash up and aim it down. Or to the side. You can use a bracket, so you are able to hold it and move it out farther, which moves the reflection from the glass farther away. If you use the flash's auto exposure, you may need to either use flash compensation to make it brighter because of the glass and the water. But then again, you may not, because if the background inside the tanks is dark, that may cause the flash to fire off a brighter light that could cancel out the light loss from the glass and water. But put your lens as close to the glass as you can. Right up against it if possible. And only shoot through clean sections of the glass.

1/18/2007 12:42:17 AM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  And support for when you're forced to use slow shutter speeds. A tripod if possible, of course, but that's not very likely to be allowed. The next best thing is to use a railing, a bannister, a(n aquarium window) sill, a doorway - anything to squarely set down your camera upon, or lean against. You may gain 2 to 3 stops that way. Oh, and further to Greg's pointers: bring tissue and window cleaner!

1/18/2007 2:56:27 AM

Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  Hi Letitia,
You and the fishes should get along OK. All above is good advice. A polarizing filter can be of substantial benefit when photographing through glass, and this filter is invaluable when photographing objects under the water’s surface as the air water junction reflects and glares. You must carefully preview the filter’s effect as you compose. Good technique requires that the filter be rotated for best reflection nullifying effect.
Objects viewed through glass and water appear much closer than actuality. Your camera's auto-focus should handle focusing OK. Pay close attention to reflections as you compose. You may need to re-position to avoid reflections. A lens held very close to the glass is a good countermeasure. Flash unit should be dismounted from the camera if possible and also held close to the glass. Flash should be separated from the camera. Hopefully the sinc cord will allow this distance separation.
Most aquariums are well-lit, and you should have no problem photographing by available light except those displays featuring nocturnal creatures as these are usually dimly light. Some displays are illumined with UV light to emphasize those creatures that display florescence. UV illumination is always difficult as you meter is not calibrated for this region of the spectrum.
Above all, have fun. Alan Marcus

1/18/2007 7:20:47 AM

Stephanie M. Stevens

member since: 4/20/2005
  Many aquariums don't allow flash, so you may have to do without. Hold your camera so that the front of the lens (or lens hood, if you have one) is right against the glass. This will prevent reflections.

1/18/2007 12:11:49 PM

Fritz Geil

member since: 12/24/2004
  Hi Letitia,
The above answers are all good, but avoid the easiest answer. Buy a cheap collapsible rubber lens hood. Extend it out as far as you can without causing vignetting, then press it up against the glass. This will completely eliminate reflections, and give your meter the best chance for accuracy as there is no extraneous light. Use the lowest ISO setting possible to achieve hand-holdable shutter speeds. You will be amazed at the results.
Most importantly, have fun. Sometimes mistakes while experimenting give you the best images. Just try to remember what you did so that you can repeat it if you like the results.

Hope this helps.
Fritz

1/23/2007 7:14:27 AM

Joseph Dlhopolsky

member since: 1/28/2005
  Hold your camera so that the lens is as close as possible to perpendicular to the plane of the glass. Any deviation will increase distortion from the differing refraction indices of the air/glass/acrylic/water media. This will show up as spatial distortion, blurring and color fringes. An alternative is to mount a long lens on a tripod and shoot from a distance. However, this relies on clean glass and no reflections.

1/23/2007 9:31:02 AM

  I would just like to add that if you have an adjusting focus set it instead of using automatic. This way it focuses past the glass and is less likely to be blurry

Melissa

1/23/2007 1:40:49 PM

Edward A. Tepper
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/29/2005
  Please do not use flash in the aquarium. It's really annoying to everyone around you. And the flash will simply reflect off the glass and ruin your picture.

Use a polarizing filter to shoot through the glass. The downside is that the filter will decrease exposure by at least 1 stop. Use as low an ISO as possible. Brace the camera by keeping your elbows as close to your body as possible and fire off a burst of several exposures using the continuous shutter mode. Many times you'll get an acceptably clear picture without noticable camera shake from one of the exposures.

Get a copy of Neat Image or Noise Ninja to reduce the noise that might be created due to using a higher ISO.

1/23/2007 3:16:03 PM

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Photography Question 
Danette K. Volkmer
danettevolkmerphotography.com

member since: 7/27/2006
  8 .  How to Shoot Indoor Ice Sculptures
My sister-in-law has asked me to help her photograph a company Christmas party, including large ice sculptures. She'd like shots of the sculptures and of the people there, etc. She's asked me to bring my camera (Canon 20D)and external flash (Canon 420EX) and flash bracket. Since the objects will be so light/transparent, what do you suggest as far as settings and any other tips?
Thanks!

11/7/2006 11:40:57 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  Shoot in ambient light and illuminate the ice from behind. Make sure that the ice is not totally transparent, or portions of it will overexpose from a bright backlight. The best time to photograph these works of art is soon after they've come out of the freezer and have been positioned on the display table. If the sculpture is displayed in front of a mirrored wall (which is commonly done), make sure to angle the composition so that nothing distracting will be seen in the reflection of the mirror.

11/7/2006 5:30:52 PM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  Preparation! Preparation! Preparation! Go and view the venue with the organizer one of these days, and have him or her walk you through what will happen where. Take your camera to get a feel of what you will see in the viewfinder. That way, you can spot potential problems and think up solutions beforehand.

11/8/2006 2:00:19 AM

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Photography Question 
Damien J. Koracevic
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/4/2006
  9 .  Too Much Noise in Low Light Situations
Hi, I've just bought a Nikon D80 as an upgrade from my D50. The problem is when I'm shooting at dusk/night on long exposures. No matter what ISO I choose, I seem to be genarating far too much noise. I've turned on the noise reduction in the camera's menu but still there's loads of noise. Can somebody tell me what I'm doing wrong?? Thanks.

11/4/2006 12:04:44 PM

Deb James
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/29/2006
  I have a Nikon D70, and I also get a lot of noise when shooting long exposures at night. From what I understand, this is typical. Try using noise reduction software such as NeatImage, Noise Ninja or Noiseware. They're all relatively inexpensive and they work wonders.

11/5/2006 10:04:01 AM

Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/3/2005
  ok, how long of an exposer? I read somewhere that if you talking LOOOONg exposures such as doing star trails at night where you go from 15 mins to 30 Mins, you do get noise and a good way to combat it is, after the shot, let the can finish its internal processing and then put you lens cap back on and do another shot, as long an exposuer as the first and apply it over the original in ps. I guess what it does is cover the noise and you can adjust the opacity to let your stars show through,, I have never done this so I dont know if it works good or not but its worth googling to look into!
does your cam have a function to cancell noise on long exposures?

11/7/2006 7:03:32 AM

Judy G. Larson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/28/2005
  I use MS Pro Digital 9 and find that the Remove Dust tool is very effective for improving photos that are noisy. I thought that all photo software had tools to help with this problem. Is that not so?

The Remove Dust tool in Digital 9 is found under Touch Up/Other Photo Repair/Remove Dust.

Thank you,
Judy

11/7/2006 7:25:30 AM

  I don't know if this helps, but I took a couple photography classes when I bought my N80 and we did night shots. My Husband helped me by making sure all of our outside lights on the house were out, used his meter to help meter the shot and set up my settings, and I used the bulb feature on my N80. I did several shots of stars, the moon, etc. and had no problem with noise even when I blew them up to 8 x 10. I had to stay outside for 30 minutes to get these shots and I used my cable release for shooting the picture. Good luck.

11/7/2006 7:29:01 AM

Phyllis C. Stockfisch

member since: 4/21/2004
  I shoot with the D200 and have spoken to several other Nikon users that are all saying the same thing, noise when you least expect it. I think there may be an issue with newer camera's that Nikon is selling. I never had an issue with my D100. What gives Nikon?

11/7/2006 11:49:05 AM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  Bigger sensors?

11/7/2006 12:10:33 PM

Phyllis C. Stockfisch

member since: 4/21/2004
  I had not thought about the biger sensor. Interesting theory. I tried to ask on the Nikon web site, of course they did not respond. Typical Nikon. I have not had the camera long, I am going to send it back to Nikon and see what they say. The noise has been randon, even appears on perfectly exposed photos. I can understand the underexposed stuff by why correct exposures?

11/7/2006 12:48:32 PM

Damien J. Koracevic
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/4/2006
  Thanks for the replies people, I too have tried to contact nikon but with no reply. Im going to try some software thats stated on this page and see. Im currently using photoshop cs2 and its not great at reducing noise but its just about ok. Also if I use bulb mode for a 30min exposure I get these purple blobs in the top two corners??? Cant be right surely.?

11/7/2006 2:02:01 PM

Ben LindoPhotography

member since: 12/6/2005
  Damien? The D50 is alot less noisier?
How long was the exposure? Can you try doing a long exposure with both cameras using simular settings and exposures. And post them somewhere where we can see ? :)

I'd like to see how noisy 'noisy' is...

Sometimes people think its too noisy by looking at the photo at 100 percent but when you print it, most of the noise will not be visible unless your printing it really big.


11/7/2006 4:27:29 PM

Damien J. Koracevic
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/4/2006
  I will go out at some stage this weekend and get some long exposures, I do find it noiser than my d50 but as has already been said, this may be due to the bigger sensor. No belive me I got the d50 when it was first on the market and thought it was superb, Now ive got my d80 (great camera in every respect) I can visably notice the diffrance in noise. When I get a few exposures I will put a link on here for you all, to see what you think. Also im hoping that the purple faded corners are there so you can see.

11/8/2006 11:47:19 AM

Ben LindoPhotography

member since: 12/6/2005
  The purple blobs might be vignetting caused by your lens or lens hood, usually it happens with wide angle lenses.

If this is the case you can reduce it by removing the lens hood and stopping the apparature down a bit... at F/8 it should be fine.

I know the 18-70kit lens vignettes at wide angle and lower aperature numberes.

11/8/2006 6:02:40 PM

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Photography Question 
dean winchell

member since: 3/29/2005
  10 .  Lighting and Focus Issues in Low Light
I take many low-light sunset pictures with some success but a lot of failures. My primary camera is a fuji S-5000. I love this camera and will buy a fuji S-9000 soon. I think this problem of focus is from my being newly brouht into the digital feild and I hope my new camera which has image stabilisation. Is a tripod the way to go? Also, what do you think of the new Fuji S-4 (yet to be briught out)? I guess you can tell I am hooked on Fuji. It is the only digital camera I have a good working knowledge of. Thanks for any info you can share with me!

10/25/2006 10:46:47 AM

Jay Kinghorn

member since: 7/12/2006
  Dean,
Thanks for your question. Photographing in low light situations brings a host of new challenges that, with a little practice, you can master and really diversify your photography.
A common cause of disappointment in low-light situations is a blurry picture. Because there is significantly less light at dusk than during the day, the camera selects a slow shutter speed to correctly exposure your picture. Unfortunately, our body's natural movement causes blurry pictures at these slow shutter speeds. The best remedy is, as you mention, a tripod. Using a tripod regularly is the single best way to improve your low light photography.
I haven't had a chance to use the Fuji cameras you mention. You might try posting a Fuji-only question to the forum and see if you can get feedback from other BP members using those cameras.
Enjoy your low-light shooting!

Editor's Note: Jay Kinghorn teaches two excellent courses right here at BetterPhoto: Digital Fundamentals, which begins November 1st, and Night and Low-Light Photography.

10/25/2006 11:06:03 AM

Fritz Geil

member since: 12/24/2004
  Dean, as Jay said, you (for all practical purposes) MUST use a tripod in low-light situations, even if your camera/lens has image stabilization. The only caveat is that when you use a tripod (unless it is too flimsy, and allows jittering), you need to turn off the I.S. No, that is not a typo, turn it off. When the I.S. is on, the camera/lens assumes that you will be moving, and seeks to correct motion, even if there is none. This will give you the same frustrating/disappointing results you are getting now. The other trick is to use the camera on aperture priority, and use the smallest aperture available with auto exposure. You should generally also focus manually. There is usually not enough contrast in these situations for auto focus to work. If you cannot use auto focus, find an object that is approximately the same distance from you as your subject, but with more contrast, focus lock and recompose. Best of luck to you.

10/31/2006 1:39:02 PM

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