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Photography Question 
Carole Hude
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/20/2004
 

How to Take Night City Pictures


I'd like to take pictures of downtown Honolulu, for instance, but my attempts do not give me the effect I wanted. What do I really need to do?


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8/13/2004 12:53:29 PM

 
Pamela K
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2004
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  In general for night shots: Tripod and slow shutter speed with a large aperture, but keep it underexposed relative to the meter reading by 1 stop or more. You can use the setting "Night shot" if using a digital camera. We'll really need some more detail about what you did, what equipment you have, and what effect you're actually trying to get to really help you out. It would probably also help if you post some example shots with a description of what you think is wrong with them.
Pam


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8/13/2004 1:00:39 PM

 
Damian P. Gadal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/22/2002
  If you've got a camera that gives you control over the shutter speed, you will need to slow down the shutter, to a 1" or more. You'll also need a tripod or something to keep the camera steady, and a shutter release cable or some type of remote to fire the shutter ...
hth


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8/13/2004 1:00:46 PM

 
Carole Hude
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/20/2004
 
 
 
Sorry, I deleted the pictures. I did not use a tripod but rested the camera on the balcony wall. My last attempts to take night pictures with a tripod were during the Blue Moon, but I seem to be a morron concerning shutter speed, meter reading, aperture. For instance the best shot I got was this one... Thanks Damian: I think I needed some indication about the time length, and needed to be sure I was not fooling around


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8/13/2004 1:20:17 PM

 
Carole Hude
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/20/2004
 
 
 
sorry, I deleted the pictures. I did not use a tripod but rested the camera on the balcony wall. My last attempts to take night pictures with a tripod were during the Blue Moon, but I seem to be a morron concerning shutter speed, meter reading, aperture. For instance the best shot I got was this one... Thanks Damian: I think I needed some indication about the time length, and needed to be sure I was not fooling around. Wait I got this one from Waikiki


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8/13/2004 1:23:31 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
cammphoto.com
  Hi Carole,
Your shot from Waikiki looks like it's exposed OK, but it looks a little fuzzy. I think you may have experienced camera movement during the exposure. When shooting time exposures, your camera has to be rock-steady during the entire time of exposure. Tall buildings will "move" back and forth if there's a breeze outside.


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8/13/2004 1:42:45 PM

 
Shirley D. Cross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/7/2001
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  I have to disagree with Pam (sorry Pam). But I've taken many night city photos and if you are using film, the best thing you can do is bracket your exposures, especially to the overexposure side. I've found my best exposures to be around one stop overexposed. But, as I said, the best way to be sure is to bracket...then you are sure to get at least one good exposure.


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8/15/2004 1:30:17 PM

 
Carole Hude
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/20/2004
  Yes, the building was moving quite a bit. I'll try from another point in town, not moving. I'll show the result, but it'll be in a week or so. Thanks all for the answers.


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8/16/2004 12:19:34 PM

 
Pamela K
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2004
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  Not to worry, Shirley... I think it probably depends on the effect you're going for. When I take city shots, I'm usually trying to make the buildings disappear and the lights stand out, which requires underexposure compared to my camera's meter. If you're trying to make the lights and the buildings stand out, then I'd go with overexposed. It probably also depends on what you're aiming at when you take the meter reading....

Pam


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8/16/2004 6:40:11 PM

 
Carole Hude
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/20/2004
 
 
 

This is what I shot yesterday evening. Feel free to comment, so I can actually shoot better :-). Thanks.


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8/19/2004 2:31:46 PM

 
Carole Hude
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/20/2004
  sorry. computer messed up. this was only intended to be posted once...


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8/19/2004 2:35:37 PM

 
Pamela K
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2004
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  I commented on the second one.... The computer seems to think that they're separate photos as far as the discussions are concerned.

You've surpassed my city shooting already! :)
I've never tried the really scenic panoramic shots. I usually go for one building/monument/etc at a time.

Pam


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8/19/2004 5:49:16 PM

 
Carole Hude
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/20/2004
 
 
 
yep, two threads are there... I might reduce the speed. This one I took before the panoramics with a speed of 0.4'.


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8/19/2004 6:02:29 PM

 
Pamela K
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/21/2004
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  I like this shot. It's more similar to what I usually shoot (the buildings are virtually invisible, which means you can't tell that they're moving). I really like the reflections.

I guess it depends on what effect you're going for.... I usually want the lights to be the focus of my shots, but if you wanted to show the skyline, then it's probably good to decrease the shutter speed to 1s like you did with the panoramics.

Can't wait to see what other people have to say.... This has definitely gotten me thinking about other options for city shots than what I usually do.

Pam


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8/19/2004 6:13:22 PM

 
Carole Hude
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/20/2004
  I'm glad about that...


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8/19/2004 6:16:04 PM

 
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