A lonely cat


frankwu

Link Posted 16/08/2009 - 14:13
I took these two pictures around 11:00pm yesterday. One picture has better focusing but the shadow of the cat is cut. The other picture is out of focus. I just find it very hard to focus manually at low light condition.The auto focus doesn't work very well. Which one do you think is better? I really can't decide.

Any advice on how to take pictures at night?

Any C&C are warmly welcome!

the out of focus shot:



the other shot:

JudithAnn

Link Posted 17/08/2009 - 08:12
I like the first one with the full shadow....

Night photography is alway tricky and often it is about practise and trying different things. I often increase the ISO...that often increases the noise levels also...I prefere manual focus at night because the auto often finds it hard to focus, zooming in and out and in and out...drives me nutty.

I do see that picture 'one' is a bit too soft..but it is still a very cool effect...the double tail is neat...picture 'two' is sharper but the special shadow effect is lost.
https://www.jastandringphotos.com
Last Edited by JudithAnn on 17/08/2009 - 08:13

Malo1961

Link Posted 17/08/2009 - 19:37
Hi Frank,
The last one could be very good if only you had some more real estate.
I can see a very spooky scene here.....but the shadow needs to be complete.
Fairly easy to fix in PS or Elements. Converted to a blue-ish Mono would work well here. I had a go with it, just as a experiment but you have to give permission to post it. It would change the character of your picture of course........And most likely the Title.

Taking pictures at night are a lot of fun. Think city scapes, star trails, car lights, moody bars in low light conditions. Black and white often works well to prevent major colour shifts and add mood and atmosphere. Manual focus or pre-focus often is key. Forget AF.......

For static scenes use a tripod, cable release and a small torch to see what you are doing when handling the camera. Moving objects need fast lenses, high ISO and if needed fill in flash or second curtain sync.
And .........NEVER work alone at night. Better safe than sorry.

Martin.
Best regards,

Martin.


Curious about my photography?? Just Follow the Light.

paulyrichard

Link Posted 17/08/2009 - 20:11
I'm thinkin' of a lo-contrast B&W image cropped square, with the first shot in particular.
"Ifamericatoldthetruthforjustonedayitswholeworldwouldfallapart "
"All the technique in the world doesn’t compensate for the inability to notice." - Elliott Erwitt

http://paulyrichard.wordpress.com/

Helpful

frankwu

Link Posted 18/08/2009 - 00:27
Malo1961 wrote:
Hi Frank,
The last one could be very good if only you had some more real estate.
I can see a very spooky scene here.....but the shadow needs to be complete.
Fairly easy to fix in PS or Elements. Converted to a blue-ish Mono would work well here. I had a go with it, just as a experiment but you have to give permission to post it. It would change the character of your picture of course........And most likely the Title.

Taking pictures at night are a lot of fun. Think city scapes, star trails, car lights, moody bars in low light conditions. Black and white often works well to prevent major colour shifts and add mood and atmosphere. Manual focus or pre-focus often is key. Forget AF.......

For static scenes use a tripod, cable release and a small torch to see what you are doing when handling the camera. Moving objects need fast lenses, high ISO and if needed fill in flash or second curtain sync.
And .........NEVER work alone at night. Better safe than sorry.

Martin.

Hi, Martin, Thanks for the suggestion. It will be interesting to see your adjustment. So feel free to post your picture and I can learn some cool skills as well!

frankwu

Link Posted 18/08/2009 - 00:30
JudithAnn wrote:
I like the first one with the full shadow....

Night photography is alway tricky and often it is about practise and trying different things. I often increase the ISO...that often increases the noise levels also...I prefere manual focus at night because the auto often finds it hard to focus, zooming in and out and in and out...drives me nutty.

I do see that picture 'one' is a bit too soft..but it is still a very cool effect...the double tail is neat...picture 'two' is sharper but the special shadow effect is lost.

Do you use split focusing screen or some other equipment to assist you? I was doing manual focusing while shooting the two pictures and I could hardly see what is in the view finder.

frankwu

Link Posted 18/08/2009 - 00:38
paulyrichard wrote:
I'm thinkin' of a lo-contrast B&W image cropped square, with the first shot in particular.

Thanks Pauly. I had a try and I think it does look better...


Malo1961

Link Posted 18/08/2009 - 05:55
OK here it is:



Changes the mood completely, of course. Hope you like it.

Martin.
Best regards,

Martin.


Curious about my photography?? Just Follow the Light.

RR

Link Posted 18/08/2009 - 07:55
It seems to have become a Manx cat in the process Martin.

Is it me or do these images (except Malo's version) have horizontal banding in the dark areas ?
My Flickr

Malo1961

Link Posted 18/08/2009 - 12:53
RR wrote:
It seems to have become a Manx cat in the process Martin.

Is it me or do these images (except Malo's version) have horizontal banding in the dark areas ?

She just moved it out of the way. After I asked her.....obviously.
I was kind of busy cloning, brushing, healing and fitting the extra pavement.

Martin.
Best regards,

Martin.


Curious about my photography?? Just Follow the Light.

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 18/08/2009 - 17:09
Malo1961 wrote:
OK here it is:

Changes the mood completely, of course. Hope you like it.

Martin.

Excellent work, Martin. I liked the mood in the first shot, but couldn't see how the lack of sharpness could be overcome.

I don't think you have changed the mood - at the risk of sounding highfalutin', you have picked up on the spooky quality of the shot and coaxed out its 'essence'!
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

Mannesty

Link Posted 19/08/2009 - 06:47
To assist focussing in low light conditions, many Pentax flashguns have a spot beam setting (SB).

This will illuminate the scene with red light (not infra-red but near infra red and visible), patterned in the case of the newer flashes, to help the camera's AF system lock on in low light.

When set to SB, the flash will not fire.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream
Last Edited by Mannesty on 19/08/2009 - 06:48

frankwu

Link Posted 19/08/2009 - 11:36
thanks Peter. I think I need to buy a flashgun soon.

thanks Martin. How did you complete the shadow? Did you kinda take some parts from the first picture and merge with the second? It works like magic.

Malo1961

Link Posted 19/08/2009 - 14:03
Hi Frank,
Actually I selected the the cat herself (rough shape), feathered the selection to soften the edges, copied the selection to a new layer. Than I flipped the layer vertically and pasted it back at the place I wanted the shadow. Filled it with black and changed the blend mode to luminosity.( a bit fiddling etc...) That's it.


I only worked with the second picture. Nothing has been taken from the first.
The extra tile (the more real estate) is created from the lower part of the same picture.(Rectangle selection, stretching and free transform. After that some cloning)

I am glad you liked it.

Martin.
Best regards,

Martin.


Curious about my photography?? Just Follow the Light.

darlene

Link Posted 19/08/2009 - 17:01
Wow what alot of work and input...even I learned a few tips...
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