Night photography


Ajay A Ghatage

Link Posted 10/05/2006 - 14:02
Please help me understand how to shoot at night with a digital camera specially scenes that have lighted objects like buildings, water fountains wihtout making the pics too dark. I have a pentax *ist dl
Should one use a flash (FTZ 500). Do throw some light on this.
thanks

MattMatic

Link Posted 10/05/2006 - 14:18
Ajay,
The first thing - get a tripod. That's essential with any night-time work.
If depends what you are trying to achieve...

Cameras (both digital and film) can only capture a certain range of light to dark. If you have a brightly lit fountain with darkness around then you will never get both the fountain and background in one shot

The best way is this: using the tripod, first set the exposure for the fountain and take a picture (the background will be black). Then, expose for the background and take another shot. You can then combine the two images in Photoshop (or similar).

If you're trying to take a photo of someone at night, but want the sunset (for instance), then you should use a flash. Use "M" mode, and set the exposure for the sunset or scenery. Then, without changing the settings, pop up the flash (or power up the external flash), and take the photo. Even the pop-up flash will be "clever" enough to expose the foreground. However, make sure you use a shutter speed that's slower than 1/150" (which is probable for a sunset or night scene).

Learn about Manual exposure and spot metering (which helps you to judge exactly what will be exposed correctly).

Best thing is to experiment with what you have!
Matt

johnriley

Link Posted 10/05/2006 - 15:45
There are so many different effects that can be realised with night photography. But the only way forward is to practice and practice and take notes so you know what you have done. There are also many books that will offer ideas and useful information - maybe a trip to the local library would be helpful.

Have fun!
Best regards, John
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