Going back tomorrow - How can I do better? - Night shots

Started 11 months ago | Photos
Florida Nature Photographer
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Going back tomorrow - How can I do better? - Night shots
11 months ago

I did this last night. It was strictly a learning/practicing expedition and I'm not satisfied with the results because I'm comparing my results with night shots I've seen here especially those of Bob Tullis. I'm not expecting that overnight, if ever, but Weather permitting I am going right back to the same place tomorrow night to try to do better. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

How do you deal with the stupid headlights and still get the blue sky right at sunset?

This is a merge of 5 1 EV exposures

Macro attempt with the 12-40

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murfthesurf
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Re: Going back tomorrow - How can I do better? - Night shots
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

First of all, give yourself some credit.  These are some nice images.  Second of all, Bob is an excellent photographer and that accounts for a lot of what he posts.  However, I know Bob shoots a lot of night shots with his Voigtlander lenses and those are some excellent pieces of glass which render beautiful starburst effect on lights.

As for the bluish sky, the earlier in the evening you shoot on a clear night, the bluer the sky.

I have a question for you though, did you shoot that first shot with the 12-50 or 12-40 2.8?

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ahmami
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Re: Going back tomorrow - How can I do better? - Night shots
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

Firstly, nice images. Ideally you need to shoot at the "blue hour" - at twilight - to create images with impact. Or remove the sky as it does not lend much if too dark.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Going back tomorrow - How can I do better? - Night shots
In reply to murfthesurf, 11 months ago

murfthesurf wrote:

I have a question for you though, did you shoot that first shot with the 12-50 or 12-40 2.8?

All of them are shot with the 12-40. Some with a polorrizer. I'm not sure which.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Going back tomorrow - How can I do better? - Night shots
In reply to ahmami, 11 months ago

ahmami wrote:

Firstly, nice images. Ideally you need to shoot at the "blue hour" - at twilight - to create images with impact. Or remove the sky as it does not lend much if too dark.

Remove the sky??

I hate the idea that I can only take photos for one hour of the day. I want to be able move around at night, find beauty, and capture it.

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Art_P
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The lights
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

seem a bit over exposed... perhaps some HDR is in order?  Shoot one exposure for the sky, one for the lights and a couple in between...

And if you use a program like PhotoAcute, it can be set to remove objects that moved between frames (like those pesky headlights)

If you shot in RAW you might still be able to adjust a bit so the lights aren't so intense and still brighten the sky.

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steveashe
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Re: The lights
In reply to Art_P, 11 months ago

First of all I think your first shot is great. 2nd of all, I'm a newbie (well I've been taking pictures for a long time) and I've learned that taking a sharp picture is deceptively easy.  By the way, I posted one of my pics a couple of weeks ago and you posted a nice response and I never did thank you - thank you :-).   I asked a similar question on Dpreview a few weeks ago and this was Bob Tullis' response  (Bob I sincerely hope you don't mind me reposting your response, I'm not sure what protocol is).  I don't know Bob, or anyone on this site for that matter,  but I am so impressed by his photography and his thoughtful response that I wanted to share.

my question was:

How can one learn to do what seems to come so naturally to others? This is not a question of self judgment but a question of "how" and "if" you believe that photographic expression is possible to learn, or do you just "have it"?

Bob's response was - IMO, Yes.

Just as some are innately better with tools than others, better at drawing than others, better at playing instruments than others, the same applies here. And all of it can be learned. Some have to work more than others at some aspects of understanding the various considerations that are involved in creating that photo one admires.

What looks easy usually has a a foundation in study & practice. There's learning the gear. There's learning how to make that gear produce type of photograph one seeks (and coming to understand what the light of the moment can offer, whether it's worthwhile or not to even try). Then there's learning what one wants to convey, and why (finding one's 'voice'). All together, it's an affair that can last a lifetime. With so many techniques and styles of photography and so many subject types, mastering 1/4 of what's possible can keep one quite busy.

One should always push themselves for more from themselves, but not to be too impatient or obsessive about it. This can be a lifelong journey of self discovery,, and forcing it won't be any fun. Looking back, I feel the various things I needed to get better at, at various stages of the learning process, took a few weeks/months of concentration flesh out, and the rest of the year to practice applying until it becomes rote. Then the eyes detect distractions never noticed before, as discernment evolves with the practice, and there's something new to take on, to add to the foundation already set in place. And like that.

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murfthesurf
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Re: Going back tomorrow - How can I do better? - Night shots
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

murfthesurf wrote:

I have a question for you though, did you shoot that first shot with the 12-50 or 12-40 2.8?

All of them are shot with the 12-40. Some with a polorrizer. I'm not sure which.

Hmmm.  I have to say I'm a little disappointed with the way that lens renders the starburst effect on lights.  The spines aren't very crisp at all.  I was really looking forward to ordering that lens, but now I'm not sure.  I really like to shoot long exposure night scenes and that effect is important to me.  Unless, of course, it's the polarizer that caused that.

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Art_P
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I'm sure
In reply to murfthesurf, 11 months ago

a polarizer would mess w the star effect, as would a change in aperture.

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I live where the two play together,
I thrive on the conflict"

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LTZ470
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Re: Going back tomorrow - How can I do better? - Night shots
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

Florida this gent can help you as well, he takes excellent photos at night with EM1, and would have some good suggestions, you can also find the EXIF to his photos in Flickr...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/43301211@N03/with/11218060684/

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rkny
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Re: Going back tomorrow - How can I do better? - Night shots
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

Remove the sky??

I hate the idea that I can only take photos for one hour of the day. I want to be able move around at night, find beauty, and capture it.

"Magic hour" is but one of 24. There is beauty to be captured 24/7, in clear weather, rain, snow, sunset, sunrise, pitch black, street light, etc.

Don't get so caught up in trying to replicate other's images.

Your sense of composition is strong.  Let it take you anywhere, even if the light doesn't seem ideal. You may surprise yourself.

Open your mind, and your eyes, and camera, will follow. The only limitation is your imagination.

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nevada5
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Polarizer?
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

I'm curious - why did you use a polarizer?  I've only ever used one to eliminate reflections (on glass, still water, etc), which is probably not something you wanted to do here. It will also reduce the amount of light reaching the lens, usually not beneficial with night scenes.

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mh2000
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darker...
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

personally, I think night shots have to be darker to capture the feeling of night. Also, nothing you can do about cars driving through. have to shoot when there aren't cars or figure out how to convince yourself they're cool

best!

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jrdmedford
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Try Tungsten White Balance just after sunset, also - get a PL filter for water at night
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

An old trick for the blue early evening sky is to change to Tungsten WB setting. Give it a try!

Next, even at night, a polarizing filter can dramatically improve shots with water present.  Sure, the PL filter can cause you to lose a stop of light - so you'll need a tripod.  I would also turn off the IS for night shots and use a tripod - even though people believe that IS == Handheld ; not all the time.   Try stopping down between f4 and f8 too.

Mirrorless means you can buy a linear polarizer, rather than a circular polarizer which you must use on a DSLR.  I've been happy with the Hoya.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Thanks for cleaning up my thread
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

Just before I went to bed last night this thread received a visit from a troll. I followed my policy or ignoring it but several did not recognize it for what it was and a fair amount of clutter resulted.

Thankfully, I see that is all gone now. If the person responsible would send me a private message telling me how that was accomplished I'd appreciate it. I'd like to be able to keep my denoised in the future.

Thanks, and now back to photography...

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: The lights
In reply to Art_P, 11 months ago

Art_P wrote:

seem a bit over exposed... perhaps some HDR is in order?

I used HDR on the second one but not on the other two.

Shoot one exposure for the sky, one for the lights and a couple in between...

And if you use a program like PhotoAcute, it can be set to remove objects that moved between frames (like those pesky headlights)

Hmmm... I 'll have to look into that. Anyone else have experience with that or similar programs?

If you shot in RAW you might still be able to adjust a bit so the lights aren't so intense and still brighten the sky.

I shoot RAW only.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: The lights
In reply to steveashe, 11 months ago

steveashe wrote:

First of all I think your first shot is great. 2nd of all, I'm a newbie (well I've been taking pictures for a long time) and I've learned that taking a sharp picture is deceptively easy. By the way, I posted one of my pics a couple of weeks ago and you posted a nice response and I never did thank you - thank you :-).

You're welcome.

I asked a similar question on Dpreview a few weeks ago and this was Bob Tullis' response

Thanks for that. My concern about these photos is technical. They don't seem to have the clarity and impact that I've seen in other night shots. I'm not sure if I am doing something wrong in the field or if I need to improve my post processing.

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Michael L NYC 99
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Re: Going back tomorrow - How can I do better? - Night shots
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

As some others have said, I would try a blue hour shot without the polariser. If you time it right, you can also get a nice sky reflection on the water, which would brighten your shot. I don't know if you shot this RAW, but have you adjusted the highlights in processing? The red color also looks a bit over saturated. Reducing the red saturation should bring back some details.

You did a good job on the HDR processing of the second shot. HDR shots with dark shadows can sometimes result in lots of noise, but I don't see that here.

I agree with an earlier comment about the Voigtlander lenses and their rendering of bright night lights. The Nokton lenses make starbursts that auto focus lenses in M43 cannot replicate.

Michael

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Art_P
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Just keep trying
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, 11 months ago

Try a shot different ways... longer exposure, under expose, over expose...

And take notes...  so when you get it right you know what you did.    (that's where I tend to drop the ball)

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I live where the two play together,
I thrive on the conflict"

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Going back tomorrow - How can I do better? - Night shots
In reply to murfthesurf, 11 months ago

murfthesurf wrote:

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

murfthesurf wrote:

I have a question for you though, did you shoot that first shot with the 12-50 or 12-40 2.8?

All of them are shot with the 12-40. Some with a polorrizer. I'm not sure which.

Hmmm. I have to say I'm a little disappointed with the way that lens renders the starburst effect on lights. The spines aren't very crisp at all. I was really looking forward to ordering that lens, but now I'm not sure. I really like to shoot long exposure night scenes and that effect is important to me. Unless, of course, it's the polarizer that caused that.

The thought that someone would make an equipment buying decision based on an image I posted, given my level of experience, really concerns me. Please don't do that.

Be sure to read my response below about the polarizer...

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