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

Started Dec 6, 2013 | Photos thread
clengman Senior Member • Posts: 1,964
Re: Going back tomorrow - How can I do better? - Night shots

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

clengman wrote:

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:.

Thanks for the bad news. Oh well, only one best night shot per night I guess.

I wouldn't go that far.

There's hope!

The thing to watch out for is the bright highlights. Set your exposure so those aren't clipped (or not too badly clipped).

This keeps coming up. I was carefully watching my preshot blinkies. How did I end up with clipped highlights? Where exactly do you see them?

The colored lights on the bridge and the signs at the tops of the buildings, and the top of the suntrust building are all definitely overexposed. The red light on the bridge is likely only clipped in the red channel, maybe that's why it didn't show up on the highlight warning. Not exactly sure how that works.

The headlights and most of the street lights are blown as well, but that's difficult to avoid, and not as important to the picture.

You can adjust the rest of the tones later. The closer the brightness of the sky is to the brightness of the artificial lighting in the scene, the less dynamic range you will have to capture.

Thanks for that explanation. For some reason that clicked in my brain.

The data you'll have to work with in your RAW file. If you have some pictures with sky and buildings that look lighter than what you wanted, don't be too quick to toss them out. I think it usually works better to start with a slightly too bright sky and pull it down a little, than it is to push shadows that started out too dark

Now this seems to contradict some of the other advise I've been given... to underexpose.

The advice isn't really to underexpose. The advice is to not overexpose the highlights. There's a difference.  I wasn't saying that you should expose so that a dark sky appears bright. I was saying that you should start taking pictures when the sky is a little brighter, but still take care to expose properly to preserve your highlight detail. Then in PP, you can selectively pull down the brightness of the sky if you want.

, but like someone else said, you have a camera with a good, not terribly noisy sensor, you will have a lot of latitude to push shadow areas if that's what you need to do.

Some of the shots I took the other night had quite a bit of noise. I'm trying to figure out how I caused that.

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