Night Time Photography - General Q&A Thread

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#1
As someone whose passion is most things night time photography I've learn a lot about the genre...even some of the pit falls :)

While I have a number of guides on specific areas of the art and links to those can of course be seen in my signature if you've a question about night time photography and would like a answer then that is what this thread is here for so ask away and I'll be here trying to answer them with my knowledge and experience...and if I cannot hopefully I'll still be able to find the knowledge that you need...every day is a school in photography after all (y)

So if your curious about car light trails, mystified by the moon or lost in light painting then please ask away and I'll try and clear those muddy waters (y)

Guides - Light Trails - Star Trails - Wire Wool - Fireworks

Matt
 
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#2
Good idea Matt, as someone who has enjoyed your guides previously this is a great idea to have one master thread.

Waiting for some clear skies so I can experiment with my new 5dMk3, trying the Auto ISO setting for a change to see what can happen and if its a good or bad idea.
 
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#3
Good idea Matt, as someone who has enjoyed your guides previously this is a great idea to have one master thread.

Waiting for some clear skies so I can experiment with my new 5dMk3, trying the Auto ISO setting for a change to see what can happen and if its a good or bad idea.
Thanks Andrew, as a 5D3 user myself in certain situations I find auto ISO a very useful tool that said I'd not use it for night time stuff as, as clever as the mk3 is it will still generally set too higher ISO in the dark :) that said the ISO performance of the mk3 is epic and I regularly use 4000+ without issue
 
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#4
Interesting comment, I wonder about restricting the top end of the ISO available in Auto as a potential workaround ?
 
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Interesting comment, I wonder about restricting the top end of the ISO available in Auto as a potential workaround ?
In theory yes that could well be a work around however I suspect that could still potential cause too higher ISO for many night time exploits when I say this its because its not unknown for myself to shoot up to and well beyond 10 minutes :D
 
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#6
Thank you for the guides Matthew, which I've used extensively (y)
 
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#7
Thank you for the guides Matthew, which I've used extensively (y)
Not a problem at all Wail I'm glad they've been of use to you (y) hopefully this thread will become a useful resource too (y)
 
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#10
So what is that about then? Can you give a brief synopsis as at 90 minutes long I'd like an idea before I watch it ;)
Hi, How about looking at the title of the video "Pixels After Dark: Shooting the Night"
Then read the description under the video.
"Jeff Cable is a three time Olympic photographer, but he doesn't specialize in shooting just sports. One of his favorite things to do is to shoot images at night! etc etc etc"
Thanks
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Hi, How about looking at the title of the video "Pixels After Dark: Shooting the Night"
Then read the description under the video.
"Jeff Cable is a three time Olympic photographer, but he doesn't specialize in shooting just sports. One of his favorite things to do is to shoot images at night! etc etc etc"
Thanks
Russ
Thank's for that...oddly enough I did read the title and the description but neither really told me much about the content of the video so again I ask what is it about what subjects are covered? I'd hope that's not too harder question to get and answer too?
 
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#12
Hi, How about looking at the title of the video "Pixels After Dark: Shooting the Night"
Then read the description under the video.
"Jeff Cable is a three time Olympic photographer, but he doesn't specialize in shooting just sports. One of his favorite things to do is to shoot images at night! etc etc etc"
Thanks
Russ
Well I've took some time..honestly I didn't watch it all as after about 40 minutes of stories about different photos he had shot I got a bit bored, what I'll say is it was a lovely thing to see someone else who has a genuine passion for night photography similar to myself but if I'm honest from what I saw it really was coving really the very basics, not that there is anything wrong with that but it genuinely felt more about the presenter than the photography...
 
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#13
Hi Matt,

Do you ever ask permission at the locations you're wool spinning at? or is it a case of chancing it

I had my first attempt at the weekend, enjoyed it a lot and looking forward to getting out there again :)
 
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#14
Hi Matt,

Do you ever ask permission at the locations you're wool spinning at? or is it a case of chancing it

I had my first attempt at the weekend, enjoyed it a lot and looking forward to getting out there again :)
As a rule, I tend to only do it in publicly accessible locations...it's a difficult one as depending on location yes you should ask...obviously when I charge for people to attend its at locations where I have received permission to be there (y)

I hope your posting your results on the forum?
 

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#17
Hi Matt,

I'd like to try taking a LONG night-time star-trails / timelapse. The longest I've ever managed so far is about 2½ hours but with the autumn and winter approaching I'd like to try to go longer.

What tips do you have for maximising the amount of time I can keep the shutter open in any one session? (Not for individual exposures; just cumulatively.) I'm planning to get a battery grip so that I can use two batteries instead of one, but is there some way of connecting a Canon DSLR to something like a car battery, external battery pack, or mains supply?
 
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#18
Hi Matt,

I'd like to try taking a LONG night-time star-trails / timelapse. The longest I've ever managed so far is about 2½ hours but with the autumn and winter approaching I'd like to try to go longer.

What tips do you have for maximising the amount of time I can keep the shutter open in any one session? (Not for individual exposures; just cumulatively.) I'm planning to get a battery grip so that I can use two batteries instead of one, but is there some way of connecting a Canon DSLR to something like a car battery, external battery pack, or mains supply?
Hi Stewart, the longest you can keep going is as I'm sure you'll appreciate a little open ended, I've shot anything up to 4 hours of 30 second exposures only 2 weeks back...your biggest enemy is lens condensation...which I'm ashamed to say I've still not found a hard and fast way of always preventing...

In theory in the winter months there is nothing to stop you running for 8 or more hours other than batteries as naturally they will drain faster in cold conditions...this is why I always shoot gripped with two fully charged batteries I've found out of a pair of genuine batteries on the 5D3 I can get 1000+ 30 second exposures on a single charge and I've done similar with my 450D again gripped with two genuine batteries

You can get a mains power lead for your camera...they are not the cheapest and then you've also got to sort your power source...easy for me as I own a generator for when I want to take some of my other work tools like disco lights and lasers on a shoot :D or one of our smoke machines

Basically if your gripped with two fully charged batteries I cannot see you having an issue...I have always have a second set of fully charged OEM batteries ready to go into the cameras if required but never had to do it yet :)

I hope that helps :D
 
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#22
When are you doing the film one Mat...:D

it won't take more than 3 lines..lol
I'm not sure if I'll be able to fit a trigger to my little EOS750 but if I can rest assured i'll be having a go at some film long exposure stuff, if not well I'll have to buy a second film body then won't I :D
 
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#23
Matt, regarding your comment on lens condensation, have you tried one of those dew bands you can get for telescopes?
I have one that I've used very successfully, its a little heater element that wraps around the lens and plugs into a controller (I made that myself from bits from Maplin), and a 12v sealed lead acid battery (or similar). Slightly heats the front element with no risk of damage and prevents fogging.

Theres a place not too far from you in Erdington that sells them but I cant remember the name of them.
If I remember I'll edit this post:)
 
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#24
Matt, regarding your comment on lens condensation, have you tried one of those dew bands you can get for telescopes?
I have one that I've used very successfully, its a little heater element that wraps around the lens and plugs into a controller (I made that myself from bits from Maplin), and a 12v sealed lead acid battery (or similar). Slightly heats the front element with no risk of damage and prevents fogging.

Theres a place not too far from you in Erdington that sells them but I cant remember the name of them.
If I remember I'll edit this post:)
I've tried various things but that sounds like a interesting option...I'll have a search round on the web..I've used little fans, little it acclimatised, ensuring I'm down wind etc its so flipping annoying ;)
 
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#26
The one I use is a "Dew not dew band"
I'll take a look, it would be good to be able to confidently recommend a solution. I've found of course high humidity nights to be the worse...lost 250 frames only a few weeks back to it...the first night 400 frames not a hint of mist but cloud for most of the night....clear the next night and misting/condensation within 150 frames :( bloody annoying and other than cloud the only difference was 30% higher humidity the second night :(
 
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#28
Hi Matthew

with the late nights starting to came back im going to be heading out to start my long exposures again but im going to try some urban street shots which ive not done before what tips can you give me please

Thanks Wayne
Maybe the best tip I could give is if you have a filter on is to take it off...this is not to get into the whole filter debate...it's because there are that many sources of light on your average urban street your almost guaranteed flare if you've a filter fitted...it's likely you'll still get some even without a filter but no need to increase the chances...

I guess the next thing is what are you wanting to capture...if we are talking say candid street shots...not something I've ever really got into but you'll need at lease try and freeze the important action...so faster shutter speed...not easy to do in the dark so it's got to be a mix of large apertures and higher ISO's

If it's not important to freeze the action then the main advise is try and avoid overly bright light sources being right on the edge of frame...and a lens hoot is a real useful addition (y)
 
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#29
Maybe the best tip I could give is if you have a filter on is to take it off...this is not to get into the whole filter debate...it's because there are that many sources of light on your average urban street your almost guaranteed flare if you've a filter fitted...it's likely you'll still get some even without a filter but no need to increase the chances...

I guess the next thing is what are you wanting to capture...if we are talking say candid street shots...not something I've ever really got into but you'll need at lease try and freeze the important action...so faster shutter speed...not easy to do in the dark so it's got to be a mix of large apertures and higher ISO's

If it's not important to freeze the action then the main advise is try and avoid overly bright light sources being right on the edge of frame...and a lens hoot is a real useful addition (y)
Thank you for the filter tip will try it,

as for the candid shoots im not going for that, will be empty street scenes hopefully and maybe a few with light trails
 
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#30
Matt, regarding your comment on lens condensation, have you tried one of those dew bands you can get for telescopes?
I have one that I've used very successfully, its a little heater element that wraps around the lens and plugs into a controller (I made that myself from bits from Maplin), and a 12v sealed lead acid battery (or similar). Slightly heats the front element with no risk of damage and prevents fogging.

Theres a place not too far from you in Erdington that sells them but I cant remember the name of them.
If I remember I'll edit this post:)
Looks like matt will be sending me a lil project shirtly then lol
 
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#31
Thank you for the filter tip will try it,

as for the candid shoots im not going for that, will be empty street scenes hopefully and maybe a few with light trails
Ah okay the, the best advise I can give for the type of shots you'll be looking at would be to try and have something of interest in the frame that the light trails are heading too if you can...although I'd say the most important thing to look out for is street furniture, signs/lamp posts/bollards etc...avoid them ideally although of course some compositions will lend themselves to making use of them :)

Looks like matt will be sending me a lil project shirtly then lol
Soon mate but you've enough to work on at the minute :D
 
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#33
thanks matthew ill keep that in mind
No problem at all...it's what I'm here for (y) be sure to start a thread to show your results as I'll look forward to seeing them (y)
 
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