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Thread: how to capture night urban scape?

  1. #1

    Default how to capture night urban scape?

    like the topic how to shoot night urban shots?
    problems i seem to no be able to grasp.

    1) if i meter for sky, i see sky but the glare on urban artificial lightings get clipped.
    2) if i meter for urban area, sky black.

    i remember seeing photos on CS, like some guys shots in sydney and needed to stitch em up, the sky and urban scape very nicely captured, both can see... how do i do this?

    i was tryin to take the fullerton from esplande with reflection off the sea... i tried bracketing, it did help a little but im not entirely satisfied. because the glare is too much! if any one remembers the sydney guys shots were really nice. im beginning to think that he HDRed each shot.

    another scenerio..
    say i wanna capture the eslapnde and the moon together, if i expose for the moon explande will become clipped, if i expose for esplande the moon not very nice, not bright enuff.

    so how? help pls.

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to capture night urban scape?

    shoot at magic hour aka twilights, dusk.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: how to capture night urban scape?

    precisely... you don't shoot when it gets totally dark... when the sun has set (otherwise the sky would be orangy) but the sky still has some residual brightness...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to capture night urban scape?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thirun Sammy View Post
    like the topic how to shoot night urban shots?
    problems i seem to no be able to grasp.

    1) if i meter for sky, i see sky but the glare on urban artificial lightings get clipped.
    2) if i meter for urban area, sky black.

    i remember seeing photos on CS, like some guys shots in sydney and needed to stitch em up, the sky and urban scape very nicely captured, both can see... how do i do this?

    i was tryin to take the fullerton from esplande with reflection off the sea... i tried bracketing, it did help a little but im not entirely satisfied. because the glare is too much! if any one remembers the sydney guys shots were really nice. im beginning to think that he HDRed each shot.

    another scenerio..
    say i wanna capture the eslapnde and the moon together, if i expose for the moon explande will become clipped, if i expose for esplande the moon not very nice, not bright enuff.

    so how? help pls.
    The timing of your shoot is of utmost importance and the success of a night shoot depends largely on your ability to read the light. At this time of the year, the "magic hour" is around 19:00 to 19:35. Bearing in mind that this timing changes at different time of the year. This is when the sun had just set but still leaving enough ambient lighting to emphasize details in buildings. If you catch that timing, you'll find that its not necessary to meter off the sky or buildings because the ambient light would be more or less the same.

    Stop down your lens to f8 or f11 and use anything from 8secs to 30secs and judge for yourself. Sometimes HDR works but if the contrast is too great, it will create unnatural halos, especially with the clouds and edges of buildings. No harm trying though.

    Here's an example and don't discount post editing e.g. sharpening, colour adjustments, etc as part of your workflow to get the final image.


  5. #5
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to capture night urban scape?

    Same image in B&W


  6. #6

    Default Re: how to capture night urban scape?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thirun Sammy View Post
    like the topic how to shoot night urban shots?
    problems i seem to no be able to grasp.

    1) if i meter for sky, i see sky but the glare on urban artificial lightings get clipped.
    2) if i meter for urban area, sky black.

    i remember seeing photos on CS, like some guys shots in sydney and needed to stitch em up, the sky and urban scape very nicely captured, both can see... how do i do this?

    i was tryin to take the fullerton from esplande with reflection off the sea... i tried bracketing, it did help a little but im not entirely satisfied. because the glare is too much! if any one remembers the sydney guys shots were really nice. im beginning to think that he HDRed each shot.

    another scenerio..
    say i wanna capture the eslapnde and the moon together, if i expose for the moon explande will become clipped, if i expose for esplande the moon not very nice, not bright enuff.

    so how? help pls.
    For the moon you can try blending the 2 shots together in photoshop. or if you have D80 try the merging of 2 raw images function
    Nikon D80|AF-S DX 18-70mm f3.5-4.5G|AF-S VR 70-300mm f4.5-5.6G|AF 85mm f1.8D|SB-900
    Neobux

  7. #7

    Default Re: how to capture night urban scape?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    The timing of your shoot is of utmost importance and the success of a night shoot depends largely on your ability to read the light. At this time of the year, the "magic hour" is around 19:00 to 19:35. Bearing in mind that this timing changes at different time of the year. This is when the sun had just set but still leaving enough ambient lighting to emphasize details in buildings. If you catch that timing, you'll find that its not necessary to meter off the sky or buildings because the ambient light would be more or less the same.

    Stop down your lens to f8 or f11 and use anything from 8secs to 30secs and judge for yourself. Sometimes HDR works but if the contrast is too great, it will create unnatural halos, especially with the clouds and edges of buildings. No harm trying though.

    Here's an example and don't discount post editing e.g. sharpening, colour adjustments, etc as part of your workflow to get the final image.
    thanks helpful. i nomally use f8 for landscape, 30s a bit long ba? anyway, im tryin to use as lil pp as possible, i juz feel that relying on pp to perfect my shots wun help me improve my skills.

    nice photo btw.

    another thought, can i tom-ba-lek (invert) a GND meaning the darker section covering the urban buildings and the lighter for the sky? any help? so i get more sky detail.
    Last edited by Thirun Sammy; 28th April 2007 at 11:28 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to capture night urban scape?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thirun Sammy View Post
    thanks helpful. i nomally use f8 for landscape, 30s a bit long ba? anyway, im tryin to use as lil pp as possible, i juz feel that relying on pp to perfect my shots wun help me improve my skills.

    nice photo btw.

    another thought, can i tom-ba-lek (invert) a GND meaning the darker section covering the urban buildings and the lighter for the sky? any help? so i get more sky detail.
    It depends on the lighting condition, using 30 secs or more is not unusual.

    PP is merely an extension of photography, just like film selection and other darkroom techniques which should really be part of the photographer's workflow. Its not about helping you to improve your skills, it itself is an essential set of skills to pick up.

    Contrary, to get more sky details you have to underexpose by 1 to 2 stops. Then merge with the normal exposed image.

  9. #9

    Default Re: how to capture night urban scape?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    Here's an example and don't discount post editing e.g. sharpening, colour adjustments, etc as part of your workflow to get the final image.

    holy crap!

  10. #10

    Default Re: how to capture night urban scape?

    my dad says use bulb function, take the picture on the moon, then quickly cover with lens cap. Then settle your camera facing the image you want, then open up lens cap.

    This way, can superimpose the moon on your new picture. But this method kinda trial and error. Now got photoshop, no need for this kind of things already.

  11. #11

    Default Re: how to capture night urban scape?

    wow that sounds fun.. haha... i muz try one of these days... umm...

  12. #12

    Default Re: how to capture night urban scape?

    You might want to try HDR photography.

    Take a few images of the same landscape at different exposures, metering the sky for one and metering the urban portion for another and then merge them.

    Here's a wiki about HDR

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_dynamic_range_imaging

  13. #13

    Default Re: how to capture night urban scape?

    Quote Originally Posted by radedward View Post
    You might want to try HDR photography.

    Take a few images of the same landscape at different exposures, metering the sky for one and metering the urban portion for another and then merge them.

    Here's a wiki about HDR

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_dynamic_range_imaging
    metering means focusing 9getting the right exposure) right?

    but how to ensure the 2 pics u take are identical?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to capture night urban scape?

    Quote Originally Posted by bent View Post
    but how to ensure the 2 pics u take are identical?
    tripod

  15. #15
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to capture night urban scape?

    Quote Originally Posted by bent View Post
    metering means focusing 9getting the right exposure) right?

    but how to ensure the 2 pics u take are identical?

    tripod.

    .
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