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Thread: Night Photography

  1. #1

    Default Night Photography

    Hi..

    I am newbie.. have a canon 550d.

    Yesterday went to esplanade. Went to the roof where i can take the merlion and fullerton hotel. The photo looks ok with just the scenery. If i want to take a photo of a person with the background, the person on the foreground will be dark. Using high iso such as 3200 make it slightly better and 6400 the photo looks grainy.

    using the built in flash makes the person too bright and background darker. Any way to make the foreground and background bright?

    I am using the kit lens of 18-55mm. I tried using a large aperture of 3.5 but the foreground still too dark.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Night Photography

    not a canon user here, but go learn how to adjust your pop up flash power.

    since u said that u use the flash and the person is too bright, then simply lower the flash power.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Night Photography

    how long is the exposure/shutter speed?

  4. #4
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Night Photography

    show the photo first. npnt

  5. #5
    Moderator Francis247's Avatar
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    Default Re: Night Photography

    Based on your description, I can roughly understand what is your problem.

    (1) When you tried taking the Merlion and Fullerton hotel, the exposure which you have suit that situation because there are street lighting and lights that are shining onto the Merlion and Fullerton hotel. When you tried taking person in the foreground, if there is no lights around to light up the subject, of course the foreground is dark. You need at least a flash or a secondary light to light up the subject at the foreground.

    (2) You use pop-up flash, your shutter speed will be at the flash sync speed of 1/250, even with f3.5 and ISO3200, you should be around 2 to 3 stops underexposed.

    Try this formula on a tripod.
    ISO 200
    F5.6
    Shutter speed 1-2 secs
    Rear-curtain Sync Flash (preferably a hot-shoe mounted flash)
    Last edited by Francis247; 25th April 2010 at 08:30 PM.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Night Photography

    If there is no tripod can try this:

    ISO 800-1600
    Shutter speed of 1/10 -1/15 (since u got IS)
    Aperture f/5.6 (for group photo), f/3.5 (largest for ur kit lens, for individual photo)
    Flash with output reduced by 1stop

    Treat it as starting point, then adjust accordingly
    Last edited by stunna88; 25th April 2010 at 08:49 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Night Photography

    Try using manual
    Use a higher aperture
    Lower the shutter speed
    plus use a stand
    and ask the people being photograph to stand as long as until the shutter closes
    ^^

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Night Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Francis247 View Post
    ...

    Try this formula on a tripod.
    ISO 200
    F5.6
    Shutter speed 1-2 secs
    Rear-curtain Sync Flash (preferably a hot-shoe mounted flash)
    Best solution.

    No worries with the person moving much also as the rear-curtain flash will go off only near the end of the exposure and this flash is mainly what lights up the person, not the rest of the time that the shutter is open.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Night Photography

    Hi all,

    Thanks for the reply. Will try out the longer shutter to see if it helps to brighten the people at foreground. Current got no external flash so cant use that.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Night Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by sengz86 View Post
    Try using manual
    Use a higher aperture
    Lower the shutter speed
    plus use a stand
    and ask the people being photograph to stand as long as until the shutter closes
    ^^
    Quote Originally Posted by skyymanz View Post
    Hi all,

    Thanks for the reply. Will try out the longer shutter to see if it helps to brighten the people at foreground. Current got no external flash so cant use that.
    Can't imagine how that would make it work. Cause it doesn't address the difference in brightness between the subject and the background.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Night Photography

    Isn't there a night portrait mode on your 550D? Have you tried that yet?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Night Photography

    Another method is to turn off the flash (push it down or close it).
    Using Av mode, say f/4.0, aim at the merlion. Spot metering if possible. Half-click the shutter button. Remember the shutter speed.
    Swithch to Manual, do the same setting, switch to evaluative mode. Set on tripod, turn on flash and shoot.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Night Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by ahbian View Post
    Can't imagine how that would make it work. Cause it doesn't address the difference in brightness between the subject and the background.
    TS is referring to Esplanade roof terrace, which is quite dark.
    I suppose if you use very long exposure, both background and subject should be sufficiently bright. However, I don't think people can stand still for so long.
    I guess 'sengz86' missed out on the "use pop-up/external flash" comment.
    Exploring! :)

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Night Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by skyymanz View Post
    Hi all,

    Thanks for the reply. Will try out the longer shutter to see if it helps to brighten the people at foreground. Current got no external flash so cant use that.
    i would use such setting and test on spot.

    use a tripod
    switch to Manual focus and off IS on your lens
    set ISO 100
    turn on Live view and on-camera flash
    switch to Manual mode
    use Manual focus and magnification (5x, 10x) to correctly focus your subject
    try from low to high aperture value (preferably f/8 onwards)
    try different shutter speed (example 4sec)

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