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Thread: How to shoot at night?

  1. #1

    Default How to shoot at night?

    Outing with family in the evening and wanted get a shoot with family members and night scenery behind them. What setting should be use with and without flash? So that we can have the scenery too?

    Longer shutter speed will blur the movement of people, aperture bigger have the scenery blur, flash has the background darken. Need help... Thank you...

  2. #2
    Member enzeru21's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrFunnyBaby View Post
    Outing with family in the evening and wanted get a shoot with family members and night scenery behind them. What setting should be use with and without flash? So that we can have the scenery too?

    Longer shutter speed will blur the movement of people, aperture bigger have the scenery blur, flash has the background darken. Need help... Thank you...
    when you say flash you mean the pop up flash??

    that will really just light up the people and quite alot and then no wonder the background dark..

    you have to lengthen the shutter speed to the point where it is comfortable... are you using a tripod??
    enzeru21 Canon 500D |Tamron17-50mm f/2.8| Sigma30mm f/1.4 | 580EX II
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  3. #3

    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Quote Originally Posted by enzeru21 View Post
    when you say flash you mean the pop up flash??

    that will really just light up the people and quite alot and then no wonder the background dark..

    you have to lengthen the shutter speed to the point where it is comfortable... are you using a tripod??
    Just got a 430EX2 but not really fully knows how to use it yet. I have got a small boy too, so he is always moving. is there a way for faster shutter speed and capture the family and scenery? ISO pump up high high is the only way?

  4. #4
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrFunnyBaby View Post
    Just got a 430EX2 but not really fully knows how to use it yet. I have got a small boy too, so he is always moving. is there a way for faster shutter speed and capture the family and scenery? ISO pump up high high is the only way?
    Try this for a quick fix:

    M mode, slow shutter speed, around 1/10s or 1/20s, F5.6, ISO 800, and flash on e-TTL.

    If indoors, point the flash at the ceiling and bounce the light. If outdoors, shoot direct, or find a wall to bounce the light.

    When you start understanding your camera more, the right way to do it is to expose for the background using a mix of ISO, aperture and shutter speed. But the flash on eTTL will light up your subjects.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 17th August 2010 at 11:40 AM.

  5. #5
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    camera tripod mounted,
    slow sync
    M mode and meter the scene, or any auto mode,
    ISO 800
    flash TTL

    and very important, everybody stay still till shutter closed.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  6. #6

    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrFunnyBaby View Post
    Outing with family in the evening and wanted get a shoot with family members and night scenery behind them. What setting should be use with and without flash? So that we can have the scenery too?

    Longer shutter speed will blur the movement of people, aperture bigger have the scenery blur, flash has the background darken. Need help... Thank you...
    With flash:

    Flash = Manual Mode, starting 1/4...
    Aperture = f11
    Shutter = 1 / 30 or 1 / 15 (you family needs to standstill and not running around)
    ISO = at least 3200 (camera with good ISO performance is essential)
    Tripod = important.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrFunnyBaby View Post
    Outing with family in the evening and wanted get a shoot with family members and night scenery behind them. What setting should be use with and without flash? So that we can have the scenery too?

    Longer shutter speed will blur the movement of people, aperture bigger have the scenery blur, flash has the background darken. Need help... Thank you...
    I once did similar shots at Helix Bridge

    - camera with external flash and bounce card mounted on tripod
    - flash set to E-TTL
    - ISO 800
    - used Av mode (f/5.6), meter for scene and lock exposure
    - focus on subjects and trigger using wireless remote

    Your settings might vary a little here and there depending on the lighting of the environment. Also, it is important to get your subjects to stay still till the shutter closes.
    Last edited by mimik07; 17th August 2010 at 11:57 AM.
    5D3|1740L|70200F4L|40

  8. #8

    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Huh.. As mention got a baby. How to stay still le. Even staying still, the picture will not be very sharp then. Seems like shooting night scene with people is so hard to do it right.. Gonna get out n play ard with it to experiment it. Thanks guy for your input....

  9. #9

    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Honestly, I haven't has the opportunity to try out with people but I thought something like this with flash in theory?

    Set camera on tripod
    Meter the scene without people and flash
    Set to manual
    get the people in
    Set the flash
    shoot
    - The flash will meter and take into account for the people in the foreground to expose correctly
    - The manual exposure will expose background correctly
    Compensate with ISO if the shutter speed is too long
    Adjust flash compensation if people are over/underexposed

    Did I miss some important step or got the whole thing wrong?

  10. #10
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrFunnyBaby View Post
    Huh.. As mention got a baby. How to stay still le. Even staying still, the picture will not be very sharp then. Seems like shooting night scene with people is so hard to do it right.. Gonna get out n play ard with it to experiment it. Thanks guy for your input....
    Actually, the flash will freeze most of the action..

  11. #11
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Try this for a quick fix:

    M mode, slow shutter speed, around 1/10s or 1/20s, F5.6, ISO 800, and flash on e-TTL.

    If indoors, point the flash at the ceiling and bounce the light. If outdoors, shoot direct, or find a wall to bounce the light.

    When you start understanding your camera more, the right way to do it is to expose for the background using a mix of ISO, aperture and shutter speed. But the flash on eTTL will light up your subjects.
    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    camera tripod mounted,
    slow sync
    M mode and meter the scene, or any auto mode,
    ISO 800
    flash TTL

    and very important, everybody stay still till shutter closed.
    Rear or second curtain on the flash right?
    I didn't realize it's called Slow Sync till I Googled on it

    This might help the TS also.
    http://digital-photography-school.co...low-sync-flash

  12. #12
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    Rear or second curtain on the flash right?
    I didn't realize it's called Slow Sync till I Googled on it

    This might help the TS also.
    http://digital-photography-school.co...low-sync-flash
    slow sync is to tell camera go way below 1/60s when on A or P mode.

    rear or second curtain sync can be set on any shutter speed, but the effect will be more prominent when the shutter speed is slow.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  13. #13
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Actually, the flash will freeze most of the action..
    for this case may not be the same, as TS want the background to be exposed correctly, subject movement may causes ghost image.
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  14. #14
    Member enzeru21's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    got another way~!

    take two photos, one with back ground exposed nicely..

    one with family exposed nicely..

    then go home and do some photoshop~!!

    just kidding..
    Last edited by enzeru21; 17th August 2010 at 11:11 PM.
    enzeru21 Canon 500D |Tamron17-50mm f/2.8| Sigma30mm f/1.4 | 580EX II
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  15. #15

    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Quote Originally Posted by enzeru21 View Post
    got another way~!

    take two photos, one with back ground exposed nicely..

    one with family exposed nicely..

    then go home and do some photoshop~!!
    Not everything can be done by photoshop, and it's not easy for the casual user
    Canon EOS 30D , EF 17-40mm F4L USM , EF-S 55-250mm F/4-5.6 IS

  16. #16
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Quote Originally Posted by eosdigital View Post
    Not everything can be done by photoshop, and it's not easy for the casual user
    CS5 FTW... content aware deletion

  17. #17

    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Ok.. Conclusion is that at night only one choice. People or scenery and cannot have both

    If want the background correctly expose will need slow shutter, that will make the person blur due to movement.

    If want the person to be correctly expose n without movement blur, we need flash for faster shutter speed that will have the background darken.

    What about a faster lens? Will having a F1.2 lens help? But opening so big the background will become bokeh right? So cannot again.

    Pump up ISO is the only way bah, i guess? Cant think of any other way...

  18. #18
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrFunnyBaby View Post
    Ok.. Conclusion is that at night only one choice. People or scenery and cannot have both

    If want the background correctly expose will need slow shutter, that will make the person blur due to movement.

    If want the person to be correctly expose n without movement blur, we need flash for faster shutter speed that will have the background darken.

    What about a faster lens? Will having a F1.2 lens help? But opening so big the background will become bokeh right? So cannot again.

    Pump up ISO is the only way bah, i guess? Cant think of any other way...
    I thought the solution was already given - use slow sync flash, or if not enough to expose background then rear or second curtain sync?
    I wouldn't go for faster lens, because at that large aperture, you wouldn't have both people + background sharp due to the narrow DOF.

    I think along the way you got confused by someone who started talking about Photoshop. But he was "just kidding" if I can quote his post, so why are you taking that seriously? Yes, for those of us who can, will use Photoshop. But there are ways of still getting it if you are willing to try the methods already mentioned by catchlight and daredevil123. I used to use rear curtain sync to get the same shots.

    Try to think of ways to work around your problem. If there is a baby or person who cannot keep still for the entire time between shutter open and close, what I would do is place them in really dark place so that during that time, there's hardly any light on them and the final flash will be the only light on them.

  19. #19

    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrFunnyBaby View Post
    Ok.. Conclusion is that at night only one choice. People or scenery and cannot have both

    If want the background correctly expose will need slow shutter, that will make the person blur due to movement.

    If want the person to be correctly expose n without movement blur, we need flash for faster shutter speed that will have the background darken.

    What about a faster lens? Will having a F1.2 lens help? But opening so big the background will become bokeh right? So cannot again.

    Pump up ISO is the only way bah, i guess? Cant think of any other way...
    Taking night scene with both subject and bg properly exposed and sharp, but with subject not staying still, is almost not possible. One way to minimize subject ghosting due to movement is to have subject in the shadow and uses flash to freeze subject.

  20. #20
    Member enzeru21's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot at night?

    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    Try to think of ways to work around your problem. If there is a baby or person who cannot keep still for the entire time between shutter open and close, what I would do is place them in really dark place so that during that time, there's hardly any light on them and the final flash will be the only light on them.
    AH~! this one is something worth trying~!! great solution you have there bro.. didn't think of that..

    haha, thats why you guys are the Senior members~!!
    enzeru21 Canon 500D |Tamron17-50mm f/2.8| Sigma30mm f/1.4 | 580EX II
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