how to capture night urban scape?


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Apr 4, 2007
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#1
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.
 

theRBK

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May 16, 2005
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#3
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...
 

Kit

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Jan 19, 2002
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#4
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.

 

#6
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
 

Apr 4, 2007
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#7
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. :think:

nice photo btw.:thumbsup:

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.
 

Kit

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2002
11,691
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#8
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. :think:

nice photo btw.:thumbsup:

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.
 

bent

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Dec 23, 2004
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#9
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!
 

KhazamPC

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Apr 3, 2007
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#10
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.
 

Apr 4, 2007
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#11
wow that sounds fun.. haha... i muz try one of these days... umm... :cool:
 

bent

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Dec 23, 2004
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#13
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?
 

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