Photographing at Night Seeing Different Fireworks Temples/ Lit Buildings Bulb Exposures By Stacy Robbins

Photographing at Night

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Photographing at Night. Seeing Different Fireworks Temples/ Lit Buildings Bulb Exposures. By Stacy Robbins. Your camera will see things differently at night than your eyes. Moving car lights will turn out as streaks. Street lamps can look like star bursts. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Page 1: Photographing at Night

Photographing at NightSeeing Different


Temples/ Lit Buildings

Bulb Exposures

By Stacy Robbins

Page 2: Photographing at Night

Your camera will see things differently at night than your eyes

Moving car lights will turn out as streaks Street lamps can look like star bursts

Different types of lights will look different colors - florescent lights will make things look green while incandescent lights (regular house lights) will make things look more yellow. This barn looked all one color to my eye because it automatically adjusted for the different types of light. The camera doesn’t do that.

Page 3: Photographing at Night

When I took this photo my eyes could see the light from the street lamp coming through the branches of the tree - but I couldn’t see any of the colors the camera captured in the light.

The orange colored light in the background is from street lamps down a different street.

The only photo shop done to this image was to take the tops of two cars out of the image.

Page 4: Photographing at Night


Page 5: Photographing at Night

1. Use Manual settings - Shutter speed (about 1-2 seconds) - Aperture (As low as it can go 5.8 or so)- Focus (set to the infinity setting - looks

like a sideways 8)- Zoom out (It’s hard to plan exactly where the

fireworks will happen so get more area than you think you really need - you can crop later)

2. Use a tripod (or something else to hold your camera steady - could be a table or chair)

3. Use the self timer or a remote so you don’t bump the camera each time you press the shutter button.

4. Take a LOT of photos and don’t wait until you see a good firework to take a photo - by the time you have seen the firework start it will be too late for your camera to capture it. I take hundreds of photos during a firework show. With digital you can always delete the ones you don’t want later.

Page 6: Photographing at Night

Temples / Lit Buildings

Page 7: Photographing at Night

1. Shoot before all the light is gone- Start setting up your camera (probably on a

tripod) before the sun starts setting. Find the angle you want and start getting exposures as the sun sets. Keep taking exposures until the sunlight is completely gone. (You can also use this principle in reverse for morning shots.)

- Shooting after it is completely dark will result in your photograph looking like you took photo of the temple and cut it out and put it on black paper - while this will show the lights of the temple it doesn’t usually look very nice or professional.

2. Watch for fog- The bottom two shots on this page

were taken after 10pm. The reason these work is because of the fog around the temple - which catches the light off of the temple giving the sky more light & texture

Page 8: Photographing at Night

Point and Shoot Shots

Both of these shots were taken with a point and shoot camera.

1. Turn off the flash (I used Program settings)

2. With the flash off the camera should take a 1-2 second exposure. 3. I hand held these and just moved the camera during the short

exposure - this made the lights on the freeway look pretty exciting

Page 9: Photographing at Night

I used the Program settings for this image. That way I could manually turn off the flash. When I turned off the flash my camera metered for a 1 second exposure which was perfect in this scene.

As I didn’t have a tripod I set the camera down on a rock and used the self timer so I wouldn’t bump the camera by pushing the shutter button.

It wasn’t completely dark when I took this image. The sun was behind the mountains but the light wasn’t completely gone yet. This time between when the sun goes down and the light is gone is known as “Sweet Light.”

Page 10: Photographing at Night

Bulb ExposuresExposures that are longer than any exposures already programmed into your camera

These two photos were taken within about 5 minutes of each other about 11pm one November night. The one of the left is a 2 minute exposure - the one on the right is a 30 second exposure. Notice the green light in the one on the left - that’s the clue to this being taken at night - because the light isn’t just a bright dot but more of a star shape.

Page 11: Photographing at Night

10 minute exposure

Things you need:1. Tripod (it’s really difficult to do this with even just

a steady surface)2. Shutter release/remote or some thick heavy

rubber bands and perhaps a flat object such as a coin.

3. Full or nearly full battery power - long exposures sap your battery power like nothing else will. If you have a way to plug in your camera that would be a good idea for long exposures.

The BULB setting on your camera makes it so that once the shutter button is pushed down the camera takes an exposure until the pressure is released from the button making it possible to do longer exposures.

The trick is to keep enough pressure on the button of your camera to keep it down for several minutes. You can buy a basic remote for most DSLR cameras at any camera store for about $20.

The remote allows you to set off the exposure without bumping the camera and on the bulb setting your camera will not stop exposing until you push the button on the remote again.

Page 12: Photographing at Night

12 minute exposure

Manual Settings - focus, aperture, BULB setting (this comes after your longest shutter speed - if your longest programmed shutter speed is 30 sec. just keep turning past that and your camera should say BULB.)

If you have a remote you’re set to go

If not - position yourself directly in front of your camera or have someone else stand there or hold something in front of your lens. The important thing is to block your camera from taking a photo of the scene just yet - this is why you MUST use manual focus!

Get the rubber bands on tight - the shutter button should be pushed down by now. Use the coin for extra weight to hold the button down so it doesn’t just take a short exposure.

When you are ready to stop the exposure - either stand in front of the camera or have someone/something block the lens again so that your camera won’t be exposing while you are moving it.