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09-11-2014, 10:13 AM   #16
dms
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To amplify on the exposure discussion above--when the moon/other relatively light object is a prominent part of the picture, you must bias the spot metered exposure of same. From experience/trials you should know how much above the metered value you can expose and still see detail--and then decide what look you want. E.g., a +2.5 e.v. exposure setting may make sense if the bright object is to look bright and still have visible detail. But in the end you must decide what look you want--the camera meter's exposure is only a starting point--although for many scenes it is good enough--but not the extremes.

For city lights you likely will simply let them be blown out--unless their colors are an important part of the subject-or the resulting flare is a problem. (Initially?) w/ digital you can often bracket and then see what works best, and possibly combine them in pp. And yes Raw is a help--but it does not replace your deciding on the look you want--and then adjusting the exposure. And a night shot presumably should look like a night shot--so the camera metering should not (usually) be right.

And to clarify--the camera/other refelected light (center weighted or spot) metering system assumes the scene is an average one (defined as somewhere between 10 and 18% refectance--depending one whom you believe/which camera/system it is) and sets the exposure accordingly. Matrix metering also does some kind of best guess adjustment based on some fuzzy logic/guessing based on what real world picture are made up of/look like. Incident light meters avoid the problem--but have their own interpretation problems. Any system works if you know what you are doing/what you want.

09-11-2014, 01:59 PM   #17
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There are a lot of good points here, but other thing to consider are the following.

Get a preset lens with round at all aperture settings iris.
Shoot a little earlier especially if the moon detail is important. You need the sky perhaps no less than 1-2 stops below the moon. I know that's tough

Shoot HDR one shot exposed for the moon, the other set for the remainder of the scene.
09-12-2014, 04:42 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
It's all exposure and there are no settings that work for everything. Your first picture has a lot of light sources, probably 5 or 6 seconds would have been better. Since having a K-30 I nearly always use manual focus and focus peaking for night shooting. I usually always shoot manual too, but if I'm in a hurry, like you probably did when you were on a trip I may shoot in aperture or shutter priority, look at the result and adjust from there. I find that when the camera helps select the exposure it will tend to overexpose. It can become more challenging when you put neon lights into the equation like in the picture below. Different colors of neon have different temperatures that vary a lot, all different types of lighting do, but they are sometimes close together, your eyes compensate better than a sensor can.


This one has some people in it, I wanted a faster shutter, it's shot a f13, but .4 second shutter. The faster speed kept the starburst effects away mostly, the incandescent lights on the arched door were pretty bright
r

This next one has some lights that are much brighter than others, but it came out looking like it does. I don't think you would ever get that balance without manual exposure. You have unseen street lights, obnoxiously bright lights on the doll, interior lights, and reflections off of the snow. I'm sure this could be done much better, but you can get a decent life like picture with one image by taking your time.
Tom, the shots of your local neighborhoods are always so well done, and interesting too. I have been through some of those parts of the Buckeye, but never had time to stop and make some photos myself. Each time I passed through I could see that there are many unique and interesting elements that would make great photographic subjects. The architecture that is left over from a time when buildings were actually designed and built to be beautiful sculptures is something that is missing from the structures of today.

Since I hung up the keys to Monstro last July, I fear that I may not get a chance to pass by that way anytime soon.

So please keep sharing your view of these beautiful old neighborhoods!

Cheers,
Racer
09-12-2014, 05:34 AM   #19
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I will add to this post.

QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Shoot darker. Expose for those lights. Then in post process, bring up the shadows and blacks to match as much as possible. ....
The first picture is not bad. The light on the water is a little hot and so exposure could be less. However, the lights themselves will always be overexposed, of course. So, reduce exposure to retain detail in the light reflected in water and forget the rest.

Another thing to try is taking pictures in evening... twilight, really.
Contrast is less then. Lights will be on. Cloudy evenings are better. So may have some nice clouds as well. I find that even when I can still see easily, it is possible to later make the images look as 'night' as I want... I just have less contrast when I take the picture... Looks like your pictures were mot taken at darkest night..

For your first picture, if you correct WB some for the light on the buildings, the sky will be dark blue. Not a natural blue, but interesting, perhaps. The amount of blue depends on the amount of correction for the street lights. This is because the clouds are shady daylight and the streets are incandescent or mercury vapor. The two will never match unless you use an adjustment layer to set WB for sky/water and WB for street light.

Oh, in case 'overwhelming' includes the color, do play with WB to adjust that whether the picture was taken at evening or night. Sometimes, a good night picture will need some work on layers or local adjustment in PP...

09-15-2014, 07:23 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Racer X 69 Quote
Tom, the shots of your local neighborhoods are always so well done, and interesting too. I have been through some of those parts of the Buckeye, but never had time to stop and make some photos myself. Each time I passed through I could see that there are many unique and interesting elements that would make great photographic subjects. The architecture that is left over from a time when buildings were actually designed and built to be beautiful sculptures is something that is missing from the structures of today.

Since I hung up the keys to Monstro last July, I fear that I may not get a chance to pass by that way anytime soon.

So please keep sharing your view of these beautiful old neighborhoods!

Cheers,
Racer
Thanks, I didn't catch that you have "hung up the keys", congratulations! It is hard to beat the old buildings, but I will have to say some of the new buildings are starting to get some beauty back into them, usually by modifying old designs though. The "energy crisis" back in the 1970s probably contributed to some of the ugliest public buildings ever. I would like to have the time and means to go to all of the places that I've driven through and would like to explore, but it would take lifetimes. That and to be able to take those beautiful vistas that you can see from places on the highways that would be impossible to stop at.
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