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10-31-2009, 12:46 AM   #1
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Finally taking pics w/my new k20....

well i finally got out to take some shots, 2 questions:
1. Not sure how to explain it, but what can i do to get the lights not look like orbs? Again, not sure what its called but when you look at the individual lights they dont look very sharp.

2. Not good at post processing other than crop and straighten What would be done to these to say print out as a normal pic?

Thx for the help!

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10-31-2009, 12:51 AM   #2
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Did you use a tripod? And do you shoot in RAW? And if you don't want it to look like orbs, you'll need to stop down more. For this I would recommend a tripod and maybe shooting at F16-22, don't forget to turn off shake reduction when on a tripod.
10-31-2009, 12:55 AM   #3
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Hi Brian.

The longer the exposure, the more the lights etch a burn out area on the sensor and develop into a star formation.

The most important thing of such night exposures is an absolutely stable tripod with SR off during the long exposure. That's what will ensue sharpnss as long as focusing is right and there's no motion blur.

edit: beaten to it, but even f/8 is quite adequate, to avoid using high ISO.
10-31-2009, 12:59 AM   #4
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hmm, yes it was on a tripod, it was shot at iso 100, f1.7 at .5 sec on a 50mm and yes in raw

ah no i didnt turn off shake, thx for that tip


Last edited by patriotap; 10-31-2009 at 01:01 AM. Reason: ah no i didnt turn off shake, thx for that tip
10-31-2009, 01:05 AM   #5
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is .5 sec considered long exp. time?
10-31-2009, 03:44 AM   #6
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Probably to get the image you want, you'd need to stop down a lot more, and that's probably why it doesn't look as "sharp" as you want it to be. 0.5 seconds isn't long at all for the shot you are trying to get, and of course when you stop down more, you'll need a longer exposure. For a longer exposure, a remote control would help too if you have one.
10-31-2009, 03:56 AM   #7
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The attached photo was taken on "Bulb" setting at F8 for 10 seconds using a cable switch. And as the others have said, a tripod is essential for night photography. You may need to touch your photos up a bit with a good program such as Adobe Photoshop which I use.

Hope this helps you.
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10-31-2009, 11:13 AM   #8
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very good, I will try doing that next time. My thinking was like the human eye, wide open on the aperature more at night less during the day.

I have photoshop, just not good at using it yet
There is SOOO much to learn, its crazy, But I like it!

10-31-2009, 11:23 AM   #9
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One other question, since I know now that my next night shot I will stop down more...

What about the picture itself, good shot, good framing/cropping etc? I cropped down as in the first there was much more sky and the 2nd many more buildings. I cropped down thinking of the 2/3's rule.
10-31-2009, 11:58 AM   #10
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If you want the lights to look like sharp stars, then you need to stop the lens down. Next time try a longer exposure at f11 or so. Use a good tripod. Use lower ISO.
10-31-2009, 12:29 PM   #11
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It's been said, but the major problem will be the f/1.7 setting.
No landscape shot will turn out sharp at this aperture. Photoshop cannot do much to salvage such an image.

Seeing as though you have a tripod, the shutter speed is no longer a concern, so go to the 'who cares' aperture of f/8 and keep the sensitivity down (which you did here), and the shutter speed will increase to a few seconds. A much sharper result will ensue.
10-31-2009, 12:51 PM   #12
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Thx guys, I will do that next time, hopefully my boss will have another party soon at his condo on the riverfront and invite me again!
10-31-2009, 02:07 PM   #13
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f/22 seems a bit extreme for the exposure unless you were trying specifically to prolong the exposure for light trails from traffic or otherwise. I would have suggested something between f/8 - f/11 for maximum sharpness since anything smaller starts encountering diffraction effects.

A stable tripod with cable release on mirror up mode would be ideal, but otherwise turn the drive mode to a 2 sec timer. The mirror is flipped up prior to the shutter releasing and will further minimize vibration of the camera.
10-31-2009, 02:11 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by patriotap Quote
very good, I will try doing that next time. My thinking was like the human eye, wide open on the aperature more at night less during the day.
That's sound thinking when *not* using a tripod, so you can get fast enough shutter speeds to handhold (eg, 1/30" or faster). Images quality suffers a bit wide open, focus becomes trickier, and depth of field is very shallow, but at least you don't get blur from camera shake. When using a tripod, you don't have to worry about camera shake (assuming you use the 2-second timer and/or turn off SR).

I'd recommend a book on photography that explains the basics of exposure. Lots of people like "Understand Exposure" by Bryan Peterson, I know.
10-31-2009, 02:44 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by libbyh Quote
f/22 seems a bit extreme for the exposure unless you were trying specifically to prolong the exposure for light trails from traffic or otherwise. I would have suggested something between f/8 - f/11 for maximum sharpness since anything smaller starts encountering diffraction effects.

A stable tripod with cable release on mirror up mode would be ideal, but otherwise turn the drive mode to a 2 sec timer. The mirror is flipped up prior to the shutter releasing and will further minimize vibration of the camera.
no going for max. sharpness, and your suggestion of f8 seems to be what others are also saying. Never did a mirror up pic, will have to try it, thx
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