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10-06-2009, 04:09 PM   #1
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How should I have taken this night image?

Scenario:
I was trying to develop an image by capturing moon light on Puget Sound and a harbor breakwater. Suddenly, a fishing boat with navigation lights comes into view and i realize that an even better image has presented itself, e.g. fishing boat returning to harbor

Equipment:
K20 w/ DA 50-135 F2.8

Camera settings:
Shutter: 6 sec
Aperture: F4
ISO: 100
On Tripod with weight hung
Manual Exposure mode
Focused to provide wide DOF from beach (cropped out) to breakwater

My thinking at the time:
I knew the 6 seconds was a problem for the fishing boat, even though it was slow moving, but i couldn't figure out the answer before the boat disappeared around the corner. You either had to know the answer and adjust settings immediately, or snap the shutter as is and record my incompetence

What should i have done immediately - quick - you have no time to think about this - quick - repeat - no time to think about it

I'll provide what i think now i should have done by reply to this thread.

Image:



10-06-2009, 04:19 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Scenario:
I was trying to develop an image by capturing moon light on Puget Sound and a harbor breakwater. Suddenly, a fishing boat with navigation lights comes into view and i realize that an even better image has presented itself, e.g. fishing boat returning to harbor

Equipment:
K20 w/ DA 50-135 F2.8

Camera settings:
Shutter: 6 sec
Aperture: F4
ISO: 100
On Tripod with weight hung
Manual Exposure mode
Focused to provide wide DOF from beach (cropped out) to breakwater

My thinking at the time:
I knew the 6 seconds was a problem for the fishing boat, even though it was slow moving, but i couldn't figure out the answer before the boat disappeared around the corner. You either had to know the answer and adjust settings immediately, or snap the shutter as is and record my incompetence

What should i have done immediately - quick - you have no time to think about this - quick - repeat - no time to think about it

I'll provide what i think now i should have done by reply to this thread.

Image:

By going to f2.8 and ISO 1600 you could have gained five steps which would give you about 1/6 of a second. Even that would not have been a very sharp boat and the shorter DOF might not have included the boat.

Pay the fisherman to ancore for a while?


I think the picture is fine. I might have closed down even more. With f11 or 16 you would have got a longer DOF and the boat would have left even a longer light track.
10-06-2009, 04:23 PM   #3
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Location: Port Townsend, Washington State, USA
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Original Poster
I'm sure this is a trivial question for you experienced folks, but, i'm embarassed to say, it wasn't for me at the time.

Yet, when one of us is taking moderate length night exposures, i'm sure its not unusual to have something appear in your view finder that you wish you could capture. Perhaps its a person, or a deer or an airplane in the distance, etc.

Solution:
I should have pressed in the OK button and twirled the front e-wheel until the LCD screen read 3200 vice 100, pressed the green button and then the shutter.

Why:
That would have improved my exposure by 5 stops of light and shutter setting to 0.2 sec if my math is correct. maybe still fuzzy but a lot better than the original image:

Last edited by philbaum; 10-06-2009 at 04:41 PM.
10-06-2009, 04:27 PM   #4
Ash
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You got a creative squiggly set of lines from the boat over the 6 secs.
A different effect, but fun.
Yep, would have had to bump up ISO at least to 1600, ensure adequate exposure and then take aperture to whatever it takes to get the exposure necessary over less than a second. I wouldn't have gone all the way to f/2.8 (maybe f/3.5 or f/4 to try and get as much sharp as possible) but would have to put up with a not completely sharp boat.

10-06-2009, 05:04 PM   #5
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to really get the boat, on an otherwise good exposure would require much higher shutter, you should have gone to ISO 3200 and you could have had about 1/12 of a second exposure, counting back from youo r6 second at ISO 100

you could get 1/20 with F2.8 at the loss of DOF

by the way, i like the exposure on the rest as it is
10-06-2009, 05:18 PM   #6
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Chose the Af pointer to select the boat, go to iso3200 and f2.8. Take the shot.
Then take your normal shot without the boat. Photshop the boat in.... might look OK.

Or.... as already said. Go to F8 or F11 and use a much longer shutter to exagerate teh effect.

mike
10-06-2009, 11:11 PM   #7
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You could crank up the ISO, but the image quality would most likely be crap. I would concentrate on the image without the moving object since you are most likely going to have a blur problem in this light since anything "clean" at a lower ISO setting will mean a longer shutter....of course.

Jason
10-07-2009, 12:45 AM   #8
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You seem to be standing some distance from the pier/boat, so you might not loose to much dof even using f/2.8.

10-08-2009, 11:06 PM   #9
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Original Poster
Thanks for all the good comments!! I'm using a pretty good noise program now so am not concerned about shooting at higher speeds. It was an interesting comment to shoot the fishing boat and photoshop it in but i'd rather catch it naturally. Nevertheless, great thinking out of the box. I'm occasionally going back to catch the next late night fishing boat.

Thanks again.
10-09-2009, 04:17 AM   #10
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You send your assistant out onto the pier with a megawatt flash gun? ;-)
10-09-2009, 09:24 AM   #11
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A night shot of a fishing boat is going to require a somewhat faster shutter. Even anchored, a boat is always moving a little, drifting in the current and rocking somewhat even if it isn't clearly noticeable from the shore. You can tell by the chop on the water. It looks like a very difficult shot to pull off. Maybe try some similar shots in the daytime to experiment the slowest shutter speed you can use to freeze a boat drifting at around the same speed and then adjust ISO and aperture for the night shot.
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