Nightshoots

Discuss equipment and methods or ask for advice
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harkins
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Nightshoots

Post by harkins »

I've never been to a night shoot and don't even plan to at this moment, but as they're increasingly popular I was wondering what the usual setup is for successful night shoot photography. I'm kind of assuming very slow shutter speeds an a good very sturdy tripod is absolutely essential. Are flashes necessary or a no no? Is a full frame camera key or will any camera suffice? Also, is there any special night shoot etiquette?

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Hammy
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Re: Nightshoots

Post by Hammy »

You've pretty much hit the nail on the head, there. You don't need a full frame camera, but a sturdy tripod will make things an awful lot easier. A lens of 24-120 or there about will provide good coverage at the vast majority of night photography events. If you've got the ability to go a little wider, then that's more power to your elbow.

I tend to use aperture priority between /8 and /11 and meter off the brightest part of the airframe, which also helps you get the aircraft in focus. That arrangement, at somewhere around ISO 100-200 will give you a shutter speed of around 20-30 seconds.

A shutter release cable will help remove any potential wobbling of the camera/tripod that might occur when you press the shutter button.

Most nightshoots will ask that you don't use flash and that you wear hi-vis (which you will need to provide yourself). As far as etiquette is concerned, be mindful of those around you and always try to walk around the back of people if they look like they're half way through a long exposure. If you can't walk behind them, then just ask - they'll probably be grateful that you've not left a luminous green smear across their image!

If you're ever at a nightshoot ran by Threshold, give one of us staffers a nudge and we'll be happy to give you a hand should you be struggling.

Hope this helps!

Martin
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cg_341
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Re: Nightshoots

Post by cg_341 »

What Martin said! Some events may be a lot stricter than others but as he said if you're ever at one of our events, and you're more than welcome to be - we get lots of first timers - we're plenty happy to lend a hand!

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Pen Pusher
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Re: Nightshoots

Post by Pen Pusher »

Hammy wrote:and always try to walk around the back of people if they look like they're half way through a long exposure.


Unless you are at Northolt and have the 'Hangar Huggers'. :biggrin:

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BDL
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Re: Nightshoots

Post by BDL »

Don't make a schoolboy error and leave stabilisation on. :whistle:

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tankbuster
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Re: Nightshoots

Post by tankbuster »

BDL wrote:Don't make a schoolboy error and leave stabilisation on. :whistle:


Are you able to demonstrate that this isn't just an old wives tale or something that used to be true. I'm mirrorless and I have seen no evidence that leaving stabilisation on while on a tripod will cause a problem and I know several DSLR users who don't see it as a problem and feel the same way. Acquaintances that do follow the rule tend to do so because they were told that's the way it is. I'm not saying that in some cases it isn't true but I would love to see current evidence to support the theory.
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cg_341
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Re: Nightshoots

Post by cg_341 »

I've got plenty of photos from Northolt where I've left IS on and it's caused an issue! :(

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Pen Pusher
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Re: Nightshoots

Post by Pen Pusher »

IS On Three Legs
The tripod is the original form of IS, and has proven its effectiveness for literally hundreds of years (no doubt Aristotle used one to stabilize his pinhole camera). So this begs the question: can you use a tripod and IS at the same time? We’d like to put this question to rest, once and for all.

Sadly, we cannot in all cases, although we can say this for sure: if the IS system is built into the body, turn it off when using a tripod. Sally Smith Clemens, product manager for Olympus, told us why.

“Image Stabilization systems are designed to look for and counteract camera motion,” she said. “When the camera is mounted on a tripod, there is little or no movement for this system to react to, but the camera is still searching and trying to compensate for movement. The result can be softer images due to the activity of the IS system.” Representatives from Pentax agreed.

When using certain Nikon VR lenses and late-model Canon IS lenses in conjunction with a tripod, it might be better to leave stabilization on. Sometimes. If you are in doubt, turn it off.

Lindsay Silverman, senior product manager at Nikon, explained that with many of their VR image stabilized lenses, you have to turn VR off. The reason, he explained, is that the VR mechanism is vibrating and looking for frequencies that will result in camera shake. If you leave the VR feature on when the camera is mounted on a tripod, the result can actually look unsharp.

However, this is not always the case.

“With many of our premier lenses and the new AF-S DX 55-300mm VR,” he explained, “there is a technology that allows the lens to stay in its active VR state when mounted on a tripod. These lenses actually have algorithms that can discern the minute vibrations that tripod legs have, and can compensate for them when shooting. Lenses like the AF-S 200-400mm VR II, the AF-S DX 55-300mm VR II, the AF-S 400mm f/2.8 VR, and the AF-S 500mm f/4 VR and AF-S 600mm f/4 VR all have the tripod detection VR mode.”

Canon’s Chuck Westfall told us that by now there are at least four distinct generations of IS technology within the EF lens line, each with its own feature set and performance levels. As a result, a blanket recommendation for the entire range of IS lenses concerning tripod use doesn’t make sense anymore.

“Boiling it down to the lowest common denominator,” he explained, “the best we could say is that shutting off IS during tripod use can often help to avoid potential image blurring at slow shutter speeds. In many cases, it won’t make any difference to image quality whether the IS switch is on or off during tripod use. However, the newer the lens, the more likely it is that the IS mechanism is sophisticated enough to reduce—if not eliminate—the effects of vibration caused by mirror slap at slow shutter speeds when the lens is mounted on a sturdy tripod.”

Confused yet? If your camera has built-in IS, turn the IS off when using a tripod. This includes all point-and-shoot cameras. If you’re using a stabilized lens—including third-party lenses like Tamron and Sigma—turn IS off. A few Nikon lenses and a handful of Canon EF lenses may actually benefit from having VR or IS turned on. As with so many things, the only way to find out what works best is to try it.


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tankbuster
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Re: Nightshoots

Post by tankbuster »

Thanks Brian, illuminating if not conclusive.
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harkins
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Re: Nightshoots

Post by harkins »

A bit late coming back, but thank you all for the information. As much as I think I prefer daylight, I really must make the effort to give a nightshoot a go.

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BDL
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Re: Nightshoots

Post by BDL »

tankbuster wrote:
BDL wrote:Don't make a schoolboy error and leave stabilisation on. :whistle:


Are you able to demonstrate that this isn't just an old wives tale or something that used to be true. I'm mirrorless and I have seen no evidence that leaving stabilisation on while on a tripod will cause a problem and I know several DSLR users who don't see it as a problem and feel the same way. Acquaintances that do follow the rule tend to do so because they were told that's the way it is. I'm not saying that in some cases it isn't true but I would love to see current evidence to support the theory.


No, because I deleted the pics, but they improved remarkably after I turned off VR - I'm not mirrorless though. Old fashioned DSLR

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wallace
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Re: Nightshoots

Post by wallace »

The TLE nightshoots are a great way to experience night shoots that's for sure although there is a certain etiquette to be observed and with the larger the numbers attending the worse the situation gets as to avoiding walking into other peoples shots.
If you wear dark clothing then it's possible with a long exposure not to to affect a long exposuret but not recommended. But then again you can use it to creative effect

My advice to you would be just to go out, on your own and practice shooting anything, cars planes, buses, statues, in the dark to gain experience before committing money to what can be an expensive learning experience. Learn the exposure triangle, shoot manual, make decisions on the fly to exposure modes and never be afraid to try something new as it can reap rewards.
One thing, buy the best tripod that you can afford, you pay good money for a light, stable tripod and little money for a bad one.

Personally I have become bored with the format of these night shoots, the set lighting, the scrum to get a reasonable position to shoot the enactors and the lack of any creative opportunities with regard to light painting or flash photography.
These night shoots were fun but shooting the same aircraft, at the same time, at the same place, in the dark as a whole host of other photographers no longer appeals to me.

Above all.... have fun!

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jalfrezi
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Re: Nightshoots

Post by jalfrezi »

BDL wrote:Don't make a schoolboy error and leave stabilisation on. :whistle:


Or the opposite - forgetting to turn stabilisation back on after a nightshoot and then getting a fair way round a museum before realising your shots are blurry.... :oops:

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Re: Nightshoots

Post by Aslaug »

I also like to take photos in the evening! I think you'll like this article - Nightlife photography tips - Perfect event photo shooting http://fixthephoto.com/photo-tips/night ... -tips.html

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RRconway
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Re: Nightshoots

Post by RRconway »

cg_341 wrote:I've got plenty of photos from Northolt where I've left IS on and it's caused an issue! :(



Me too
I know you think you understood what I said, but I'm not sure you realise that what I said is not what I meant.

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