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Hot rod photography, how to do a night shot

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Brickster, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. Brickster
    Joined: Nov 23, 2003
    Posts: 1,131

    Brickster
    Member

    Last night I tried to capture the Las Vegas skyline with a faint silloutte of my car in the foreground but as you can see I was unsucessful. I was using a Sony cyber-shot 7.2 mp carmera set on the twlight setting. Other than using a tripod in the future what else should I try?

    Brick
     

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  2. smokindave
    Joined: May 30, 2005
    Posts: 391

    smokindave
    Member

    you need a time exposure shot. the shutter needs to stay open for a second or so. Set it on a tripod, meter your wheel or somewhere up towards the front of the car and fire away. It may take a few shots to get what you want. Just experiment.

    Or just send me the original file to dgherren@yahoo.com and I will see what I can do with it tomorrow. Good nite
     
  3. recardo
    Joined: Aug 31, 2006
    Posts: 833

    recardo
    Member
    from Winslow

    This is a difficult shot with top of the line equipment.

    You may not know this, but these types of shots are half done at the scene, and the other half is done in the darkroom.

    Simple answer, you need to increase the ISO, or take a longer exposure with a smaller lens opening.


     
  4. y block
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 42

    y block
    Member
    from kcmo

    also set your camera on timed shot or use a shutter release so you don't get any jitter even on the tripod- you'll have better luck with a digital slr, more options w exposure, aperture, film speed etc...
    you may also try using a flashlight, hand held flash or similar to expose your rod while the backround exposes naturally- there is a lot you can do without taking it to the dark room-
     

  5. Spike!
    Joined: Nov 22, 2001
    Posts: 2,733

    Spike!
    Member

    Try painting with light if you have a manual setting. It takes some experimentation, but the results are amazing. Also, see if your camera has a "slow synch" feature, or a "back curtain" feature. It will combine the ambient light with a little bit of fill flash. The best thing to do is experiment with the settings you do have and make notes of what works. A tripod is a must..

    Spike
     
  6. Played around a little in Photoshop. Not much help.
     

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  7. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,375

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Brick, have you been up at the Summerlin make-out point again!? ;)
     
  8. buschandbusch
    Joined: Jan 11, 2006
    Posts: 1,294

    buschandbusch
    Member
    from Reno, NV

    back in the old days (pre-digital), numerous shots were taken and transposed over each other in the darkroom. So, what you may experiment with is setting up a tripod, shoot one shot with a LONG exposure, shoot one shot to capture the slyline lights so they look nice and crisp with a black sky, and one shot with the flash to highlight the car. Then combine them all in the digital darkroom- Photoshop :D
     
  9. This was done with a sony cybershot (i think 1.3 mega pixle or something), its about 6 years old but it had the night setting on the dial on the top. Basicly all it does is leaves the shutter open longer. You have to hold the camera very still or everything will be blury. This was taken when i was in paris of a street performer. I have one of the winsor skyline from a detroit parking garage i can post when i get home. You need some form of light in the picture though.
     

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  10. I don't think any of you are getting it he's useing a digital no iso, no darkroom.

    This would actually be an easy shot with a film camera, 100 speed film pinch the aperature to the max on a short lense and open the shudder for about 3 seconds. Or if you want little depth of field and blurr the background open the aperature to the max and and open the shudder for about a second. same film speed. I got a portfolio full of timed night exposures and I never ever use film faster than 200 and mostly use 100 speed film.

    The timed esposures shot at the HAMB drags 3 years ago were all with 200 speed film ( look in an old speed 'n' chrome).

    Anyway I couldn't tell you how to do it with a digital, the cybershot is a snap shot camera isn't it?
     
  11. Slide
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 3,022

    Slide
    Member

    A lot of those magazine shots have REALLY long exposures... upwards of 30 seconds in some cases.

    Cool compositions, though. :cool:

    p-n-b-- one of the advantages to digital is that you can adjust the ISO (even bracket it on some cameras!) from one shot to the next without changing "film"! Most of the name-brand p&s digital cameras do have some relative ISO control, but it's rarely easy to access or change quickly. Digital SLRs can usually swap ISO's with the turn of a dial or couple pushes of a button. Interestingly, digital cameras running at higher ISOs suffer from the same (sometimes more) grainy-ness of traditional film rated at equivalent ISO's.
     
  12. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,618

    raven
    Member

    This one's easy.
    What time of day are you shooting?
    Try earlier in the evening and then play with under exposing the image. You will end up with a rich deep blue sky and more shadow detail.
    Like I say, play with the exposure. Digital will give you instant results so you can adjust on the spot.
    I would shoot just after the sun has set. I mean just after. You might actually have a three to five minute window for the perfect shot, but play with it. What direction is your camera pointing?
    This will make a difference in accomplishing what you want. Also what time you shoot it and the colour of the sky.
    If the sunset is behind you, you can shoot it earlier in the evening. If the sunset is in front of you, then you have to approach it differently.
    Many variables, all surmountable.
    r
     
  13. This is the camera i used to take that night shot and a few others. I know newer cybershots have an "M" setting on the dial where you can adjust the shutter speed and aperature. My newer sony has those and is fun to play with. But the cybershots usualy have a night (twilight setting). If that is what you used, its an automatic setting. It seems to adjust the shutter speed depending on how much light there is. I know when i took the picture above i had to hold down the button for about 20 seconds. If you didnt hold down the button but simply pushed it once that might have made a difference. Im not sure.
     

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  14. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,375

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great thread actually. I have a cybershot 5 mpxl camera that just takes awesome shots. I'm completely camera illiterate though so I have no idea how to use it in lighting situations such as this. Would like to learn.
     
  15. bohlsd
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 122

    bohlsd
    Member

    Taking photos with a digital camera is cheap. Set up your shot and then bracket the photos (take a bunch with different times and/or exposures) and discard the ones you don't want.
     
  16. 54BOMB
    Joined: Oct 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,106

    54BOMB
    Member

    you know what else you can try for night shots is remote flashes, a little flash unit you can place in different parts of you picture to get light on something other than straight out of the camera. Some work off a remote sender from your camera , some use a sensor and go off when your flash goes off.

    I bet it wont happen with digital but if you leave the shutter open too long you can run in to reciprosity failure, when the colors you see wont show up in the correct tone cause the film runs out of "juice" . I really like night shots. Thats the best I can do for tech week haha
     
  17. Curious, after making this statement that none of us a getting it, you tell him how to do it with a film camera.
     
  18. Zumo
    Joined: Aug 30, 2004
    Posts: 1,389

    Zumo
    Member

    I did this with a Canon Rebel XT 8 mega pixel on the night setting on a tripod.

    I need to try it under the street light. This was with my driveway flood lights on. But usually my other camera, a Sony Cyber Shot 3.2 mega pixel, doesn't do this well.

    This is a new camera for my wife and I and we are still learning.
     

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  19. Brickster
    Joined: Nov 23, 2003
    Posts: 1,131

    Brickster
    Member

    Thanks for all the responces. It looks like i have a few more things to try out.

    For all the Las Vegas HAMBer's this is a spot right off the 215 and Ann rd. There is a ridge that you can drive up on even with a lowered car.

    I'm going to try try again soon and I'll post the pics when I do. I really want in that '08 Hamb calendar.

    Brick
     
  20. y block
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 42

    y block
    Member
    from kcmo

    my wifes cybershot has an M mode which will do a 20 sec exposure, if I HAVE to use her camera, I expose the photo say 5-10 sec *depending on avail lighting* then cover the lens w my hand or a hat. then let the camera process it, and if I need to I adjust + or - a few secs. also, if u want to play with photoshop, use the cut out selector, trace your rod, then inverse, and adjust the backround lighting....
    lets see more pix of your progress!
     
  21. mikaelmtb
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 351

    mikaelmtb
    Member
    from Denmark

    This is a great thread!! Could fit in the tech week! :)

    I have tried hard to get the same nice shots with my old digital (Crap) camera, but never really succeded! I have just bought a new digital (Sony Cybershot 7,2mp DSC-T50) camera, its also nice for quick taken photos with good lights! Havent tried to play with it in the dark yet, but I have got some intersting tips from this thread that I will try tonight!! :)

    I think I actually will take my car to this viewpoint here when I get off from work tonight and try some shots!! :)

    Mike
     
  22. recardo
    Joined: Aug 31, 2006
    Posts: 833

    recardo
    Member
    from Winslow

    Having been a film photographer (I still own a 4x5 camera), I am guilty of a little slang. Darkroom is my slang for Photoshop.

    One of the techniques I use is "Aperture Priority." One of the things you need to control in photography, is depth of field (DOF), so locking the aperture while varying the speed locks in the DOF.

    If you take about three shots at various speeds, and then combine all three in layers with Photoshop, then you have basically the greatest dynamic range there is.

    So expose the cityscape exactly, the car exactly, and a shot half-way between those two, and you have a wonderful digital shot that you can finish in the "Darkroom."

    I wouldn't try this with a point and shoot camera. It wouldn't be any fun.
     
  23. Truly amazing how much diversified talent we have on this message board. Photography is one of my hobbies and I'm always interested in learning new techniques. Finally purchased a small Nikon digital back in August, and have had a blast playing with night shots. Too bad it's in the shop right now...especially since it's the Sebring 12hr race weekend. Oh well, back to my good-ole' 1973 Minolta 35mm. No batteries required. :cool:
    Definetly check out the Lost America website. www.lostamerica.com. He frequents the HAMB from time to time. His site actually explains some of his techniques.
    JT
     

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  24. mikaelmtb
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 351

    mikaelmtb
    Member
    from Denmark

    Sounds like the way to do it! I will give it a try, even though I've got a simple digital camera! I agree on there's more fun with a high-end pro camera, but my money didnt reach for one of those this time! :( Hehe... I even had to make the deciscion on what camera to buy with my girlfriend, as she paid half of it!!! So the one we bought is red!!! :p

    I will see if I can get a cool "pro" digital camera when I have more money, probably going for a used one!

     
  25. usmile4
    Joined: Jul 28, 2005
    Posts: 689

    usmile4
    Member

    I'm not familiar with the camera you mention, but if you can change the flash settings...see if there is a slow or rear flash setting. What this does is exposes the skyline for natural light and then the flash fires to illuminate the car. If you have a manual setting you can achieve this same effect by taking some tests to get the right exposure of the skyline and then "paint" your car with light either with a flash or even with a flashlight. If your skyline exposure is long enough you can flash a small hand held flash several times on the car. But regardless...put the camera on a tripod.
     
  26. mikaelmtb
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 351

    mikaelmtb
    Member
    from Denmark

    Hmmm... I took a night shot one hour ago, tried different settings on the camera. The "twilight" mode gave me the best result. I didnt have a tripod so I placed the camera on fusebox. I havent edited the photo, just scaled it and uploaded it.

    But I was sorry to find out that there is not much "fun" in my camera, but it just take some ok nice pictures without much to worry about!

    I must get a more "manual" camera... I'm not satisfied with just taking the pictures, I need the fun-factor!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  27. Thirdyfivepickup
    Joined: Nov 5, 2002
    Posts: 6,093

    Thirdyfivepickup
    Member

    I'm not skilled in photography... just point and click. Here is the only real night shot I took that looks good. Lit up with headlights...
    Taking a class on the basics of photography seems like a real good idea

    [​IMG]
     
  28. SquashThatFly
    Joined: Nov 24, 2005
    Posts: 723

    SquashThatFly
    Member

    difficult shot even with the right equipment
     
  29. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 15,462

    Paul
    Editor

    I have had a little luck with my Olympus 4.0 by simply turning off the flash and using a tripod, the camera automaticly handles shutter speed,
    perfect for a non camera guy like me...

    it was getting pretty dark as these were taken..
     

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  30. I love night shots, but still learning how to use my camera, so these were done at dusk ....

    Cheers,

    Drewfus
     

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