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View Full Version : exact aperture/shutter speed/iso value for night outdoor shots



Lilchilichoco
03-12-2007, 06:04 AM
Hi everyone,

I like to take shots of lights in the night as in lighted buildings along a river,lighted yatchs,moonlight on sea etc. What would be the exact values for aperture/shutter speed/ISO to get a perfect shot?
Also, are there any lenses specific to night photography?

many thanks and best regards

pas49ras
03-12-2007, 07:05 AM
I like to take shots of lights in the night as in lighted buildings along a river,lighted yatchs,moonlight on sea etc. What would be the exact values for aperture/shutter speed/ISO to get a perfect shot?

There is just no way that anyone could give you this information without knowing the lighting in each shot because every setting you mentioned will be different. It's best to use a tripod (allows you to use longer shutter speeds),set the camera to the maximum ISO that you want to use and I usually use AV mode where you set the aperture to the lowest setting(remember the lower the number, the more light the lens allows in) and try that...the camera will select the shutter speed for you. Since you are not wasting film..try several settings to see which one gives you the desired result that you are looking for.

Lilchilichoco
03-13-2007, 11:55 AM
Pas49ras......thanks for your answer. Can you suggest some combinations of A+SS+ISO that I could try at night?

What are the ratios of A and S to work with in diff conditions? If you know please suggest a link for a tutorial on this subject.

Many thanks and best regards

John_Reed
03-13-2007, 12:18 PM
Pas49ras......thanks for your answer. Can you suggest some combinations of A+SS+ISO that I could try at night?

What are the ratios of A and S to work with in diff conditions? If you know please suggest a link for a tutorial on this subject.

Many thanks and best regardsOnce you set Aperture (to the lowest number, for maximum light) and ISO (to the highest number you can tolerate, for maximum sensitivity), the only variable left is shutterspeed, which the camera can then choose to give an optimum exposure. I don't know which camera you use, but one more thing you could vary if setting the above doesn't satisfy would be the "Exposure Bias", which on my camera is done by adjusting the EV level +/-, depending on whether you need more or less exposure. But as he also said, the key is to go ahead and take the photos, and get your feet wet. Once you see some results, you'll know whether you want to increase or decrease exposure.

pas49ras
03-13-2007, 12:28 PM
What are the ratios of A and S to work with in diff conditions? If you know please suggest a link for a tutorial on this subject.

At night..you are going to need a tripod..or a solid resting spot for your camera because unless you have a brightly lit subject or a extreamly fast lens..it will be tough to hand hold,even with IS ..try 800 ISO for starters and try different AV and shutter speeds.


Some good links..they talk about film speed but sensor ISO is the same value.
http://www.robert-barrett.com/photo/exposure.html

http://photo.net/learn/making-photographs/exposure

Lilchilichoco
03-13-2007, 12:34 PM
John Reed....!!! After a long long time....:).

I guess what I am asking here is.....how do A,SS and ISO work together....and pas49ras just sent me a link. Thanks million pas.

best regards

toriaj
03-13-2007, 07:08 PM
As pas49ras said, it varies with each shot. But here are some examples (sorry for the reposts.)

30 seconds, f/4.5, ISO 200
Here, the sky was pretty dark. The long exposure created the blue/purple sky. The moon had been "gibbous" (between quarter and full.) The sky was misty and created the nearly round halo.
21749

13 seconds, f/11, ISO 200
This was at dusk, so the sky was still blue.
21750

1/100 sec., f/6.3, ISO 200 (I added noise on this one for effect)
Here, I wanted to be able to see details on the streetlamp, so I didn't need a long exposure.
21755

Hope that helps give you an idea. As you can see, I didn't use a higher ISO on any of these shots. With stationary objects, you usually don't need to, because you can use the longest shutter speed you want, along with your tripod :) An example of needing higher ISO would be at a party or concert, where you have low light combined with moving subjects. I don't have any good shots in those conditions yet.

Basically, the brighter the available light, the shorter shutter speed and the lower ISO. A larger aperture (smaller f/number) will enable a shorter shutter speed and lower ISO, and create "halo" effects around the lights. A small aperture will create "star" effects, such as in the factory above.

Have you decided which camera yet? :D

reppans
03-13-2007, 08:32 PM
I like simply using auto exposure metering and setting exposure value somewhere between -1 and -2, depending on how light (-1) or dark (-2) the night scene looks. Set the camera on a wall or garbage can, and use the 2 sec timer to trip the shutter. From a A710 and S230:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/124/397064263_782d04a90f.jpg

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/149/355440644_e3cbe7ec0d.jpg

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/130/355440650_db7a5c6e50.jpg

Lilchilichoco
03-14-2007, 03:08 AM
Hi toriaj, lovely shots....I love the star effect!!! and I love the color in the first one and the lamp is so full of mystery!!

Gee....yeah....I just got a pentax K10d but I am quite confused as I've never ever used a real camera:o....so I'm bugging everyone there on the Pentax dslr forum asking all kinds of "huh?:confused:" questions.........

Thanks for the summing up toriaj......I am in the "absorbing info" stage:)

reappans, thanks for your tip as well....I'll try that out as well....

I guess reading up and trying diff equations should help. Thanks pas for your tip as well....I guess I'd better run out and get a tripod...:)

many many thanks
best regards

toriaj
03-15-2007, 07:39 AM
Congratulations on getting your new camera! I look forward to seeing your shots.

MT Stringer
04-05-2007, 01:18 PM
This looks like a good opportunity to learn more about how your camera operates and how aperatures, shutter speed and ISO work.

Set your camera on a tripod. Adjust the camera settings to Manual. Set your ISO to 100. Set your lens aperature to f/16. Hmmm, set your shutterspeed to 1/60 sec. Take a shot and preview it. Too bright/too dark... Change the shutterspeed only so you can bracket your shots. You'll prolly have to lengthen the exposure time by shooting at 1/30, 1/4, 1/8, 1 sec, 2 sec, 4 sec...and so on. Practice makes perfect. Sooner or later you'll find the correct exposure for your subject.

Good luck.
Mike

nevilleb
04-18-2007, 09:57 PM
I usggest you get a good book on exposure theory. Read, practice and understand what is given in it. Understand the zone system. A proper understanding of that will serve you much better than spoon-feeding off the net.

nevilleb

Lilchilichoco
04-25-2007, 03:06 AM
Mike.....thanks for the pointers. I kind a have a hang of it now.....but your pointers are a big help too.....

nevilleb.....thanks.



Best Regards

coldrain
04-25-2007, 04:19 AM
High ISO settings are basically there to keep exposure times down.
So... if there is not enough light, and you do not have a steady support under your camera or you do not have a static subject, the only option to get a non-blurry photo is to use higher ISO settings.

Higher ISO settings make the sensor less accurate, and therefore the photos will get more noisy.

Another way to keep exposure times down is to use a bigger aperture, letting more light in. Opening the aperture more and more will give a more shallow depth of field. So, it depends again on the subject on what aperture is appropriate. For night views you will want to go past f4 most of the times, shallow depth of field is more something for portraits or other subjects you want to isolate.

Shutter speed (exposure time) will go up the less light there is. To get it down (if you do not have a camera support or your subject is not static), you up the ISO and also try to keep the aperture relativily open.

For the kind of views you are talking about it is best to use a low ISO setting (to avoid noise basically), to use support (a sort of sturdy tripod will help here), choose the aperture you think is best to capture the scene (you determine the depth of field with this) and then let the camera determine the needed exposure time.

If you do not have the opportunity to use a tripod, stabilizing the camera against lamp posts, walls and other street furniture may help to avoid blur, but that can be tricky. Also the in-camera IS may help with this kind of support method.

Lilchilichoco
04-26-2007, 12:41 AM
Ah coldrain......you come to the rescue of the clueless again!!:) ......
As always.....precise simple explanation.....thanks a million!! I have been clicking some okay night shots....but they are mostly long exposures and those are easy. It's when you don't have enough light AND no real support that the problem really surfaces. Thanks for your tips. Big help!!


Best Regards