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Night Time Theatre
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Jan 18, 2012 10:18:57   #
Stef C Loc: Conshohocken (near philly) PA
 
Hello Everyone!

I have a question about night time shots/light/exposure.

As you can see, the two pictures below are very similar. In fact, all of the specs are the same except the shutter speed. There are as follows

Nikon D3100, 26mm, ISO - 400, F-29

The first picture is 2 seconds open, the second is 5...

As you can see in the first picture the text on the theater sign is very clear and crisp, in the second one its blurry and hard to read. However, in the first one you can't see any of the background or the rest of the building.

How can I get it so the text is clear (like in the first one), but the rest of the picture isn't completely black?

Should I lower the ISO and bump up the shutterspeed to 7 seconds or higher?

Does this make sense haha, i feel like i am rambling but basically i want clear text on the sign, and also I want the rest of the image to NOT be black like in the first one. Thanks :)





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Jan 18, 2012 10:22:08   #
docrob Loc: Durango, Colorado
 
Stef C wrote:
Hello Everyone!

I have a question about night time shots/light/exposure.

As you can see, the two pictures below are very similar. In fact, all of the specs are the same except the shutter speed. There are as follows

Nikon D3100, 26mm, ISO - 400, F-29

The first picture is 2 seconds open, the second is 5...

As you can see in the first picture the text on the theater sign is very clear and crisp, in the second one its blurry and hard to read. However, in the first one you can't see any of the background or the rest of the building.

How can I get it so the text is clear (like in the first one), but the rest of the picture isn't completely black?

Should I lower the ISO and bump up the shutterspeed to 7 seconds or higher?

Does this make sense haha, i feel like i am rambling but basically i want clear text on the sign, and also I want the rest of the image to NOT be black like in the first one. Thanks :)
Hello Everyone! br br I have a question about nig... (show quote)


leave ISO alone - use tripod - try 5 seconds

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Jan 18, 2012 10:23:59   #
Stef C Loc: Conshohocken (near philly) PA
 
[/quote]

leave ISO alone - use tripod - try 5 seconds[/quote]

I did use a tripod, and the second picture is 5 seconds, but i think the text got too washed out.. I like that the rest of the building is lit in the second one, but i am not happy with how blurry the sign is..

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Jan 18, 2012 11:11:25   #
docrob Loc: Durango, Colorado
 
Stef C wrote:


leave ISO alone - use tripod - try 5 seconds[/quote]

I did use a tripod, and the second picture is 5 seconds, but i think the text got too washed out.. I like that the rest of the building is lit in the second one, but i am not happy with how blurry the sign is..[/quote]

well go back - do it again - take more than a few shots - you can figure this out

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Jan 18, 2012 12:24:09   #
Frank T
 
The blur you're seeing in the lettering isn't from motion blur, it's actually the overexposure of the lights which are burning out the highlights.
If you process in photoshop, stack the two photos putting the one with the blurry lettering on top, then apply a layer mask and allow only the sharp lettering to show through.
Alternately, you could try processing them as an HDR image which may work.

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Jan 18, 2012 13:09:25   #
Stef C Loc: Conshohocken (near philly) PA
 
Frank T wrote:
The blur you're seeing in the lettering isn't from motion blur, it's actually the overexposure of the lights which are burning out the highlights.
If you process in photoshop, stack the two photos putting the one with the blurry lettering on top, then apply a layer mask and allow only the sharp lettering to show through.
Alternately, you could try processing them as an HDR image which may work.


Frank - thank you. I didn't think it was from motion, but i wanted to know if there was a way without PP (obviously I will go back and try/experiment) to get both the rest of the building illuminated without sacrificing the clarity of those letters. I guess I will keep trying!

Thank you!

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Jan 18, 2012 13:17:53   #
JimH Loc: Western South Jersey, USA
 
Depending on the rest of the ambient light, you may not be able to leave the shutter open too long.

My bridge pictures tend to be 15 to 20 seconds, but it's pitch dark everywhere else, so there's no competition from other light sources.

Two thoughts:
1) It sounds odd, but have you tried a longer exposure with an ND filter on? Not sure what it would do but you may be able to get some kind of balance between the bright marquee lights, and the background.

2) Have you tried other white balance settings?

Also, have you considered taking two shots, one in say late afternoon where you have enough natural light to get the buiilding details, and then one later on when the marquee lights are there, and stacking them? I know that's more PP than maybe you want to do but it's possible that that may be the only way to get a good balance between the theater and the marquee.

PS I've been in the Anthony Wayne, many times.

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Jan 18, 2012 13:30:37   #
Stef C Loc: Conshohocken (near philly) PA
 
Thanks JimH! those are some great tips. I just started, so I haven't bought any filters or anything, and I am just experimenting, but your advice really helps. I actually drive by there all the time, but have never been in. I live in Media, not too far away, and got some good shots of the Media Theatre as well. It seems like a very large portion of the people on UHH are from Harrisburg - South Jersey.

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Jan 19, 2012 00:32:09   #
photogrl57 Loc: Tennessee
 
I would lower the ISO to 100, f/18, 30 second exposure.
WB set to tungsten,

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Jan 19, 2012 01:37:12   #
ShakyShutter Loc: Arizona
 
Perfect opportunity for HDR. Use a weighted tripod and bracket manually if necessary. You should be able to get an excellent exposure on on the face of the building as well as the lettering on the sign.

You should be able to open that f-stop a little and gain a shorter shutter speed unless you want the blurred tail lights. In that case keep the shutter speed long and bracket the f-stop all over the place. Rely on Photomatix to bring it all together.

Good Luck

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Jan 19, 2012 08:29:01   #
flyguy Loc: Las Cruces, New Mexico
 
Frank T wrote:
The blur you're seeing in the lettering isn't from motion blur, it's actually the overexposure of the lights which are burning out the highlights.
If you process in photoshop, stack the two photos putting the one with the blurry lettering on top, then apply a layer mask and allow only the sharp lettering to show through.
Alternately, you could try processing them as an HDR image which may work.


Thanks for the advice provide to the questioner above.

Your response about the lights blowing out the highlights solved a problem for me that occurred while shooting city buildings at night. The windows of the buildings in which lights are on were blurry but the rest of the building is nice and sharp.

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Jan 19, 2012 08:31:33   #
flyguy Loc: Las Cruces, New Mexico
 
Frank T wrote:
The blur you're seeing in the lettering isn't from motion blur, it's actually the overexposure of the lights which are burning out the highlights.
If you process in photoshop, stack the two photos putting the one with the blurry lettering on top, then apply a layer mask and allow only the sharp lettering to show through.
Alternately, you could try processing them as an HDR image which may work.


Your response about the lights blowing out the highlights solved a problem for me that occurred while shooting city buildings at night. The windows of the buildings in which lights are on were blurry but the rest of the building is nice and sharp.

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Jan 19, 2012 09:18:49   #
Stef C Loc: Conshohocken (near philly) PA
 
ShakyShutter wrote:
Perfect opportunity for HDR. Use a weighted tripod and bracket manually if necessary. You should be able to get an excellent exposure on on the face of the building as well as the lettering on the sign.

You should be able to open that f-stop a little and gain a shorter shutter speed unless you want the blurred tail lights. In that case keep the shutter speed long and bracket the f-stop all over the place. Rely on Photomatix to bring it all together.

Good Luck


I'll have to look into bracketing, i'm not too familiar with the process. Also - I haven't ever done/know how to do HDR. I figure I'll keep learning the actual camera before i get into PP

If you can do HDR with just this image, feel free to play with it :)

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Jan 19, 2012 09:21:06   #
Stef C Loc: Conshohocken (near philly) PA
 
sorry double post :(

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Jan 19, 2012 10:03:26   #
flyguy Loc: Las Cruces, New Mexico
 
Thank you --- couldn't find a way to delete it myself.

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