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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Need Advice on shooting floodlit building
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03/11/2010 08:30:53 PM · #1
I have recently bought canon 1000D with 18-55 lenses without feature to control vibration. i am planning to go out of town where i need to click photograph of a flood lit building at night. Please pint me in the right direction to learn this kind of photography. I don't want highlights to be blown and come up with great photographs
03/11/2010 08:39:39 PM · #2
Use a tripod and close your aperture down. I like using this method because I can extend my shutter time and get good detail.
03/11/2010 08:59:20 PM · #3
Meter the building, only. If your camera allows, this means spot meter on that which you want to come out properly exposed.

If your camera takes in the entire frame for light metering,and you have some dark areas in the frame, it will try to "balance" the real dark areas along with the building and result in over exposing the building. If you see this happening, try to make the camera "under expose" the shot to compensate (smaller aperture and/or faster shutter speed.)

Good luck!


03/11/2010 10:37:58 PM · #4
In addition to the previously mentioned tripod, use a remote shutter release or the 10 second self timer. Just the act of pressing and releasing the shutter button will induce some shake in a longish exposure and doing this will eliminate that blur inducing factor.

Message edited by author 2010-03-11 22:38:12.
03/11/2010 10:40:42 PM · #5
Originally posted by jjstager2:

Meter the building, only. If your camera allows, this means spot meter on that which you want to come out properly exposed.


I don't think the 1000D has spot metering. One of the things Canon left out of this basic model. He might be able to use center weighted average, but might have to resort to manual mode if that does not get it right.
03/11/2010 11:12:03 PM · #6
Don't shoot at night, but rather shoot at dusk. There will be a magic period where the exposure in the sky is equal or only slightly lower to the exposure of the flood lights. It's at this time that you can get the best pictures.

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03/11/2010 11:31:10 PM · #7
As the previous posters mentioned, you need a tripod or something to stabilize your camera. If you don't want to have a tripod with you, take a small bean bag to set it on. The self timer or remote is a good idea too. If you want the little stars on the lights, use manual and set the aperture at f11 or 16.
If you have a little time, manual is the best option. Have a correctly exposed shot on your card when you go there, and you can use that as a reference shot to determine how you are doing by looking at the reference. In the dark, it's very easy to underexpose if you don't have experience with how things look in the LCD at night when exposed correctly.
Using manual, set the aperture for the depth of field that you want, and start shooting. Increase or decrease shutter speed until the scene looks right in the LCD display.
I sometimes turn down the brightness of the LCD to make the previously mentioned test shot look right in the LCD in the light where I am shooting, so that when my current shot looks right, it's good to keep. Don't forget to adjust the LCD back to normal, or you may be overexposing everything the next day.
Choose a white balance that fits the light on the building and it will save you time in processing. You may want to experiment with that while you are there.
Shooting at dusk or dawn is a good idea too if. Like the Dr says, there will be a couple of minutes where the light level of the sky and scene come close to matching, and that is a great time to get the shot.
A lower iso setting like iso 200 will help prevent "noise" in the sky area.
03/11/2010 11:42:59 PM · #8
Night shots in general can be tricky, and I find that no two places ever seem to work with the same formula. A tripod is a must, as is experimentation. As Waddy stated, it takes some getting used to in order to know what you're looking at, and for, when shooting at night. Funny thing is, once you develop the knack, it's most enjoyable.

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03/12/2010 12:27:42 AM · #9
Originally posted by MelonMusketeer:

A lower iso setting like iso 200 will help prevent "noise" in the sky area.

My camera is horrible at high ISO settings ... the frames for this stitched panorama were shot at ISO 80 | f 2.71 | 15 seconds on a tripod with a pan/tilt head.
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03/12/2010 07:52:37 PM · #10
Thanks for tips, i will try to focus on them

Here is some night Photography i did couple of months back, my first attempt.

My first attempt at night photography

In case any links for shooting flood lit building please post

Message edited by author 2010-03-12 20:00:47.
03/12/2010 09:17:35 PM · #11
Think about choosing a subject that will look good when you photograph it. I am not sure exactly how to say what I mean, but with a little experience, you can tell when you see a subject that will photograph well at night. I usually try to find big color, some sparkling points of light, or an unusual foreground subject or leading line. Composition becomes very important for night shooting. Night is my favorite time of day. Shooting info is with each image.

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03/12/2010 09:22:09 PM · #12
I was wondering should i go for iso speed like 80-100,200 and long exposure or shoot at 1600 and slightly shorter expose
03/12/2010 09:28:36 PM · #13
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by MelonMusketeer:

A lower iso setting like iso 200 will help prevent "noise" in the sky area.

My camera is horrible at high ISO settings ... the frames for this stitched panorama were shot at ISO 80 | f 2.71 | 15 seconds on a tripod with a pan/tilt head.
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I think we covered that question. Lower iso will give you a smoother looking image with less "noise". If the subject or objects in the image are moving at all, like trees blowing in the wind, people walking or traffic, then you may have to use higher iso if you want to stop the motion. Experiment and look at the results. When you get the shots on your computer, find the "exif" file which is with the images, and it will tell you what settings were used to get the photo. Then you can look at the details in each to see what settings are working best with your equipment.
03/13/2010 09:31:39 AM · #14
Sikh Temple i plan to shoot
This is a sikh temple i am going to visit next week that i plan to shoot

Message edited by author 2010-03-13 09:36:03.
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