Low Light and Fireworks Photography

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Low Light and Fireworks
Photography
Quiz
For those who were here at the
last tutorial….
Quiz
• Which f numbers indicate a small aperture?
• What size aperture is required for a shallow
depth of field?
Quiz
• What shutter speeds are required to
freeze motion?
• What is reciprocity?
Low Light and Fireworks
Photography
Low Light Photography Equipment
• Camera + lens
• Tripod
• Shutter Release cable (SLR)
• Remote control (Digital)
• For those without shutter release cable or
remote control – an on-camera self timer
Camera Exposure Modes
• Auto / Program – Not the best for low light
• Shutter Priority – Manually set shutter speed to
blur or freeze movement
• Aperture priority – Good for low light
photography, as allows long exposure by setting
small aperture. Also used for flash photography.
• Manual – Full creative control! :)
Compact Camera Modes
• Portrait – large aperture, small DOF
• Landscape / Mountains – small aperture, large DOF,
focused around infinity
• Sports – Short shutter speeds to freeze movement,
probably large aperture
• Night Landscape – Long shutter speed, probably small
aperture for large DOF, focused around infinity
• Night Portrait – Long shutter speed, fill-in (slow sync)
flash to balance foreground exposure with background
ISO for Low Light Photography
Similar to reciprocity, ISO numbers either halve
or double the sensitivity to light
i.e. 1/30s shutter speed @ 100 ISO = 1/60s
shutter speed @ 200 ISO
•
(ISO = 25, 50, 64 (half stop), 100, 160(half stop), 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200)
• Film
– Higher ISO “fast” films are more sensitive to light
– “fast” films have larger grain sizes when developed,
so cannot be enlarged as big.
ISO for Low Light Photography
• Digital Cameras
– Long exposures = high “dark current” noise due to heat in the sensor
– Increasing the ISO (gain) setting (allowing a shorter exposure) amplifies any
background electrical noise
Methods of digital noise reduction:
In Camera Algorithms
–
Some SLRs have built in noise reduction algorithms
Dark frame subtraction
– Take another shot of same length exposure with lens cap + subtract in
Photoshop
Stacking
– Averaging multiple images in Photoshop can increase sensitivity and reduce
noise but your camera must not move between frames.
What, no tripod?
• What shutter speeds can you hand-hold a
camera at without getting a blurred image due to
camera shake?
• Rule of Thumb – use a maximum shutter speed
of one over the focal length of the lens.
• i.e. for a 200mm lens = 1/250s
• 50mm lens = 1/60s
(Possible shutter speeds = 1/1000, 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30,
1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1…)
What, no tripod?
• How to hold an SLR camera to minimise shake
• Brace your arms against your body for extra
support
• Crouch and use legs and left arm to support
camera
• Try to use fixed objects around you to brace
your camera (e.g. hold camera against a
lamppost, or on a railing)
Moving Object Shutter Speeds - NO Blur
• Which shutter speed to use for subjects depends on 3
factors:
– How big the object appear in the frame
– Which direction it is moving
– How fast it is moving
Shutter Speed (secs)
Subject
Moving across path
Moving across path
Head On
Fills whole frame
Fills half frame
Person Walking
1/125 sec
1/60 sec
1/60 sec
Person Jogging
1/250 sec
1/125 sec
1/60 sec
Person Sprinting
1/500 sec
1/250 sec
1/125 sec
Cyclist
1/500 sec
1/250 sec
1/125 sec
Horse Trotting
1/250 sec
1/125 sec
1/60 sec
Horse Galloping
1/1000 sec
1/500 sec
1/250 sec
Diver (from a spring board)
1/1000 sec
1/500 sec
1/250 sec
Tennis Serve
1/1000 sec
1/500 sec
1/250 sec
Car at 30mph (50kph)
1/500 sec
1/250 sec
1/125 sec
Car at 70mph (110kph)
1/1000 sec
1/500 sec
1/250 sec
Formula 1 car
1/2000 sec
1/1000 sec
1/500 sec
Train
1/2000 sec
1/1000 sec
1/500 sec
Moving Object Shutter Speeds – For Blur
• Blur can be used to emphasise movement
• Amount of blur depends on speed of
movement of subject and shutter speed
Shutter Speed (secs)
Subject
Moderate Blur
Extreme Blur
Person Walking
1/30 sec
¼ sec
Person Running
1/60 sec
1/15 sec
Horse Trotting
1/30 sec
1/8 sec
Horse Galloping
1/125 sec
1/30 sec
Car at 30mph (50kph)
1/125 sec
1/30 sec
Car at 70mph (110kph)
1/250 sec
1/60 sec
Water
1-2 secs
3 secs+
Flash Photography
• Flash creates a very bright light for a very short time
• Generally around 1/1000 second duration, capable of
freezing most motion
• Because the light is such a short duration, we cannot
use camera shutter speed to control exposure – we can
only use the aperture.
• TTL flashes can also fire pre-flashes to enable automatic
light metering through the lens
Flash Photography
• Slow Sync flash
can be used to
freeze an instant of
motion, but also get
a sense of colour
and movement
• Slow sync = flash +
long shutter speed
Flash Photography
• Rear curtain (2nd curtain) flash makes a moving
object’s light trails appear behind them, rather
than in front as with front (1st) curtain flash / slow
sync.
When to take Photos
• Don’t wait until its totally dark or your background will
be totally black and the picture will look dead.
• Take photos at twilight, just after dusk, when there is
still colour in the sky - It is easier to get a better
balanced exposure
When to take Photos
Night Exposure Guide
• This is only a guide – bracket shots at least +/- 1 stop to be sure
Suggested Exposure at f/16 aperture
Film Speed
100
200
400
800
Cityscape just after sunset
4 secs
2 secs
1 sec
½ sec
Cityscape at night
20 secs
10 secs
5 secs
3 secs
Docks and bridges with reflection
30 secs
15 secs
8 secs
4 secs
Traffic trails on busy road
30 secs
15 secs
8 secs
4 secs
Floodlit Building
4 secs
2 secs
1 sec
½ sec
Floodlit castles, churches at dusk
15 secs
8 secs
4 secs
2 secs
Floodlit castles, churches at night
30 secs
15 secs
8 secs
4 secs
Floodlit statues and fountains
8 secs
4 secs
2 secs
1 sec
Neon Sign
2 secs
1 secs
½ sec
¼ sec
Illuminated shop window
2 secs
1 secs
½ sec
¼ sec
Outdoor Illuminations
20 secs
10 secs
5 secs
3 secs
Fairground Rides
15 secs
8 secs
4 sec
2 secs
Bonfire Flames
2 secs
1 secs
½ sec
¼ sec
Aerial Firework Display
2-60 secs
2-30 secs
2-15 secs
2-8 secs
Landscape lit by moonlight
30 mins
15 mins
8 mins
2 mins
Landscape at twilight
1 min
30 sec
15 secs
8 secs
Domestic Interior (tungsten)
8 secs
4 secs
2 secs
1 sec
Subject
Bracketing
• If you want to make sure you get a perfectly exposed shot, take
multiple photos and vary the exposure
• Take an image at the metered exposure, followed by exposures over
and under the metered exposure.
• Underexposure is most likely with low light photography, as
• E.g. bracket in +/- 1/3 stop (EV) or +/- ½ stop if you are reasonably
sure of a correct exposure
• Bracket +/- 1 stop if you are guessing exposure!
• Film: Different films have different exposure latitudes (ranges) where
a good exposure can be recorded: Black and White : around 6 stops
(+/-3),
Traffic Trails
• Long exposure, large depth of field
Light Explosion
• Light Explosion / Motion blur
With an SLR – zoom the lens during a
long exposure
Out of Focus
• Bright, colourful pinpoint light sources
work best (try illuminations?)
Painting with Light
• Use a small torch
or sparkler to
“draw” on images.
• A short burst of
flash can also be
used to illuminate
objects / people if
you draw around
them
Funfairs
Funfairs
• Use different shutter
speeds for varying effects
• Beware that bright lights
against dark backgrounds
can fool camera light
meters into
underexposing the image.
• Bracket above the
metered exposure…
Fireworks
Fireworks
• Concentrate on aerial rocket displays for best
result
• Best view is further back, behind the crowds.
Elevated position good if you can find one.
• Try to fill the frame as much as possible
Fireworks
• Set small aperture, e.g. f/16
• Use a wide angle (28-35mm) to capture the whole of the
display
• Use a telephoto (50mm+) to fill the frame with firework
explosions
• Using the Bulb setting, open the shutter for 2-60 seconds
- hopefully to capture multiple fireworks
• Can open the shutter for longer if you block the light with
your hand or a black card between fireworks – longer
gives a much more impressive picture
Night Photography Tips
• Get there early, for sunset so you have time to
set up
• Use a tripod at all times so you don’t have to
worry about camera shake
• Bracket exposures to record at least one good
image
• Experiment – Digital is good for this!
• Don’t limit yourself to urban/street photography –
landscapes and coastal shots can be good too
Blackpool
Blackpool
• Coach leaves around 1pm (13:00) from the
University Underpass – meet at 12:50
• Coach will depart Blackpool around 9pm (21:00)
• We will tell you a meeting point when we arrive
• We will also provide you with a map.
• Don’t be late!
Things to take
• Warm clothing – essential in November!
• Waterproofs – Showers have been forecast
• Money (for food / shopping / Pleasure Beach)
•
•
•
•
Camera
Tripod (if you have one)
Shutter Release / Remote Control
Film (slow and fast) / Memory cards
(Downloading images to a laptop maybe a possibility if your card fills
up while we are there)
• Small Torch
Things to look out for in Blackpool
• Tower
• Piers
• People
Things to look out for in Blackpool
• Sculptures – down the sea front promenade
Things to look out for in Blackpool
• Pleasure Beach – illuminated at night
Things to look out for in Blackpool
• Illuminations – from around 6pm
Things to look out for in Blackpool
• Fireworks at the Pleasure Beach on Saturday
• Starting around 7:30-8pm
Positioning for Fireworks
• Sunset will be around 16:35 on the 5th November
• Tide Predictions for 5th
– High Water around noon, and midnight
– Low Water around 6pm
– Should be able to walk out on the sands if you want more
distance between yourself and the fireworks.
– But don’t expect a reflection
like this photo unless you
have a boat ;)
For those not going to Blackpool…
• Fireworks at Lancaster Castle, Saturday 5th Nov
• Starts around 8pm
• Good view of rockets from near the Millennium Bridge
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