Night photography - lighted buildings

Ropes4u

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Sep 24, 2012
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I am trying to take some photos of some buildings along the beach. I shot in aperture, manual and bulb mode with a release last night but the lighted windows look fuzzy.

I am guessing I am crippled by knowledge or lens selection (45 and the 12-50). But thought I would ask before the sun sets again tonight.

Thank you
 

David A

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Night shots and lighted windows looking fuzzy? Possibilities:

1- exposure and a halo effect around the lighted windows. Solution would be a shorter exposure.

2- autofocus with the target in a darker area of low contrast so didn't get the windows in focus. Add in shallow depth of field due to wide open aperture and even if some windows are in focus others are likely to not be in focus..

Can you post some examples? You really haven't given us any information that would allow anyone to really say what the problem is, just make guesses.
 

hazwing

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Examples would help explain what you mean. But you do you mean the lights just end up being "blobs"? I like it when the points of light have a star effect rather than just a blob. However, this is affected by the lens and what aperature you shoot with. I find I have to shoot at least F11 to get somewhat decent stars.

You can see some of my examples of night shots here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/58405004@N08/sets/72157632853483238/
 

AussiePhil

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Agree with others, a photo with settings will help and did you use a tripod?
Having asked don't let the Lens choice put you off the 12-50 can take good photos
Here's an example to maybe help
Manual Mode F10 - 20sec - ISO200 - 24mm
Focus from memory somewhere in the middle of the water.

_7134373 by aussiephil1960, on Flickr
 

Ropes4u

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I will post photos when I get home and continue to give it a shot until then. I am sure the advice offered shows i overexposed the photos.

Still learning the camera, lenses, photography past A mode and the trigger trap didn't help lol.

Thank you
 

Fri13

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What camera you have? If you have a E-M10 or E-M1 then try the live composite mode.... It is wonderful feature for night photography.
 

Ropes4u

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Second round of photos were better but I need practice. Will post some photos when I get home. This week I am shooting (trying) some time lapse
 

DougVaughn

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I've had good luck shooting around f/4 or f/5.6 with my E-M1 and 12-40 lens, but I can see how a smaller aperture would be good for star effects on lights. I chose the wider aperture so I could keep the exposure time down. I've found ISO800-1000 gives me good results (fairly low noise) and something under 1 second exposure. I usually go with aperture priority and -0.7 or so compensation. Trial and error ultimately got me to those settings.
 

Ropes4u

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Critique away…

I inserted a few links for feedback. I have more but thought this would at least provide a start for now. I am open to help and have very thick skin.

Thank you, John

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/51361830@N07/15401594398" title="PA050046 by Ropes4u, on Flickr">
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<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/51361830@N07/15402108360" title="PA050033 by Ropes4u, on Flickr">
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<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/51361830@N07/15587714475" title="PA050028 by Ropes4u, on Flickr">
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<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/51361830@N07/15401098689" title="PA050049 by Ropes4u, on Flickr">
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<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/51361830@N07/14966971004" title="PA050048 by Ropes4u, on Flickr">
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