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Tips for night time general photography

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by krugorg, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I have just started playing around with night photos with my E-P3. I am staying in Aperture priority mode and mostly keeping the lenses (20/1.7 and 25/1.4) wide open. I have some okay images, but notice that I seem to be bumping up against the maximum ISO setting most of the time (set to 2500 last outing).

    I am mostly interested in street scenes and indoors at night pubs and restaurants. Not interested in action as most of the subjects are stationary or slow moving (depending how deep into the pub crawl). Ultimate goal is to get the best ISO possible without using a flash or tripod. :biggrin:

    Should I be forcing a lower ISO? Run in Shutter priority? Any suggestions would be appreciated!
     
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  2. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    You have image stabilization. You should be able to shoot in many places. I would shoot RAW as that will help you get better detail out of what you are doing and from underexposure as well as helping with white balance. But it is mostly practice--you will know what quality is good for you; you will learn to hold the camera at slower shutter speeds. Personally, an f/1.7 lens and ISO 1,600 at night is like walking around in the daylight--I am used to 400 ISO film with f/3.5-f/5.6 lenses.
     
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  3. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    BTW, beer bottles are good for supporting cameras for a shot.
     
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  4. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Are your shutter speeds higher than you need them to be? The camera may be favoring high ISO over a slow shutter, so if you drop the ISO back down you might get better pictures.
     
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  5. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I remember Eric Kim saying he sticks to about 1/350 or something for street. You may want to try aiming fir that n do some test shots

    - Eliot
     
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  6. DDBazooka

    DDBazooka Mu-43 Veteran

    211
    Sep 3, 2011
    I doubt he'll get close to that if it's forcing a high iso.

    The only advice I can give for night time shooting is don't use an uv filter!
     
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  7. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    It's late. My brain switched his question to "st photography" not "night photography". Lol

    On a side note, my internetz went down, and boom, my iPad lost all Verizon bars at the same time... I thought it was the apocalypse....

    - Eliot
     
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  8. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    1. Some sort of support - tripod, bench, pole, beer bottle
    2. Flash
    3. Higher ISO - is 3200 really that much worse than 2500? To get 2500, they are just pull processing a 3200 sensor gain ...
     
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  9. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Thanks for all the tips!

    How conservative is the Oly on choosing ISO under the auto setting? Is it allowing some extra headroom for subject movement or whatever? Is it looking at camera movement, even with IBIS enabled, when calculating?

    My concern was that it seemed like most of my images were ending up at the max ISO, in lighting conditions that I assumed would be okay for a lower ISO. It could be that my expectations are a bit high (and unrealistic since I do not want to use flash)... just had "stay under 1600 with m4/3" drilled into my head.

    Oh yeah, and I was referring to the maximum ISO setting for auto ISO, I am not forcing the higher ISO.
     
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    If you're using Aperture Priority, then chances are you'll need to dial down the Exposure Compensation for night shots. The camera will want to over-expose because it doesn't know you want a low-key shot with the deep shadows retained. The low key image will not only make your night photos look better, but will also give you a faster shutter speed to work with for less blur.
     
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  11. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    652
    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    It seems to me that in low light it will go the maximum limit you have set for auto ISO (you do know you can set the limit for auto ISO?) before it adjusts shutter speed (when in aperture mode).