Tips on Shooting at Night

Discussion of photography and videography techniques, equipment and technology, and links to personal railroad-related photo galleries.

Moderators: nomis, keeper1616

Re: Tips on Shooting at Night

Postby trainlvr7 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:06 pm

Triker wrote:Ive only taken a few night shots so i am learning....I was happy with the photo in the link but i was wondering why the red lights and number lights were blurred, the train was stopped and i was useing a tripod 13 sec - iso 100 -f9 Any suggestions?


Heres a link to the photo: http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo ... =1&key=tom



Great Photo, Came out awsome for first picture
CDOT Definitely needs some new engines...
My Photography Portfolio
trainlvr7
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:41 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Tips on Shooting at Night

Postby Chessie GM50 » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:33 am

Im assuming that you're using an SLR the Mirror slap can cause weak tripods to giggle.

If you're really into the night stuff, buy a fast prime lens, like a 50mm f/1.8. They are relatively cheap.
User avatar
Chessie GM50
 
Posts: 862
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:19 pm
Location: Hillsborough, NJ

Re: Tips on Shooting at Night

Postby pennsy » Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:15 am

And don't forget the locking cable release and stop watch.
pennsy
 
Posts: 1697
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 4:07 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: Tips on Shooting at Night

Postby Chessie GM50 » Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:14 pm

pennsy wrote:And don't forget the locking cable release and stop watch.


If you shoot nikon, my little $14 Nikon Remote Release works better than the Cable releases. Up to 50 feet (or so) actually...
User avatar
Chessie GM50
 
Posts: 862
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:19 pm
Location: Hillsborough, NJ

Re: Tips on Shooting at Night

Postby bender » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:24 pm

Quick Question. After spending many nights watching trains exiting the Hoosac tunnel, I've decided I would like to get a pic of that. My only concern would be the camera flash surprising/bother the train crew. Something I'd rather not do. Any words of advice?
"It belongs in a Museum......But the Museums don't want it."
"Sharks don't take things personally, Mr. Brody".
User avatar
bender
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:13 pm

Re: Tips on Shooting at Night

Postby 3rdrail » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:34 pm

Use a tripod w/ a cable release & w/o a flash.
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Tips on Shooting at Night

Postby bender » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:51 pm

Thanks, I'll try that. If I get anything good I'll post it.
"It belongs in a Museum......But the Museums don't want it."
"Sharks don't take things personally, Mr. Brody".
User avatar
bender
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:13 pm

Re: Tips on Shooting at Night

Postby Ken W2KB » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:44 am

If shooting at a paved area, such as a platform or grade crossing, shoot on a rainy night. The wet pavement reflects light and can yield a spectacular photo. Movie/TV crews often hose down an area before the shoot for that reason.
~Ken :: Fairmont ex-UP/MP C436 MT-14M1 :: Cessna 177B Cardinal N16019
Black River Railroad Historical Trust :: My Personal Site
User avatar
Ken W2KB
 
Posts: 5652
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:27 pm
Location: Lebanon Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey & Tiverton, RI USA

Re: Tips on Shooting at Night

Postby mxdata » Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:09 am

A little fog on a rainy night provides a nice effect too, to illuminate the headlight trace.

MX
"We Repair No Locomotive Before Its Time"
User avatar
mxdata
 
Posts: 1677
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 4:30 pm

Re: Tips on Shooting at Night

Postby Tracer » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:04 pm

Has anyone here taken "action" shots with a flash at night? If so what type of flash do you use?

I've only taken a few night shots w/out the flash and I know very little about flash photography.

Thanks in advance
Tracer
 

Re: Tips on Shooting at Night

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:17 pm

I've used a Phoenix 100 DZA strobe for nighttime or enclosed shooting, but only for static subjects that aren't moving and have limited dimensions. I find that often times with artificial lighting, you wind up with areas of importance that are in the dark. Another feature that I often try to use is ambient light showing in the photo. With a strobe, this often gets washed out. I linked this photo that I took at Wonderland Station many years ago as an example. I like the look of the warm interior light of the Pullman and marker lights showing. If I had used a strobe in this shot, they would most likely have been severely diminished or not visible at all, and there would have been more of a blue cast. I think the warmer tone adds to the shot also. As a result, I almost always shoot with "available light" only, even if I'm dangerously below my camera's light meter (as was the case with these shots). Ideally, I have a tripod nearby (these were hand held which I almost always do), good fast film, have a learned technique for keeping my body, breathing, and camera still, and enough ambient light to make it work...and be damned with strobes !
http://photos.greatrails.net/showpic/?2 ... d&BOOL=ANY
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Tips on Shooting at Night

Postby Tracer » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:48 pm

I am pretty comfortable taking "stationary" shots at night w/out the flash. Along as i have a tripod i can leave the shutter open for along as i need for the camera to grab light. This works well for me.

There are a few spots near me were the train moves at about 10mph, so i was thinking of possibly setting up 1 or 2 remote(or is it called a slave flash?) along with the flash on the camera to get the shot. I've seen remote flashes on ebay for as cheap as $20. I would use a tripod. I know you dont like the using the flash but i still need more light to make a half decent picture.

I was thinking of becoming a vampire and start taking photos at night. Its hard finding time during the day when you have kids.
Tracer
 

Re: Tips on Shooting at Night

Postby justalurker66 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:17 am

Triker wrote:Has anyone here taken "action" shots with a flash at night? If so what type of flash do you use?

I've only taken a few night shots w/out the flash and I know very little about flash photography.

I very rarely use my flash, day or night. Unless my camera complains that the flash is needed I get better shots without it (and no annoying flash in people's eyes or drawing attention to the photographer).

That no annoying flash thing is particularly important if the engineer or other train crew who's eyes are adjusted for darkness are in range of the flash.

There is also the question of the range of the flash. I see these stadium events with thousands of flashes going off in the crowd knowing that there is no hope of their flash lighting the subject hundreds of feet away. All it does is confuse the camera in to thinking that it might have enough light (and add to the ambiance). I was in DC a couple of years ago taking pictures of the monuments at night and watching people make the same mistakes with flash photos - getting overly lit people in front of a black or very dim background. At least with digital cameras they knew they were getting junk.

The only time a flash has helped one of my nightime photos is below ...
Image
I wanted to show the gap between the platform and a freight train at a station with a high platform and gauntlet tracks. I happened to catch a train at the station unplanned so it was a quick shot. I took a couple without the flash as well with the longer exposure making the train blurry. (A nice effect but I like the lit shot better.)
User avatar
justalurker66
 
Posts: 2092
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:20 pm

Re: Tips on Shooting at Night

Postby Finch » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:40 pm

For long exposures at night, it can be a tricky balance to keep the headlights from blowing out your shot if the train is coming at you. I like to shoot in the direction the train is traveling instead. That way, the headlights illuminate the ROW for a nice effect, without being too bright and overwhelming the shot. See below.

Image

This shot was also helped out by a few street lights in the area. Like others have said above, I find almost no use for a flash in night shots. Ambient light just looks a lot better.
User avatar
Finch
 
Posts: 834
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:44 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA

Re: Tips on Shooting at Night

Postby Cadguru » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:43 pm

I shoot Olympus with f2 glass and rarely go down that much for nightime photography.
Although iso on my gear is bad above 1600, stop down and get more depth of field that you lose at 1.8 and f2.0

Instead of using a flash set a slow shutter speed and wash the train with a flashlight, etc. (non moving ones)
User avatar
Cadguru
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:34 pm
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA

PreviousNext

Return to Photography & Video

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest