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Thread: Photo disappointment!

  1. #1
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    Photo disappointment!

    Hi all

    I decided to have my first go at City Lights photography after work this afternoon and waited until it got dark to take the City Lights.

    I am so disappointed with all the photos, I took approx 200 photos and nearly every one of them is blurry and fuzzy but I should have know better than to try this without a tripod.

    Can I ask if a Tripod and remote shutter release will make that much difference to camera shake and blurriness in the photos.

    Some of the photos would have been beautiful but they are all ruined due to the blur and are not sharp.

    I had my camera on 6" Shutter speed, F8 and ISO 800.

    Would appreciate any opinions or comments.

    Thank you in advance.

    Mary
    Last edited by mary13; 03-06-2011 at 10:34pm. Reason: Unable to attach photo.

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    Hi Mary, I can't see your photo, but a tripod and shutter release will make a HUGE difference to your night photography. If its something you're interested in then it will be a good investment

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    Mark mpb's Avatar
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    Hi Mary, generally hand held photography below 1/30 to 1/60 second is not recommended. You may get away with less depending on your equipment and skill.

    A shutter speed of 6 seconds hand held is almost impossible. The appeture and iso could have been increased the reduce the shutter speed.
    Last edited by mpb; 03-06-2011 at 10:49pm.
    Mark


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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Yes a tripod will make the world of difference. But remember it has to be on a good solid stable surface for long exposures. Even things like overpasses often move as traffic passes under/over them so make sure that where you are positioned isn't prone to movement/vibration as well. Another example is wet sand, Tripods sit on it well, but during the course of that 10 second sunrise shot, often the tripod will sink in the wet sand slowly..result..blurry photo.

    If you cannot afford a tripod at this time, use something hard and solid to put your camera on and hold it very still. Like a fencepost etc

    AND, do not feel to bad, we have all done what you did. It is part of learning how to take better photos.
    Last edited by ricktas; 03-06-2011 at 10:54pm.
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    Hi all

    Thank you for the replies and encouragement. I have attached probably the best photo out of the whole lot and it is not very good.
    I am going to purchase a Tripod, have been looking at the Manfrotto Tripods.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Member nixworries's Avatar
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    i did the same thing the other night when the storm was comming over grabed camera 30 sec exposure rested it on top of my car and what should have been good shots ,
    i have to get a remote also
    canon 5D mark III tamron 24-70 2.8 vc, 50mm 1.8, tamrom 70-200 2.8 vc, remote tripod
    perseverance

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    Hi all
    Have just been reading some other threads and made me wonder if I had the correct settings.
    I used Manual mode, with 6" shutter speed, F8, ISO 800 and the camera set on AF.
    Not sure now if this is correct ?
    Could anyone please advise.
    Thank you
    Mary

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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    Mary

    For 6sec hand held that shot hasn't come out too bad so you can imagine the difference a soild tripod will make.

    As Rick said you can use a post or table or other solid surface but they can still be difficult to get a camera to sit still on. A bag of rice to act as a bean bag on top of the post, etc; would help.

    If you're looking at a good tripod can I suggest you also consider a Benro - good solid units and generally considerably cheaper,

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    Wow if you have hand held that for six seconds that's a great effort! All the above is great advice. My two cents worth is; in conjunction with a tripod or beanbag, if you don't have a remote set the self timer for say 1-5 seconds this will prevent the camera from moving when you press the shutter. Its a trick I use when I'm too lazy to plug the remote in or I've forgotten it. If you must hand hold all I suggest is higher ISO and/or lower F-stop both of which have major drawbacks.
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    A terrific effort for handheld. The lifgt looks about right, you simply did not realise how impossible it is to hand hold for that length of time. I regularly use fenceposts, rocks, railings etc as steadiers if I am somewhere and don't happen to have either of the tripods with me. I carry a small handtowel in my camera bag to (a) stop the cmaera having to ne put down on grotty stuiff and (b) for slight levelling adjustments - just fold or scrunch.

    You do need a remote release or shutter delay (as in Rick's post) to stop vibrations from when the mirror flips up. I generally use a 4 sec delay on my camera when I use the self timer control.

    If you want to see how much vibration is set up, put the camera on a bench and put a little water in a clear container with a well fitting lid. Balance the water container on top of the camera. Press the shutter and watch the water in the container move. Now repeat with self timer set at various delay lengths (whatever is available on your camera) and see which has least effect on the water - that's the speed you want - and as said it's usually from 3-6 secs. To view the effect on the subject, set something in front of the camera to photograph that has straight lines in it and see how much difference there is in clarity for the various delay lengths.
    Odille

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    Hey Mary,

    You should have let me know you were heading into th city to do night shots, I would have loaned you my tripod!

    Give me a shout next time and if you haven't bought one by then I'll bring it in to work for you )

    Steve

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    When you get and use a tripod, set ISO low say 100 so that your photo comes out as noise free as possible. Use a high F stop, eg F16 will make street lights look like stars, lower, ie F3.5 will make the lights softer and more diffused. I would use AV mode and let the camera work out the shutter speed. Fire the camera on say 2 sec timer so that you pushing the button doesn't move it.

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    I aint got a tripod ATM but I have a bean bag called "the pod" which screws in the bottom of my camera, cost me $15 and now any surface turns into a tripod, Still need to get a tripod but this does for now while I decide as cityscapes have lots of resting placed for the Pod
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    Hi Mary, It's also a good idea to use the Mirror Lockup function to stop vibration, If you use this with the inbuilt timer it will give you 2 sec timer as well , I only just got a remote and this method has served me well , , BTW if you have to set your Tripod up on wet sand , Get three "Tennis Balls" cut a slot in each and fit over each leg of the Tripod , This will help stop the Tripod settling into the sand , Nice shot BTW for 6 esc Handheld
    Last edited by William; 04-06-2011 at 1:40pm.
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  15. #15
    Member Russell K's Avatar
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    Mary,

    Just read your dilemna, sorry to hear as 200 photo's would have taken some time, don't despair, it has happened to most of us.

    Here are my views and tips for you;

    1; Definately get yourself a tripod. Night photography is almost impossible without one, or using a solid base as a platform when your using such slow shutter speeds in low light.

    2. If you can't afford a cable release just yet, use your camera's self timer, and also use the "mirror lock up" in the function menu. This will prevent further camera shake when the shutter is opened (either manually or with the self timer)

    3; When using your tripod, you can drop the ISO setting right down to 100 or 200, this will remove the "grain" or "noise" look in your images, which is prevelant in night shots and using hight ISO settings.

    Good luck Mary, keep trying and dont be worried. If you use a solid tripod to support the camera, all your shots =should be as sharp as a tack.

    Cheers,
    Russell K

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    Member Tommo1965's Avatar
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    hi mary

    a fixed solid anchor for you camera is essential for long exposures...either a bean bag or a tripod will do..if its a tripod...try and get a nice solid one..also try and not extend the center column too much.. particularly in windy conditions..a weighted bag can some times be used to further increase the weight of a tripod to firmly position it.

    if you have a remote release ..either cable or infrared..then thats the way to go...or using selftimer is good alternative...if your camera allows the self timer to be used in conjunction with the mirror lock up feature..then also always use MLU for long exposures.

    heres on of perth city i captured a few months ago..some of the highlights are blown out..but all in all I was pleased enough with it...try bracketing a few shots and you'll bound to get one that your happy with


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    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    all I can say Mary, is that when you get a tripod, if you can compose and expose as well as you have, you'll nail shots like this
    As it is, you must have hands of iron to hold something as still as that for 6 seconds!
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    YES YES YES to a tripod.

    Do some good research and get the best one you can afford. It will last you for years. I did not do that good research and find myself now looking for a 'quality' tripod since my one suffers from excessive droop or creep when I put a heavy lens on and I have only had it 2 years.

    I am looking to upgrade and my wife reliably informs me I can have one for my birthday...Manfrotto is what I am leaning to at the moment, probably the 055 series but still 6 months away so still looking.

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    Thank you all for your support and great advice, love these forums, everyone is so friendly and helpful.
    I am still trying to get over my disappointment today, haha!
    Am definately going to buy myself a tripod and remote shutter release and hopefully get some great night shots.
    I had no idea about photography on Manual settings until 6 weeks ago and had no idea about the 6" shutter speed, until last night when I tried, did not even realise the camera would shake.
    Shows I am only a beginner with still lots to learn.
    Thank you again.

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    Wow - Mary - I am amazed that you could have held it that still for that long! As said, a billion times above, a tripod is a very important part of your kit so it's good that you are looking into getting one. I don't have a shutter release yet (it's on my list of photography stuff I want) and have been using the self timer now for a long while, it has served me well. Keep at it!!!
    Better known as Erin.


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