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  • Low light photography

    I'm travelling up to LHR this weekend and unfortunately the weather doesn't seem to be supportive of my plans.

    What are the best preparations - eg speed and settings - I can use in overcast conditions ? (I use a Nikon D5300 with a 28-300mm lens.

    When I have attempted this before I was never that happy with the results . I think JP is still not keen on D-lighting (?) , even though it can help in poor lighting . Other than that , what can I do? (Apart from choose another weekend!)

  • #2
    There is not so much or maybe nothing you can do: Shoot in RAW and do your best in LR or PS.


    I actually stopped going out with my camera for serious photography in bad light conditions.
    You can have the best equipment. But w/o light it's (more or less) worth nothing.

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    • #3
      Well, as you know , spotting with low light condition is very difficult. You have to use higher ISO than normal in order to keep the aircraft clear instead of Blurry and also need to switch big aperture to make it brighter. I don't consider that i can give you some settled settings here because i don't know what situation you are and you will not know too.The only way is to change your settings constantly until it make you feel suitable when you spot. BUT i can give you some tips here.
      First of all, you should avoid using high ISO because as you know HIGH ISO can make many NOISE and your camera is not Full Frame Camera so it will be hard for you to reduce noise when you edit them. So it means that you need to use as low ISO as you can and then use as low shutter speed as you can to make your photo brighter, but you also need to make sure your photo isn't blurry so it will be a challenge for you. Maybe u can take a tripod if it is convenient for you.
      Besides, regarding to the Aperture setting, you don't need to set the biggest aperture because the biggest aperture can make part of the aircraft become blurry. But if you shoot at night you have to set the biggest i think.
      Finally, this is the most important point i think, you need to change your Photo Format to RAW before you begin shooting if you are using JPEG before. RAW will make you edit your photos easily and provide better quality than JPEG i think. In addition, you will use higher ISO than before so using RAW to reduce noise is a good way , and RAW can provide many settings for you to change.SO DON'T FORGET TO CHANGE IT !
      Hope my advice can help you ~ Happy spotting
      Cheers,
      Harry

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      • #4
        I always try to shot aircrafts on the ground when I have to spot during bad weather.
        Editing is just a nightmare IMHO if you have planes on approach with an overcast background.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by PeterB View Post
          There is not so much or maybe nothing you can do: Shoot in RAW and do your best in LR or PS.


          I actually stopped going out with my camera for serious photography in bad light conditions.
          You can have the best equipment. But w/o light it's (more or less) worth nothing.
          Amen to that!!

          But, if there is just that possibility for photography, or if weather suddenly changes to overcast bad photo weather, then to make the best out of it this is indeed a good tip ...
          Originally posted by CO777/200 View Post
          I always try to shot aircrafts on the ground when I have to spot during bad weather.
          Editing is just a nightmare IMHO if you have planes on approach with an overcast background.
          My photos on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/geridominguez

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          • #6
            Originally posted by CO777/200 View Post
            I always try to shot aircrafts on the ground when I have to spot during bad weather.
            Editing is just a nightmare IMHO if you have planes on approach with an overcast background.
            Yep, this is a good tip. Sometimes I tend to just play about and try things like motion blur shots or panning shots.

            Unfortunately with LHR shooting stuff on the ground is very difficult due to the lack of spots that will allow this.

            Looking at the weather forecast for this weekend too suggests easterly operations on 09. So you could try out the Thistle hotel balcony. This is normally backlit during the day but if it's cloudy that wont matter so much and they are on 09 so you can get nice shots with T5 in the background. Also you can go to the T5 embankment for arrival shots.

            As you say, please avoid D-lighting (known for creating nasty halos) and shoot raw instead which will allow the greatest editing possibilities.

            Good luck! LHR is a sunny day only place for me at the moment.
            Last edited by B7772ADL; 2017-05-04, 09:39.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by akerosid View Post
              I use a Nikon D5300 with a 28-300mm lens.
              I guess that is the DX version. I use the FX version of this lens as my all-day tourism lens on my full-frame camera. I've also used it on the D500 with some success at Myrtle where my other lenses are too close. I chatted to a user of this lens at Myrtle who stated that he'd had some rejections because of compression artefacts so the trick to avoiding that would be to use as much of the sensor as possible i.e. fill the frame.

              Don't use it wide open. Look up the optimum aperture to avoid diffraction. OK, you'll get a very saturated RAW file. I get lots of darkness rejections so have started bracketing and also sliding the exposure setting in Photoshop, that leads to contrast problems. The D5300 is a pretty recent camera so it may be that like the D500 it is not so sensitive to high ISO. Remember when we used to buy ASA 400 rolls of 36 sensors. If you're going down to a low speed, say 1/250 then perfect your panning technique knowing that the trees and fence will betray whether you kept the camera level.

              Saturday is likely to be easterlies with sunny intervals so the mounds near T5 will be good for you. On Sunday, I think we'll have a chilly northerly so Myrtle will be in play and you will probably shoot between 50-70mm. How about taking the kit lens if you get near enough for 50mm?

              Here's some I took on the glorious 1st May in dreich conditions. Of course none of them reach JP standards having been heavily "shopped", but I like them.
              Attached Files
              sigpic
              --
              David W. Wilson

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Aldgyte View Post
                I chatted to a user of this lens at Myrtle who stated that he'd had some rejections because of compression artefacts so the trick to avoiding that would be to use as much of the sensor as possible i.e. fill the frame.
                Just to make sure: Compression has nothing to do with the lens, absolutely nothing at all. Compression artefacts are caused solely by photo editing, mainly by saving in JPG with wrong settings. The JPG artefacts get even more visible when using too much noise reducer and saving with too much JPG compression.

                To avoid JPG compression:
                - if you shoot in JPG, use highest quality settings in-camera
                - During editing, only save once, as the very last step, with the absolute highest possible quality settings.
                My photos on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/geridominguez

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                • #9
                  Interesting post. I was asking myself if I was the only one to suffer in low light conditions. Now that the D500 is on the market for more than a year, has someone tried it in low light conditions? I've read the ISO performance are amazing... What about night photography with a D500 as well? I would be tempted to upgrade if I could catch some plane landing in the night indeed. But maybe it is not there yet?
                  I would be grateful to get opinions from those who own or tried the D500.
                  Thank you.

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                  • #10
                    To be honest I also donít see so much good things in spotting during really bad weather. I had some photos accepted from Calgary area but they all where on ground and resting there. So no problems with sharpness/exposure etc. Only a bit grey but that was fixable quite well.
                    You can see the uploaded photos here on Jetphotos.net and you can see the EXIFs there too.

                    Iím currently at Alaska and I had some really rainstorms coming through. I got out and took some shots. I was lucky there was some light available coming through the clouds. I will add a attachment which is unedited and Iím not sure of JP will accept the one after some small adjustments. But I like the result with the waters blowing up and all these stuff

                    Click image for larger version

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                    View my Spottingpictures on Jetphotos.net here

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