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  • Need help with night shots

    Recently I've challenged myself in trying to make some good, long exposure night shots, but they've always been rejected :

    http://www.jetphotos.net/viewreject_b.php?id=1219427
    http://www.jetphotos.net/viewreject_b.php?id=1219420
    http://www.jetphotos.net/viewreject_b.php?id=1218672

    At this point I need your help in trying to find out waht's really wrong with them an get rid of the mistakes : if it's something more technical (exposure, aperture etc), something i can correct in the post-processing workflow, or it's something more linked to the motive itself/weather conditions (it was always cloudy/grey sky). Any suiggestion, especially from screeners is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    Regards

  • #2
    IMHO the last one is the best. The rejection reason given for this was dark/underexposed. This can be corrected with Photoshop using either curves, exposure or brightness adjustments.










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    • #3
      Try for an evening with a cloudless sky and maybe a full moon, that will keep the sodium lights at bay and help with your exposure times.
      Try shortly after dusk while there is still some after glow in the sky.

      I think the first one has promise, you have a lot of foreground detail and the colours in the sky are nice. It may be worth getting the aircraft as it starts to clear the trees. (You can tell that I'm not a screener!) It would be worth raising the camera to get the walkway starting from the bottom LH corner. It is what the grown up photographers call a "lead in" - it leads your eye into the picture helping with the composition.

      Photos 2 & 3, perhaps an inverted graduated filter may keep the runway lights from burning out your picture.

      I would be wary of pushing the image too hard in Photoshop as it will show up the camera and colour noise.

      If something does not work, experiment, never be afraid to try something different Giovanni.
      Wallace

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks fopr reply guys.

        wwshack, you mentioned the sodium lights... Well what a damn invention they are !! The keep the overall pic very very soft and with an overalll yellow look !! Is there anyway to get rid of them ? By changing the settings or by using PS ?
        Thanks

        Comment


        • #5
          You can correct the colors by adjusting the white balance. Just two examples, both were shot within the same minute. We both were standing side-by-side:
          [photoid=5647366][photoid=5647551]

          The only thing I did was to adjust the white point during the RAW conversion (can also be done afterwards in PS).

          Gerardo
          My photos on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/geridominguez

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks Gerardo,
            that's exactly my problem....I'll try to change the white balance.

            Regards

            Comment


            • #7
              The thing to watch with white balance is mixed lighting conditions - Sodium stand lighting and tungsten lights on the tail.
              You can only white balance for one, my choice would be to null the sodium and keep the blue tungsten colour cast.
              Experiment.
              Wallace

              Comment


              • #8
                On my D70 you can change the white balance.

                First check what colour the floodlights are...

                If they are yellowish, then they're sodium lamps.

                Sodium lamps use a sodium filament which gives a yellowish glow. You can adjust this by setting the White Balance on "Incandescent" mode.

                If something is lighted in a more bluish light, say an aircraft in a hangar lighted by neons, you should go to the opposite side of the spectrum, using the "Flourescent"mode.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I had a go the other night with some aircraft under sodium lights and the effect was in my opinion nauseating. Pulling down the white balance to null the yellow cast gave a horrible look to the image so I converted it to monochrome, which was much better.
                  Wallace

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We would certainly not encourage uploaders to simply convert to b+w, if the photo can't be edited correctly otherwise. This would most certainly lead us to rethink our policy on b+w shots.

                    Gerardo
                    My photos on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/geridominguez

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That's an interesting viewpoint you have there, colour or nothing, a bit rough if I had shot it on film.

                      I like to get the best out of my photos and mono in this case was the best that could be done with what I had, after all sodium lighting is an unnatural colour cast and pictures with colour casts will be rejected from the db.
                      Just for you I done I quick and dirty edit and here is a colour version with it's colour cast.


                      I mean absolutely no disrespect by this but I really must get my old photo web site back up and running - have full editorial freedom and be my own screener (and no doubt send my self the occasional bit of hate mail to keep things in perspective!)
                      I love JP, it's a really great place to be but sometimes, well lets say friends can have different opinions and not fall out over them.

                      Have a good Christmas everyone, I'm making Ethylene on Christmas Eve so have a dram of a good Islay single malt and think of me slaving away for the well being of the good ol' double cross!
                      Wallace

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That's an interesting viewpoint you have there, colour or nothing, a bit rough if I had shot it on film.
                        Not at all. It's just about the old question, how much manipulation we should allow and what exactly someone wants to achieve with the manipulation.
                        after all sodium lighting is an unnatural colour cast and pictures with colour casts will be rejected from the db.
                        May I kindly ask you to browse the night shot category? There is a wide range between leaving the photo with the whole yellowish color cast and converting to black and white, in my opinion. Color wise, I wouldn't reject your photo, for example.

                        At the end of the day, the huge difference between running his own website and offering a service to a large community of photographers is, that on one hand you are your own standard, the latter has to work with standards which should be valid for all photographers. The least we need is to open a can of worms. We know it's a thin line, but we try to do our best.

                        Gerardo
                        Last edited by LX-A343; 2006-12-22, 19:26.
                        My photos on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/geridominguez

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Should a night ramp shot under sodium lights not keep a degree of the orange cast as that is how the human eye sees it at that time of night ? ......


                          ......discuss ?


                          Me first, cos' I asked the asked the question.

                          I personally prefer the orangy cast of a night ramp shot because that is how it looks in reality. Correcting the white balance of the aircraft as if it was being seen under natural daylight just isn't...well...natural !!
                          If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Perhaps it's also interesting to read here again: http://www.jetphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?t=36666

                            After all, it's a matter of personal taste. However, what you see at home in your memory card is hardly what you saw in reality. One of the biggest misconceptions I find during screening is, that some people apparently think, that the photo camera captures the truth and only the truth. Why do two different cameras produce different images then?

                            Look again at the two photos I posted above. Believe it or not, but I don't remember having seen the aircraft that yellowish, as Bruno Geiger posted, even if I know, that this part of the ramp has indeed this yellowish light. Could be, that our brain simply corrects this "misinformation", well knowing, that white should be white, just as it does in other situations (look up google for optical illusions, I'm too tired now to do it myself ).

                            Again, on one hand it's personal preference, on the other hand, we know, that the camera doesn't capture 100% reality. So, you have to correct colors, but it's a matter of personal preference in which direction you edit a photo.

                            I for one prefer to have less orangy colors in my night shots, but not to make them completely white. But I don't mind accepting photos, which are far more orangy, than what I would do, as long as it's not overdone.

                            Gerardo
                            My photos on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/geridominguez

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The aircraft really were lit in a visible orange light, that is why I could not pull the white balance back to achieve the proper colours.
                              The real pity about it is I think night shots work best in colour. You see the picture and you crave the colours that one expects to see during the daytime and the eye locks in on areas that it would other wise ignore in day time, such as navigation lights; in day time you see the aircraft but not the lights.
                              I did manage a colour night shot that night, the Seneca was sitting under a mercury lamp, which gave a better colour balance.
                              I have tried playing about with adding filters in Photoshop, Blue + Green = Yellow but they were never good enough to bring the colours to their natural state.
                              For me, yes colour first, but mono does have its place.
                              Wallace

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