Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 31

Thread: Do you have any tips/techniques for Night Photography?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    164

    Do you have any tips/techniques for Night Photography?

    I'm going to attempt to do a little night photography with my Linhof Technikardan 45 later this week, shooting with Kodak Ektar 100 and Fuji Velvia 100/50

    I know about exposure and reciprocity failure and how that relates to long exposures, but that's about it. Do you guys have any pointers to a first time LF night shooter?


    Just another quick other question: I just ordered some excellent B+W UV-Haze filters for my 5 lenses. (I bought these specifically to protect my lenses from, well, me and my OCD incessant cleaning.) Should I take these off before doing any night photography or do these B+W XS-Pro Nano Multicoated filters have enough technology behind them that I don't really have to worry about ghosting or any other issues?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The "Live Free or Die" state
    Posts
    896

    Re: Do you have any tips/techniques for Night Photography?

    A laser pointer can help you focus on a distant object. Same with a bright flashlight for more close objects.

    Red light affects your night vision less than white, so use a red flashlight to find your way around the camera if need be.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Forest Grove, Ore.
    Posts
    3,763

    Re: Do you have any tips/techniques for Night Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gebhardt View Post
    A laser pointer can help you focus on a distant object. Same with a bright flashlight for more close objects.

    Red light affects your night vision less than white, so use a red flashlight to find your way around the camera if need be.
    Excellent tips! Thanks.

  4. #4
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Winona, Minnesota
    Posts
    5,410

    Re: Do you have any tips/techniques for Night Photography?

    I doubt that focusing on a reflected red laser dot will give accurate focus, but I am open to correction.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    9,093

    Re: Do you have any tips/techniques for Night Photography?

    Set up at dusk, before nightfall so you can watch where you step.
    There is a little park on a bluff overlooking the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk that's great for capturing the lights on the Boardwalk
    Unfortunately it is loaded with dog poop.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    4,565

    Re: Do you have any tips/techniques for Night Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by manfrominternet View Post
    I know about exposure and reciprocity failure and how that relates to long exposures, but that's about it. Do you guys have any pointers to a first time LF night shooter?
    > Velvia 100 is much more suitable than 50 for night, lower LIRF exposure compensation, and the 50 may soon require magenta filters for color correction, see daasheets.

    > You may expect a contrast increase as LIRF is higher in the shadows.

    > Before exposing sheets I'd make bracketings in 35mm film to find what kind exposure suits your taste, use spot metering to see how scene areas are in each under/overexposure level.



    Quote Originally Posted by manfrominternet View Post
    Should I take these off before doing any night photography or do these B+W XS-Pro Nano Multicoated filters have enough technology behind them that I don't really have to worry about ghosting or any other issues?
    You will see that in the ground glass, it may also depend on the lens you use.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    128

    Re: Do you have any tips/techniques for Night Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gebhardt View Post
    A laser pointer can help you focus on a distant object. Same with a bright flashlight for more close objects.
    Alternatively, instead of using the flashlight to illuminate the point on which you wish to focus, position it in the area (even if this means leaving it lying on the ground) and point it back toward the camera, and focus on it until the point of light projecting from it is sharpest. Both approaches have their merits, so choose the one that works best for you and the scene you're photographing. It can also be helpful to use the flashlight to trace the outline of your composition as you fine-tune it, but try to be mindful about shining it through any windows so you don't disturb anyone inside a house or building that's located within the scene.

    Red light affects your night vision less than white, so use a red flashlight to find your way around the camera if need be.
    In my experience -- I've been photographing almost exclusively at night for more than a decade now, both in not so nice urban areas as well as in very nice residential neighborhoods -- it isn't necessary to be that fancy with a flashlight, but it's a good idea to carry a second, small, dim, keychain-type flashlight in your pocket for this purpose instead of the big, bright one you will want to use for other purposes.

    A few other general points based on my experience:

    1) Don't trespass, because if you're photographing in an urban or suburban area, the police will frequently be called and you don't want to give them any reason to legally run you off;

    2) If the police are called, remember that as a general rule (at least here in the U.S.) you can photograph anything that can be seen from a public place, provided that (depending upon the state) you're not using extraordinary means (such as a ladder or a telephoto lens) to peer over fences or look through windows;

    3) If somebody threatens to call the police on you for photographing a scene and you're not trespassing or doing anything else improper (parking in a spot where it's not allowed, etc.) either encourage them to do so then wait around for the police to arrive (so you don't confirm their suspicion what you're doing was illegal or lead them to believe photographers can be intimidated to leave even when they're doing nothing illegal) or call them yourself, so they can explain the law to the person who is complaining;

    4) carry a few dollar bills in a pants pocket, where you can quickly reach them, as a potential bribe to buy your way out of any potential trouble with a homeless person. A lot of them are mentally ill, so can behave unpredictably and its safest when you're by yourself and arguably flashing your wealth around (because photography requires a camera, which some will assume means you're well-to-do) to not engage them beyond a polite "hello" and "have a good night" ... btdt too many times over the past decade.

    5) In view of No. 4), as a worst case possibility, take whatever steps you deem necessary so you're prepared to defend yourself in the event you're attacked, as that potentially can happen anywhere, at any time, because you present an attractive target when you're head is underneath a dark cloth and the police will often be many minutes away and unable to assist you immediately. Which also means maintaining a good situational awareness -- i.e., step back from your camera frequently and turn through a full circle when you do, looking for anything that may have changed since the last time you did so -- and don't remain buried underneath a dark cloth for several minutes at a time as you decide on your composition.

    Of course, the extent to which all of the above points will be relevant to you and your outings will depend a lot on where and what you're photographing, but even in nice, suburban neighborhoods -- make that especially in nice, suburban neighborhoods! -- homeowners will often hassle and/or threaten you as much or even more than any homeless person you encounter in an urban alley or on the street. BTDT many times over the past decade as well!

    Mind you, it's not all gloom and doom when you're out with a camera late at night -- in my now several hundred outings, there's only been one instance where I truly felt my safety was being threatened by somebody right from the start -- but there have been a few dozen outings that potentially could have escalated to that point had things gone a different direction, so your personal safety is definitely something to keep at the forefront of your attention.

    As for any technical tips, I photograph digitally these days, so have nothing to offer you there ... sorry.

    P.S.: Don't let security guards intimidate or scare you from photographing a scene. In my experience, the vast majority of them have no clue about the relevant law and like to use their presumed authority to bend people to their will. They have no more legal authority than any other non-law enforcement person and so long as you're not trespassing, you can pretty much just ignore them, which will usually have the effect of pissing them off and/or inciting them. I've called the police on security guards more often than they've called the police on me, so be prepared to deal with them as well.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    128

    Re: Do you have any tips/techniques for Night Photography?

    Oh and one other thing you may hear from security guards as a reason why you can't photograph something or other is the property owner's copyright or trademark protection.

    And while that definitely does potentially impose some limitations on what you can do with the photos you take, it absolutely does not prevent you from taking those photos in the first place!

    This is true of most government buildings, too! Although there are potentially some exceptions to this rule if the building has been deemed a sensitive location or is on a military base, as a photographer I knew found himself being visited at his home by the FBI the following day after he unknowingly photographed an office building that contained offices for some very sensitive, security-minded government agencies. FYI, they identified him by the license plate of his car, which they had captured with surveillance cameras. The same thing has happened to me when I have photographed around Sky Harbor Airport during the day, too:



    As the above photo partially shows, a total of six cars and 10 officers were dispatched to deal with me even though I was photographing from an open to the public path alongside a canal just north of the airport property. <sigh>

    FYI, the particular encounter above was close to becoming a very nasty one indeed, when a Supervisor called to the scene -- the 11th cop to respond! -- acknowledged my position and told the other officers to leave me be, as there was no legal basis to formally detain me.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    164

    Re: Do you have any tips/techniques for Night Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Audii-Dudii View Post
    Alternatively, instead of using the flashlight to illuminate the point on which you wish to focus, position it in the area (even if this means leaving it lying on the ground) and point it back toward the camera, and focus on it until the point of light projecting from it is sharpest. Both approaches have their merits, so choose the one that works best for you and the scene you're photographing. It can also be helpful to use the flashlight to trace the outline of your composition as you fine-tune it, but try to be mindful about shining it through any windows so you don't disturb anyone inside a house or building that's located within the scene.



    In my experience -- I've been photographing almost exclusively at night for more than a decade now, both in not so nice urban areas as well as in very nice residential neighborhoods -- it isn't necessary to be that fancy with a flashlight, but it's a good idea to carry a second, small, dim, keychain-type flashlight in your pocket for this purpose instead of the big, bright one you will want to use for other purposes.

    A few other general points based on my experience:

    1) Don't trespass, because if you're photographing in an urban or suburban area, the police will frequently be called and you don't want to give them any reason to legally run you off;

    2) If the police are called, remember that as a general rule (at least here in the U.S.) you can photograph anything that can be seen from a public place, provided that (depending upon the state) you're not using extraordinary means (such as a ladder or a telephoto lens) to peer over fences or look through windows;

    3) If somebody threatens to call the police on you for photographing a scene and you're not trespassing or doing anything else improper (parking in a spot where it's not allowed, etc.) either encourage them to do so then wait around for the police to arrive (so you don't confirm their suspicion what you're doing was illegal or lead them to believe photographers can be intimidated to leave even when they're doing nothing illegal) or call them yourself, so they can explain the law to the person who is complaining;

    4) carry a few dollar bills in a pants pocket, where you can quickly reach them, as a potential bribe to buy your way out of any potential trouble with a homeless person. A lot of them are mentally ill, so can behave unpredictably and its safest when you're by yourself and arguably flashing your wealth around (because photography requires a camera, which some will assume means you're well-to-do) to not engage them beyond a polite "hello" and "have a good night" ... btdt too many times over the past decade.

    5) In view of No. 4), as a worst case possibility, take whatever steps you deem necessary so you're prepared to defend yourself in the event you're attacked, as that potentially can happen anywhere, at any time, because you present an attractive target when you're head is underneath a dark cloth and the police will often be many minutes away and unable to assist you immediately. Which also means maintaining a good situational awareness -- i.e., step back from your camera frequently and turn through a full circle when you do, looking for anything that may have changed since the last time you did so -- and don't remain buried underneath a dark cloth for several minutes at a time as you decide on your composition.

    Of course, the extent to which all of the above points will be relevant to you and your outings will depend a lot on where and what you're photographing, but even in nice, suburban neighborhoods -- make that especially in nice, suburban neighborhoods! -- homeowners will often hassle and/or threaten you as much or even more than any homeless person you encounter in an urban alley or on the street. BTDT many times over the past decade as well!

    Mind you, it's not all gloom and doom when you're out with a camera late at night -- in my now several hundred outings, there's only been one instance where I truly felt my safety was being threatened by somebody right from the start -- but there have been a few dozen outings that potentially could have escalated to that point had things gone a different direction, so your personal safety is definitely something to keep at the forefront of your attention.

    As for any technical tips, I photograph digitally these days, so have nothing to offer you there ... sorry.

    P.S.: Don't let security guards intimidate or scare you from photographing a scene. In my experience, the vast majority of them have no clue about the relevant law and like to use their presumed authority to bend people to their will. They have no more legal authority than any other non-law enforcement person and so long as you're not trespassing, you can pretty much just ignore them, which will usually have the effect of pissing them off and/or inciting them. I've called the police on security guards more often than they've called the police on me, so be prepared to deal with them as well.
    This is all terrific advice! Thank you much for writing this up. I really appreciate it.

    I live in Los Angeles and do want to photograph both the affluent neighborhoods and the not-so-affluent neighborhoods, so your advice comes in very handy.

    I'm extremely worried about theft. While I'm in no way, shape or form, wealthy, my camera may make my financial situation look otherwise. (I worked really, really hard to get all the equipment I have.)

    Have you ever ran into anyone who wanted to steal your camera/gear? I wonder if I should carry a small can of pepper spray...

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The "Live Free or Die" state
    Posts
    896

    Re: Do you have any tips/techniques for Night Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by manfrominternet View Post
    This is all terrific advice! Thank you much for writing this up. I really appreciate it.

    I live in Los Angeles and do want to photograph both the affluent neighborhoods and the not-so-affluent neighborhoods, so your advice comes in very handy.

    I'm extremely worried about theft. While I'm in no way, shape or form, wealthy, my camera may make my financial situation look otherwise. (I worked really, really hard to get all the equipment I have.)

    Have you ever ran into anyone who wanted to steal your camera/gear? I wonder if I should carry a small can of pepper spray...
    I would take a minimum of equipment. I’d also bring my old ugly Burke and James instead of the nicer looking camera. You can also possibly get away with a viewing hood (flaps the shade the ground glass) instead of a dark cloth. I’d worry about angering a group with pepper spray and getting hurt badly instead of just losing a cheap camera. Honestly same with a gun. But that’s all a personal decision and you will probably get a wide range of answers.

Similar Threads

  1. Tips and techniques for replacing holder light trap?
    By keithostertag in forum LF DIY (Do It Yourself)
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 6-Aug-2016, 12:32
  2. Focusing tips for night photo on slow lens
    By RodinalDuchamp in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 28-Jan-2015, 05:07
  3. Night Photography
    By mikeber in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 13-Oct-2009, 15:56
  4. Architectural photography - tips & techniques please?
    By Peter Brown in forum Style & Technique
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 23-Jan-2002, 19:22

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •