Better Night Photos: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace


In this episode learn a simple technique
that will help you take great scenic shots at night Adorama TV presents;
Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace Hi everybody welcome to another episode of Exploring Photography right here on Adorama TV I’m Mark Wallace here in very cold Prague it was actually snowing a couple of seconds ago but I’m gonna take
a picture of this beautiful river and the bridge and this sort of scene of
Prague here now what I could do because it’s sort of a low light in the day the
sun is already behind the horizon what I could do is try to get as much light as
possible by opening up my aperture this is at f/3.4 I’m shooting an aperture priority mode kicking my ISO up to 800 and then shooting. So I’m going to focus on infinity and take a shot here and when I look at that shot its – at best, it’s ok, not very good. There are few things that we can do to really make this shot amazing so let me show you a couple of tools I’m going to use the
first thing I’m going to do and it might be a little bit counter intuitive, but I’m
going to take my aperture and instead of shooting at f/3.4 I’m going to close my
aperture all the way down to f/16 It is going to make a really small aperture value. What that is going to do is, that’s going
to give me a maximum depth of field and it is also going to help all the little points
of light back here when the sun goes down to really look nice and sharp and
give me some starburst shapes instead of certain blobs back there and also it’s
going to make my shutter slow down considerably and that slow shutter is going to smooth out the clouds and the water and all of that stuff that’s going to be
much more effective. The other thing I want to do is to reduce the noise in this
image. So I’m going to go in here and take my ISO 800 all the way down to 200. That is the
base, the lowest ISO that my camera can use and because of those things now
my cameras taking a longer exposure I need to add a tripod. Now normally I’d
use a big tripod but here we’ve got this really nice solid base and so I can just
pop these little teeny tripod This is a Cullmann tripod on the bottom of my camera that’s going to keep that from moving and now my long exposure is going to be
really nice and solid. Now the other thing I want to do I don’t want to touch my
camera that’s going to shake it so what I’ll do is I’m going to use a remote cable
release. This is a really old school one from my Leica but you can get these for
any camera brand now that is going to allow you to take a picture without
touching the camera so it’s not going to shake it nice steady shot and the last tool that
we’re going to use and it’s going make a huge difference and this is sort of
counter intuitive because we’re shooting at night. I’m going to add a 6 stop neutral density filter that I just happen to have in my pocket here now at this guy does is it blocks
the light, sort of like sunglasses for your camera and so it’s really, really dark
and what that will do it’ll even force a longer exposure so now we’re going to get up into the 1,2 and 3 minute exposure times that’s really going to make this look glassy now here’s a trick once you put this on your camera the lens is going to be so dark that you’re not going to be able to see through the
lens and so what you’ll have to do is set your camera to manual focus you have to manually focus that
lens, now if you have a lens like this it has a depth of field guide I suggest
that you focus at hyper focal we’ve talked about that past episodes if you don’t
just focus on infinity because you have that really long
extended depth of field you get a lot of stuff in focus. Now the other thing I
didn’t mention I’m shooting with a wide angle lens. I got a 21mm lens I think that’s imperative for a scene like that so once
we have that all set I’m going to put my neutral density filter on here, if you don’t have manual focus, you just need to lock your focus you can focus by looking through the
eye piece lock that down and then put your neutral density filter on so we’ll
put that on I’ve got a depth of field gauge. So I’m going to set my focus at
hyperfocal. This is a B+W 6 stop neutral density filter alright! So that’s
on my camera, so I got my neutral density filter, shooting at f/16 aperture
priority mode ISO 200 and then lets frame this up and take a picture and then
we’ll compare the before and after shot. Alright so let’s take this shot here Alright so that was about a 1 second shot and that’s okay but what we really need to do is one last thing and that is wait for the sun
to get lower in the sky because I really want about a 60 second shot. Right now we are about 30 minutes from the Sun going all the way down to give us that. So I need to wait about a half an hour I’ll take this picture again and then we’ll
compare our first shot that I did hand-held, wide open, at high ISO, this shot that I shot for about a second with a neutral density filter and then we’ll compare that to our last shot, shot after the sun goes down
and we have a very long exposure Alright well there you have it, and I’ll think you’ll agree that the shots we took after sundown obviously I did those after we shot this video because it was at night, but you’ll agree that those shots are
much better than the original shots where the sun was up and I used a wide
open aperture and it’s really simple and inexpensive tripod, an inexpensive cable
release, an inexpensive neutral density filter all told you’re talking about
$100 of add ons to get a much, much better scenic photo and this works for
all scenic photos so you can shoot these at daylight and sunset, and cityscapes. It’s
really amazing. Thanks so much for joining me and don’t forget to check out
the Adorama Learning Center because we’ve got tons of stuff about shooting scenic
photos and hyper focal focusing and all that kind of stuff and don’t forget to subscribe to Adorama TV, it is absolutely free, and that way you won’t miss a single thing. Thanks again for joining me and I’ll see you again next time Do you want great looks pic’s at low cost? Be sure to use our easy to use online printing service. AdoramaPix has professionals who treat your images with the utmost care that you can count on. For a quick turnaround on photos, cards or albums use adoramapix.com

22 Replies to “Better Night Photos: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace”

  1. How to record videos with aperture of f16, without increasing the ISO (in order to avoid the noise ) if the shutter speed cannot be set up longer then 1/30, on the Manual mode ? How was this video made ? What were the aperture, the shutter speed and the ISO?

  2. Hi …
    I always here that when using a graduated or ND filter you have to adjust the exposure with the f.stop !!
    What does that mean, and what mode should the camera be when using the filter ?
    A detailed step by step would be appreciated .

  3. Off to prague in a few weeks, subscribe if you would like to see the results from video with Sigma 18-35 1.8 taking video and long exposures : )

  4. I just started watching your videos. I have already learned much. You have an excellent way of explaining clearly. Going to keep watching all your lessons.

  5. There are several components to treating bad eyesight at home. One plan I found that successfully combines these is the Great Gazer Fix (google it if you're interested) it's the no.1 blueprint that I've seen. Check out the amazing info .

  6. Hello Mark,
    Great Video , its actually very funny how people like to make things look so complicated and instead you make it so simple for everyone to become a photographer, well thanks to you Mark , The photography industry and people need to appreciate you for what you have done all these years, you have helped many people.

  7. normally I don't like photography videos as they are just useless. yours is very good, a contains useful information with examples. cheers,

  8. If you don't crave stars around the light, open your aperture to avoid diffraction, choose the one with optimal sharpness for your lens. If you wonder how to focus, some say to focus at double the hyperfocal distance for your aperture.

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