QUESTION: Small vs wide aperture shots in low light

Discussion in 'Photography' started by BD, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. BD

    Mark² Guest

    If you shoot with large apertures, most of your image will be out of focus.
    Small apertures and longer exposures is really the only way--if you want to
    capture such deep scenes.
     
    Mark², Dec 10, 2005
    #21
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  2. BD

    UC Guest

    Somehow I doubt that any interesting photos wil come from this effort,
    no matter how it is approached. Big empty spaces are just not
    phototogenic.
     
    UC, Dec 10, 2005
    #22
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  3. BD

    BD Guest

    Small apertures and longer exposures is really the only way

    True enough.

    Bugger, though - the 'Big Room' is roughly the size of 6 football
    fields (14 acres), and is incredibly ornate.

    I intend (well, I _hope) to stitch together a panorama of this room, to
    maximize the resolution for a big 6'x3' frame I have. I figure 4 or 5
    horizontal sections should do it alright if I rotate the camera to
    portrait orientation.

    So - specific question: if I have an area this large, and want to
    capture the far end of it as well as many of the formations _in_ the
    room, would f/16 suffice, or should I go up to f/24 or higher? I won't
    be in a position to preview my images except for on the camera LCD, so
    if I'm getting some slight focus issues in foreground vs background
    because of the aperture being too wide I, may not know it until it's
    too late.

    Maybe I should just put my lens to its smallest possible aperture and
    adjust the shutter speed accordingly - I may need to have it open for a
    full minute at that aperture size.

    Yikes.
     
    BD, Dec 10, 2005
    #23
  4. BD

    m Ransley Guest

    A big room poorly lit, with limited time and possibly no flash will be
    difficult , close ups of wall formations much easier.
     
    m Ransley, Dec 10, 2005
    #24
  5. BD

    Mark² Guest

    I did many exposures of a minute at f16.
    It really depends on the room and the lighting of the particular scene
    sections.
    The trouble is...the lighting is uneven. You tend to end up with burned out
    lit sections as you attempt to expose for darker forms. This is another
    reason to shoot RAW, since you'll be able to push/pull exposure, when
    needed, by a stop or two.
     
    Mark², Dec 10, 2005
    #25
  6. BD

    BD Guest

    Somehow I doubt that any interesting photos wil come from this effort

    Charming! You must be a real hit at meet & greets. Can I call you
    Eeyore?

    Anyway - I'll take that as a challenge. Besides - 'interesting', like
    beauty, is in the eye of the beholder...
     
    BD, Dec 10, 2005
    #26
  7. BD

    BD Guest

    You'll be able to push/pull exposure

    I guess for the shots of that huge room, I should take 3 or 4 shots at
    various exposures at f/16; if I overexpose or underexpose regions of
    the scene, I can always load the various exposures as layers in PS and
    use layer masks to bring in the better sections of the various images.
    Or, use Camera Raw as you suggest

    I do know a fair bit about the Camera Raw plugin, but this project will
    likely prompt me to stretch my use of it quite a lot. The lighting in
    that place is extremely spotty.

    In short, I should take about 5 times more shots than I expect to need.
    Photography by attrition. I'm only there once, but I have about 6GB of
    media to work with. May as well fill it.
     
    BD, Dec 10, 2005
    #27
  8. BD

    Mark² Guest

    Remember, too, that you can process the same RAW file several times at
    differing exposure settings...and then use the different versions as
    different layers, too. This often means you can accomplish the same thing
    as you could have with the multiple-shot alternative. Add to this that it
    means fewer shots in the dark, and it can be a helpful alternative.
     
    Mark², Dec 11, 2005
    #28
  9. BD

    dadiOH Guest

    Nit picking here but the only way to get a more diffuse light is to
    increase the size of the light source relative to the subject.

    Putting something over the flash will blend the light from tube and
    reflector into one source which will slightly diffuse it but not
    *really* diffuse if you see my distinction. That is, the character of
    the shadows from the subject and the highlights on it are very little
    changed.

    --
    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
    dadiOH, Dec 11, 2005
    #29
  10. BD

    dadiOH Guest

    Right. Just avoid having you and flash in the camera's view.
    ____________
    Google for "paint with light"
    _____________
    Forget the white cloth, no reason for it and won't do a lick of good.
    Unless your goal is to reduce light intensity.

    --
    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
    dadiOH, Dec 11, 2005
    #30

  11. I want to reduce the light hitting the subject. In complete dark caves, I
    shoot Shutter open and paint the scene inside the cave with multiple flash
    shots by holding the flash in my hand and firing it a cross in an sweeping
    arc or whatever I want to light up or how much area I want to light up. If I
    didn't reduce or defuse the light coming out of that flash, there would be
    too much light. BTW, frosted clear plastic tape works good too over the
    flash to cut light.

    F1
     
    Canon F1 via PhotoKB.com, Dec 11, 2005
    #31
  12. BD

    UC Guest

    I'm not here to make friends, but to offer advice based on my
    considerable knowledge of photography.

    Trust me, this will be a waste of time.
     
    UC, Dec 11, 2005
    #32
  13. BD

    Sarah Brown Guest

    That's refreshingly honest of you...
     
    Sarah Brown, Dec 11, 2005
    #33
  14. BD

    BD Guest

    Remember, too, that you can process the same RAW file several times at differing exposure settings

    I guess that's true - but I've only been working with RAW for a short
    while, and still haven't really convinced my luddite brain that
    adjusting exposure in post is a true equivalent to doing it in-camera.
    I haven't trained myself to rely on post to that degree.

    But I don't disagree. ;)
     
    BD, Dec 12, 2005
    #34
  15. BD

    Scott W Guest

    Don't rely on post processing to that degree, you can only adjust for
    bad exposure a very small amount when using raw file, it is useful but
    you need to get the shot as close to the right exposure as possible.

    Scott
     
    Scott W, Dec 12, 2005
    #35
  16. BD

    Paul Furman Guest

    I figure if I want to make more information visible, that's adding to
    the image not taking away. More often, I block up the shadows
    intentionally but sometimes I'll want to bring them up & prevent blown
    highlights.

    Here's an example:
    <http://www.edgehill.net/1/?SC=go.ph...ancisco/gritty/2005-10-05-mission&PG=1&PIC=1>
    -notice the unadjusted image in the thumbnail
     
    Paul Furman, Dec 12, 2005
    #36
  17. BD

    Mark² Guest

    I wouldn't call it a substitute...but may shots need only minor adjustment
    to a particular region.
    When you're dealing with minute-long exposures, remember that to increase
    the light by one stop, you've got to double the exposure time to two minutes
    (for example...assuming you need the same aperture). RAW files can *easily*
    handle 1 stop adjustments--especially pushing. If you're talking about more
    than a stop or two, then you'll have to rely on separate exposures.
     
    Mark², Dec 12, 2005
    #37
  18. BD

    BD Guest

    If you're talking about more than a stop or two, then you'll have to rely on separate exposures.

    I'm pretty sure I'll shoot 3 or 4 distinctly separate exposures for the
    areas that have wide contrasts in lighting. Seems the safest route.
     
    BD, Dec 12, 2005
    #38
  19. BD

    Mark² Guest

    That's great...provided you have time to take 3 or 4 Looooooong exposures
    every time you see something worth shooting.

    The other side of "safe" can also be found by not spending sooo much time
    with each shot that you miss other potential shots.
     
    Mark², Dec 13, 2005
    #39
  20. BD

    BD Guest

    provided you have time to take 3 or 4 Looooooong exposures every time you see something worth shooting.

    Oh - this whole multiple exposure thing only really applies to a couple
    of areas that are very large, and lit very inconsistently. For the most
    part, it won't be all that elaborate a process.
     
    BD, Dec 13, 2005
    #40
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