If your camera meter fails to give a reading, this is where you start to learn by experience
You do not have to put your camera away when the sun goes down. With a firm tripod and a cable release you will be able to produce sharp, colorful pictures.
A city at dust is ideal for your first attempts at photographing after sunset. Three is still light in the sky and the uneven heights of the buildings make a pattern against it. The lights in office blocks come on, as do the colorful neon and street lights. However, dust quickly fades into darkness, so it is best to plan beforehand where to place your tripod. Look at postcards of the city to get some idea of good view points.
Measuring exposure for low or night photograph is matter of experience and we only gain experience by having a go! Take a note book, pencil and small torch with you. With ISO 100 film in your camera screw the camera on to the tripod and the cable release into the shutter release button. Set your aperture at f8. Some cameras will give exposure readings in low light conditions, up to several seconds in fact. If you have a camera which does this, take your picture at the shutter speed indicated by the exposure meter, but bracket your exposure as well.
If your camera meter fails to give a reading, this is where you start to learn by experience. Take a series of pictures at different shutter speeds. Use 1/30th, 1/15th and 1/8 second, jot down the exposures in your note book, with a brief description of the scene, and when you get your prints back you will be able to judge which exposure gave the best results.
By this time any light in the sky will have disappeared. This means that there could be large areas of black in your picture unless you choose your viewpoint carefully. If the pavements are wet, reflections add color to what could be a dark foreground. Buildings are often more photogenic when floodlit at night than in daylight. Set your aperture f8 shutter speed on `B’. This is when the small torch is useful as it difficult to see the setting in the dark.
Take a series of pictures at different shutter speeds, say one second, five seconds, ten seconds, and fifteen seconds. Press the cable release button in – this holds the shutter open while you count off the seconds. Close the shutter by taking your thumb off the cable release button.
Remember to put it all down in your notebook, then the next time you want to photograph a similar scene you will know experience the exposure to give, using the same film and aperture. It is, however, always wise to bracket your exposure by a couple of seconds no matter how much experience you have.
Tags: Camera , Still , Photo , Click
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