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kromwell
12-10-2007, 10:07 PM
So the biggest thing I like to shoot is cars at night, with lit up backdrops. I don't have any examples right now because I'm sitting in a hotel room and my pics are on my desktop at home. My question is... when I take pictures of cars with their headlights on, I'd like to try to get it so their is NO flare. All the pictures I have so far are with my little Canon SD650 point and shoot, but it's the only thing that I haven't been able to solve on my own.

I want to be able to take a picture of, let's says, and Audi for example sake. They have beautiful H.I.D. (high intensity discharge) headlights and I want to be able to see the detail in the headlight rather than just a flare up, basically blurring out the whole headlight.

I'm sorry if I'm not explaining it well enough, I think when I get my pics posted when I get home, it will help a little more. Plus... I have to get out there with my new DSLR and mess around. I've only owned it for a few days, and only had about 2 hours to turn it on and take a few pics of my wife and kids before I had to leave for New Jersey for work.

Thanks for any advice in advance!

StudioCMC
12-10-2007, 10:42 PM
This will be relative to your Fstop, this is what allows amount of light to enter the camera. Lens flair comes from bright light refracting on the front glass. So never make it worse by adding a UV cover.

The higer the Fstop the less the amount of light will enter the camera's sensor.

So to shoot at night
Switch to manual mode.. ISO 200 to 400, and then sart off with F22 at 1/250th of a second.

Take the shot, then look at the results.

If its too dark, put the Fstop to 18, 16, so on and so on.

This is called dialing in your shot. Once the levels are good, you will see the detail coming out, and the darkeness is going away.

Other than that, the fast way to set this up, is to have a light meter, get in front of your camera (cause its on a tripod... right?) then set the meter to ambient light. It will calculate the F stop settings for you, and you don't have to mess around with it. :D

There are other here that shoot cars, as well as more night work than I do, but thats just a wild stab/start point.

The magic of understanding your camera is to play with it. This is a classic example, just like How do I shoot the moon?

To understand it better starts with playing with it in manual mode.. And not to rely on the cameras Auto settings.

But to cheat my own post, you could set your Camera to TV mode, and the camera will decide how much light is needed to see what the Autofocus is centered and locked onto.. :D

Chris

zacker
12-10-2007, 10:51 PM
the problem with shooting the headlamps at high f stops is youll get the star flare due to the tiny little aperture... i never tried it but maybe HDR...

nvr2low
12-11-2007, 08:53 AM
im not 100% sure this will work since i havent done a ton of night shots, but try shooting with the car angled so the headlights are pointing at the camera, along with a high f number that should help i would imagine.

the other thing you could try is have a friend sit in the car, laying down so he/she cant be seen, then have them just flash the headlights on and back off. i have flashed parking lights with the alarm before and had decent results from that


this shot was taken at sunset, the car owner set his alarm two or three times so that the parking lights flashed on and off a couple times. they flaired a little but not too bad, i would have reshot if the lcd was big enough to tell they flaired at all.

http://dslocum.smugmug.com/photos/170290796-M.jpg

kromwell
12-11-2007, 07:03 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys. I would love to try and get some nice shots in this weekend if it isn't raining or snowing and get to learn the camera a little bit. I'll post what I've done with my P.O.S. as soon as I get home.

JustinL
12-12-2007, 08:40 AM
I'll take a look at these when I get outta work (your web host is blocked here so it's showing up blank)

kromwell
12-12-2007, 05:06 PM
yeah... I haven't actually posted a picture yet. I will probably end up posting them tomorrow night.

JustinL
12-12-2007, 07:28 PM
yeah... I haven't actually posted a picture yet. I will probably end up posting them tomorrow night.

<<<< :Hammer LOL

Eating, I'll reply momentarily

JustinL
12-13-2007, 11:20 AM
im not 100% sure this will work since i havent done a ton of night shots, but try shooting with the car angled so the headlights are pointing at the camera, along with a high f number that should help i would imagine.

the other thing you could try is have a friend sit in the car, laying down so he/she cant be seen, then have them just flash the headlights on and back off. i have flashed parking lights with the alarm before and had decent results from that
http://dslocum.smugmug.com/photos/170290796-M.jpg

Derric's right, make sure the headlights aren't pointed directly at the camera and to have someone sit in the car to flick the headlights off. I think since the car you want to shoot has HID (do you know what color temp?) you'll have the 3 second warmup period before they actually go to full power. I'd try to do a long exposure (maybe 20 seconds) and have the 2nd person sit in the car and turn the headlights on during the exposure to capture the different color temps as the lights go through the warm-up process. Play around with having the headlights on for different time intervals throughout the exposures.

Another thing, if you use a smaller f stop like f22, you're more likely to get a "star" effect from any lights in the picture. So I'd keep the f stop at about f11 unless you desire the star effect.

The following picture was taken at f22 for 8 min, check out the lights and stars in the pic:
http://libanophotos.com/Home/yeay/CRW_6054m901.jpg

Hope this helps.

nvr2low
12-13-2007, 12:52 PM
nice shot justin, my shot was 30 seconds at f18.

kromwell
12-13-2007, 11:59 PM
Derric's right, make sure the headlights aren't pointed directly at the camera and to have someone sit in the car to flick the headlights off. I think since the car you want to shoot has HID (do you know what color temp?) you'll have the 3 second warmup period before they actually go to full power. I'd try to do a long exposure (maybe 20 seconds) and have the 2nd person sit in the car and turn the headlights on during the exposure to capture the different color temps as the lights go through the warm-up process. Play around with having the headlights on for different time intervals throughout the exposures.

Another thing, if you use a smaller f stop like f22, you're more likely to get a "star" effect from any lights in the picture. So I'd keep the f stop at about f11 unless you desire the star effect.

The following picture was taken at f22 for 8 min, check out the lights and stars in the pic:
http://libanophotos.com/Home/yeay/CRW_6054m901.jpg

Hope this helps.

Wow, that looks amazing! Great detail in that shot! That's the stuff I've always wanted to take pictures of too, is nice skylines like that.

nvr2low
12-14-2007, 08:38 AM
Wow, that looks amazing! Great detail in that shot! That's the stuff I've always wanted to take pictures of too, is nice skylines like that.

well then start shooting and get some pics up!

kromwell
12-14-2007, 12:06 PM
I have a long weekend so I will be out and about looking for some shots. I'll be down in Albany Saturday night Christmas shopping, so I might go hunting for some picture taking spots. :D

Ken_Allen
01-17-2008, 08:57 PM
More closed the shutter is, more diffraction spikes you get.