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Thread: Help with Night Scenic portraits

  1. #1

    Help with Night Scenic portraits

    <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" class="MsoNormal"]<span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;"]Hi,<o></o>
    <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" class="MsoNormal"]<span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;"]<o></o>
    <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" class="MsoNormal"]<span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;"]Let me clarify. I would like to take night picture at night that I usually do with long exposures but I want someone to be in this picture&hellip; not sure if that makes sense. So what want basically is a portrait of my model with a long exposure night scenery. How would you go about doing this? I know a flash is involved. And I would assume you will need to use higher iso to use a faster shutter speed or shoot wide open? But if you do wont you blur the background? I want the background to be crisp. Can anyone post an example with settings iso, shutter speed, type of flash used ect.<o></o>
    <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" class="MsoNormal"]<span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;"]<o></o>
    <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" class="MsoNormal"]<span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;"]Thank you <o></o>



  2. #2
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Night Scenic portraits



    The best way I can think to do this is to compose the scene (with the person in the shot) using auto focus, then switch to manual focus and take the shot (using a tripod, of course). Record the aperture and shutter speed. Then take the person out of the shot and reshoot using a longer shutter speed. Then combine the two exposures in photoshop.


    Else, you could compose the shot to expose for the background (using a very slow shutter speed), then use the flash to illuminateand expose the subject. The subject will need to remain very still throughout the long shutter.


    I think those will both work. I don't havean example to post right now as I'mat work, but if I think about it tonight I'll try to find one and post it later.


    POST EDIT: Ok, now that I'm at home I went through my photos and found one where I double-exposed the image. It isn't a great picture, but you can get an idea of how it might be done. Upon further investigation, I did end up changing the aperture in between shots as well as the shutter speed. I wish I hadn't lit the subject quite as much as I did (a touch of light would have been better than the torch) so that the balance of light in the photograph would have been alot better.


    Picture of girl:


    ISO 400, f/3.5, 1/15 sec


    Picture of background (switched to manual focus so focal plane didn't change from subject shot...but the change in aperture did have an effect):


    ISO 400, f/6.3, 1.3 sec


    [img]/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Components.UserFiles/00.00.00.21.08/IMG_5F00_3785_5F00_2-small.jpg[/img]

  3. #3

    Re: Help with Night Scenic portraits



    Thanks for the advice! Looking forward to seeing some examples.



  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Re: Help with Night Scenic portraits



    Set the camera to shoot the scene as you would without the subject. Then hit the subject with a flash. I do this with the flash set to manual. The flash will only affect the subject. You may have to experiment with the strobe settings depending on the distance from subject and f-stop. If you use a tight f for depth with background you will have to power the flash up. If you are shooting wide for shallow, you will need less power.


    Make sure your model stays relatively still, while the flash will freeze them, you will get a dark halo around them base on their movement.


    I'd start with a low ISO and get your f-stop and shutter to reasonable time (the longest you want to make you model stand still) and if you can't achieve this increase the ISO only as needed. Again the flash will freeze them.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Re: Help with Night Scenic portraits



    Sean and Keith posted two great options. A third option I've used is to include subject movement on purpose, something that will make sense even in a blur (walking in one direction, etc.). Then use 2nd-curtain flash to provide the final defining moment. Sorry, I don't have any examples, but the technique is prevelent on the web.

  6. #6

    Re: Help with Night Scenic portraits



    Thanks for all the help guys.


    I would love to see more examples from people who have them.





    Thanks again.

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