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 adoramatv presents exploring photography with Mark Wallace hi everybody welcome to another episode of exploring photography right here on adoramatv 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 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 3.4 I'm shooting in aperture priority mode taking my ISO up to 800 and then shooting so I'm gonna focus on infinity and take a shot here and when I look at that shot it's yeah at best it's okay not very good there are a few things that we can do to really make this shot amazing so let me show you a couple tools that I'm going to use the first thing I'm going to do it might be a little bit counterintuitive but I'm going to take my aperture and instead of shooting at three point four I'm gonna close my aperture all the way down to sixteen it's gonna make a really small aperture value what that's going to do is that's going to give me maximum depth of field and it's 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 sort of blobs back there and also it's going to make my shutter slowed down considerably and that slow shutter is gonna 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 I want to reduce the noise in this image so I'm going to go in here and take my ISO from 800 all the way down to 200 that's the base the lowest ISO ISO that my camera can use now because of those things now my camera is taking a longer exposure I need to add a tripod now normally I would use a big tripod but here we've got this really nice solid base and so I can just pop this little teeny tripods as a Coleman tripod on the bottom of my cam that's gonna 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 for my Leica but you can get these for any camera brand and that's going to allow you to take a picture without touching the camera so it's not going to shake it a nice steady shot now the last tool that we're going to use and it's going to make a huge difference and this is sort of counterintuitive because we're shooting at night but I'm going to add a six stop neutral density filter they just happen to have in my pocket here now what 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 is it'll even force a longer exposure so now we're going to get up into the one two and three minute exposure times that's really gonna make this look glassy now here's a trick once you put this on your camera the lens is going to be so dark but 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 and you're gonna 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 hyperfocal we've talked about that in past episodes if you don't just focus on infinity and 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've got a 21 millimeter 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 if you need to lock your focus you can focus by looking through the eyepiece 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 just gonna set my focus at hyper focal now this is a b-plus w6 stop neutral density filter all right so that's on my camera so I've got my neutral density filter shooting at f16 aperture priority mode ISO 200 and then let's 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 all right so that was about a one-second shot and that's okay but 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 handheld wide open at high ISO this shot that I shopped 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 all right well there you have it I think you'll agree that the shots that we took after sundown obviously I did those after we shot this video because it was at night but it'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 and inexpensive cable release an inexpensive neutral density filter all told you're talking about a hundred dollars 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 cityscapes it's really amazing well thanks so much for joining me now don't forget to check out the Adorama Learning Centre because we've got tons of stuff about shooting scenic photos and hyperfocal focusing and all that kind of stuff and don't forget to subscribe to adoramatv it's absolutely free and that way you won't miss a single thing thanks again for joining me and I will see you again next time do you want great-looking prints at low-cost be sure to visit 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

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

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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 .

  5. 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.

  6. 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 : )

  7. 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 .

  8. 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?

  9. I did not understand what effect you were going for with the F number, what is the specific difference on the far objects?

  10. At about 3:50 in this video, while you are discussing your neutral density filter, someone else is taking a shot of the same scene using flash.

  11. I couldn't concentrate Mark! You had a Leica and all that kit poised to take a tumble into the River Danube!

  12. This video could be repurposed. The title could be something like, "What not to do with your camera equipment, while filming instructional videos." 🙂

  13. a) Beautiful picture! I've thought about getting an ND filter for other reasons. Now, I'm inspired to get one to smooth out my water!
    b) Rule of thirds? I can't help but think that the photo would have more impact if the horizon wasn't smack dab in the middle of the frame. Help me learn: why'd you do it that way?

  14. The first shot was taken at 1/4000 at 800 ISO. Why? You obviously didn't need to shoot at such high ISO? I do think the color in the second shot is much nicer than the third photo, too bad you didn't use a 10-stop ND.

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