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Tiki Central Forums Home Tiki Bars Lowl light photography-OR- how to take pix of a tiki bar
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Lowl light photography-OR- how to take pix of a tiki bar
Digitiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 22, 2004
Posts: 754
From: L.A. baby!
Posted: 2006-12-04 09:14 am   Permalink

THought I would open this topic up.

Tiki bars are dark, right? Right. So, being a novice photographer, I'm curious how some of you are getting such wonderful pictures of tiki bars. I cannot seem to get the exposure settings right. So I thought I would start this topic as a way for myself and others who are interested to hear how best to photograph in low light conditions. I am particularly impressed with Frank Tiki's photos from the Tiki Magazine release party at Tonga Hut. If anyone has tips, I would love to hear them.

[ This Message was edited by: Digitiki 2006-12-04 09:15 ]


 
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Jungle Trader
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2003
Posts: 3736
From: Trader's Jungle Outpost, Turlock, Ca.
Posted: 2006-12-04 11:54 am   Permalink

I know with 35mm cameras if you have an adjustment which will vary the shutter speed (slower to admit more light onto the film, and tripod), and you use high speed film (more silver), you can get better images. But hey who uses 35mm cameras anymore? As far as digital, I'm still scratching my head on that one.

 
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MobileTikiBar
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 11, 2006
Posts: 136
From: Orlando, FL
Posted: 2006-12-04 8:07 pm   Permalink

Low light photography is difficult, film or digital. Your eyes have such a dynamic range, and adjust so quickly, that normal scenes appear... well, normal.

To the film, a single light in a dark room will either end up making the room look dark with the light exposed properly, or the room exposed properly, with that single light over exposed. You can play with this during printing or editing, but you can only do so much with what you have captured.

Here's an older shot of our home bar
Note that the bar itself appears ok to under exposed, but the neon lights and lcd tv are over exposed. This was taken on a tripod, and I could have followed this with a second shot but at a faster shutter speed, so that the lights would be exposed properly. Then, edit both photos together to get all of the image to look nicer.

Here's a shot I took of the las vegas strip from the roof of an off-strip hotel... a 15 second exposure at f/13.


Here's one with a 2 second exposure at f/8.


For me, when photographing in low light, I really take the time to look at the scene, see what's going to "pop" and possibly make it difficult to capture what I want. If you can adjust the scene by moving a light, or masking it with something in front, or even shooting multiple pictures and editing together afterwards, you'll probably end up with a better picture.

You'll want to use a camera that does well in lower light. Some digitals are good at it, some are not as good and cause more noise (similar to a grainy older picture). You'll want something still to shoot from, either a tripod, table, railing, something. You'll also want to take the picture without touching the camera, such as using the self-timer or a cable. Even the motion of pressing the button can cause an image to look blurry.



Hope this helps! I'm sure others will chime in with other ideas too.

-adrian
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Digitiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 22, 2004
Posts: 754
From: L.A. baby!
Posted: 2006-12-07 10:26 am   Permalink

Mobile,
Your Vegas pix are great! Forgive me for sounding like a total novice, but the F speed, the lower the number the smaller tha apeture-is that right?

MARK


 
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MobileTikiBar
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 11, 2006
Posts: 136
From: Orlando, FL
Posted: 2006-12-07 8:41 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-12-07 10:26, Digitiki wrote:
Mobile,
Your Vegas pix are great! Forgive me for sounding like a total novice, but the F speed, the lower the number the smaller tha apeture-is that right?

MARK



Opposite actually. The higher the f-stop number, the less light that comes in, meaning the smaller the aperture.

So a properly exposed photo taken at:
ISO 100 (speed of film or sensor)
F5.6 (size of aperature, bigger number = smaller hole)
1/500 second (amount of time light permitted through the camera)

Would also be properly exposed at:
ISO 100
F8
1/250 second
The aperature change from f5.6 to f8 means 1/2 as much light gets in. The shutter speed change from 1/500 of a second to 1/250 of a second means twice as much light gets in.

-a
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Digitiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 22, 2004
Posts: 754
From: L.A. baby!
Posted: 2006-12-08 10:13 am   Permalink

Ahhh, I'm beginning to see the light...so to speak. That is VERY helpful! THANKS!

 
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MobileTikiBar
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 11, 2006
Posts: 136
From: Orlando, FL
Posted: 2006-12-08 8:13 pm   Permalink

No problem. Try it out and post some pictures!!

Here are a few more low-light ones:

WWII monument:


WWII monument:


Washington memorial:


WWII and Washington:


Lincoln:


Las Vegas - Mandalay Bay - Red Square:


Las Vegas - Mandalay Bay - Rum Jungle (I'm the one in the middle, camera sitting on the counter with timed exposure):



Las Vegas - Paris:




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Slacks Ferret
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 1258
From: Calgary
Posted: 2011-01-02 12:24 pm   Permalink

bump

 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2011-01-02 2:01 pm   Permalink

Hey Slacks, was this bumped because of my crappy pic's???

Yeh, I wouldn't mind a bit more info. on the topic. Could use a little updating.
Thanks for the bump even though I feel it was direct attack!!

TabooDan


 
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Joe Banks
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 02, 2007
Posts: 555
From: An island in Catlandia
Posted: 2011-01-02 2:56 pm   Permalink




 
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VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5717
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2011-01-02 3:07 pm   Permalink

I am a terrible novice when taking pictures and doubt I will ever be any good at it. For some reason (user error I am sure) my digital camera is not moving back into picture taking mode so I have to use my cell. Not a great option @ 3.2 pixels, but any helpful hints on how to get the best picture out of it would be appreciated?

Also, can anyone re-post on the broken picture links above? Having the accompanying pictures helps make sense of the explanations.


 
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Slacks Ferret
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 1258
From: Calgary
Posted: 2011-01-02 4:37 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-01-02 14:01, TabooDan wrote:
Hey Slacks, was this bumped because of my crappy pic's???

Yeh, I wouldn't mind a bit more info. on the topic. Could use a little updating.
Thanks for the bump even though I feel it was direct attack!!

TabooDan



Nah. Not intended as an attack. A helpful nudge perhaps. I just saw your post and wished I could see your changes/updates as you see them...

I struggle with low-light photography too. I remember getting real helpful suggestions from TC'ers when I was at the Waldorf in 2005. Thing that helped the most was to choose the "P" setting on your digital camera (at least that's what it is on a Canon)increase the aperture (or ISO? am I saying that right?), turn off the flash and hold that sucker real steady (or better yet, use a tripod)...

...mind you that's all the way I do it...I'm sure there's better ideas out there.


 
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Kahuna Tiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 18, 2010
Posts: 35
From: Toronto, ON
Posted: 2011-01-07 11:43 am   Permalink

I'd love to see further discussion on this topic. I just received a new digital camera for Christmas and am just starting to use it. I tried taking pictures in my basement tiki bar, and some came out okay but most didn't. Obviously I have to play with light settings and learn how to frame my subject properly. What *you* see is not always what the camera sees.

 
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Big Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2007
Posts: 2330
From: SoMass
Posted: 2011-01-08 05:37 am   Permalink

Me too! Somebody here must know the secret.

 
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bongofury
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1542
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2011-01-08 08:25 am   Permalink

I have read that Canon cameras are good at low light imaging. Our Panasonic Lumix has a "Starry Sky" setting that will keep the shutter open for 15, 30, or 60 seconds. Have only tried it for that purpose.

 
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