Monday, July 02, 2007

Exposing the Night Landscape - O'Reilly Digital Media Blog

I thought that this article was pretty interesting on how to get the correct exposure with night landscapes from Harold Davis over at O' Reilly.

"Photographers often ask me how to get the right exposure with night landscapes. It’s a tricky topic. My experience is that the light meter in my dSLR is pretty much worthless for anything that is dark enough to need an exposure of longer than about 15 seconds at ISO 100. This can be OK for night cityscapes, which typically come in at between 15-30 seconds at ISO 100. But it does mean that the internal light meter is useless in darker landscape situations.

Once exposure times get beyond this city night range, I switch to manual exposure mode, and use the feedback from the camera’s LCD to see how I am doing. The problem with this is that you can’t always tell with night exposures from the LCD whether you’ve exposed properly, or whether you got anything at all. Also, it can be very hard to switch between a bright LCD panel and the almost total darkness of the true night landscape. You want to get your eyes accustomed to the darkness, and checking out the LCD breaks this concentration."


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