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Old 02-22-2012, 07:26 AM   #16
Emma1987
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I'm always trying....though the fireworks displays in Dublin don't be great! lol
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:07 AM   #17
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Hi Emma,

For night shots of things that don't move, your best tools will be a tripod and a remote shutter release. Your current lens is perfectly capable of getting good shots with those two things.

If you don't have a big budget, that's okay. My first trip to Disney all I had was a Walmart tripod and the remote shutter release (grand total for both probably about $40.)

Here are shots taken with that set-up (with a Nikon D60--an entry level camera body--and a kit lens):


Splendor by nicole_lynn_, on Flickr


Technicolor Terror by nicole_lynn_, on Flickr


When you're using a tripod, you can use a low ISO, a small aperture, and just use really long shutter speeds to get the correct exposure. So your current lens is perfectly capable.


For low-light shots of objects that move (like people), or for shots on the dark rides (where you are moving), it's a whole different matter.

For pictures of people at night:

1. You can use flash to expose for (and freeze the movement of) your subject, but keep your camera settings to expose for the background. That will make sure you still get some ambient light in the photo, so you don't end up with a picture of JUST the person illuminated by the flash, surrounded by nothing but darkness.

Here are a couple of examples:


20120203-DSC_1067 by nicole_lynn_, on Flickr


20120201-DSC_0931 by nicole_lynn_, on Flickr


2. Or you can use a large aperture, high ISO, and the slowest shutter speed you can get away with (without introducing motion blur--either from you or your subject).

Here are a couple examples:


20120129-DSC_9203 by nicole_lynn_, on Flickr


20120130-DSC_9790 by nicole_lynn_, on Flickr


For dark rides, flash isn't allowed. (And it ruins the pictures anyway.) So for those, you HAVE to use method #2 (high ISO and large aperture).

Unfortunately, your 18-55 lens doesn't have a very large aperture.

I don't shoot Canon so don't know much about their lens lineup, but there should be some relatively less expensive "fast" lens options. (A "fast" lens meaning one with a large aperture.) As PrincessinOz pointed out, 50mm might NOT be the best focal length, but there is an inexpensive 50 f/1.8 available. If you can get a fairly inexpensive 30mm or 35mm f/1.8, that would be even better.


Does any of this help?
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Last edited by NLD; 02-22-2012 at 09:49 AM. Reason: Typo... meant to say 50mm might not be best focal length
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:39 AM   #18
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NLD,

For #1, are you saying to use slow-sync mode in that example?

Thanks,

Kevin
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:44 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NLD View Post
Hi Emma,

For night shots of things that don't move, your best tools will be a tripod and a remote shutter release. Your current lens is perfectly capable of getting good shots with those two things.

If you don't have a big budget, that's okay. My first trip to Disney all I had was a Walmart tripod and the remote shutter release (grand total for both probably about $40.)

Here are shots taken with that set-up (with a Nikon D60--an entry level camera body--and a kit lens):


Splendor by nicole_lynn_, on Flickr


Technicolor Terror by nicole_lynn_, on Flickr


When you're using a tripod, you can use a low ISO, a small aperture, and just use really long shutter speeds to get the correct exposure. So your current lens is perfectly capable.


For low-light shots of objects that move (like people), or for shots on the dark rides (where you are moving), it's a whole different matter.

For pictures of people at night:

1. You can use flash to expose for (and freeze the movement of) your subject, but keep your camera settings to expose for the background. That will make sure you still get some ambient light in the photo, so you don't end up with a picture of JUST the person illuminated by the flash, surrounded by nothing but darkness.

Here are a couple of examples:


20120203-DSC_1067 by nicole_lynn_, on Flickr


20120201-DSC_0931 by nicole_lynn_, on Flickr


2. Or you can use a large aperture, high ISO, and the slowest shutter speed you can get away with (without introducing motion blur--either from you or your subject).

Here are a couple examples:


20120129-DSC_9203 by nicole_lynn_, on Flickr


20120130-DSC_9790 by nicole_lynn_, on Flickr


For dark rides, flash isn't allowed. (And it ruins the pictures anyway.) So for those, you HAVE to use method #2 (high ISO and large aperture).

Unfortunately, your 18-55 lens doesn't have a very large aperture.

I don't shoot Canon so don't know much about their lens lineup, but there should be some relatively less expensive "fast" lens options. (A "fast" lens meaning one with a large aperture.) As PrincessinOz pointed out, 50mm might be the best focal length, but there is an inexpensive 50 f/1.8 available. If you can get a fairly inexpensive 30mm or 35mm f/1.8, that would be even better.


Does any of this help?
Thank you so much for this extensive reply. You have been extremely helpful! I'm going to try a few night shots before I go, but I'm happy to hear that I don't have to break the bank to get nice night shots. I do have a shutter release remote, but I have yet to buy a tripod.

Do you have any recommendations for a tripod that is easy to carry around and not too bulky? Also needs to be relatively reasonable in getting delivered to Ireland.

Thanks once again!
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:04 AM   #20
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I like the lighting in the last one. I suppose I'm more concerned about night shots turning out well. Like, if I want photos of my family taken in the parks, I don't want the flash to drown out the background colours. Do you get what I mean?
Check out your flash modes "curtain sync" settings. Depending on the exact look you are going for, this can help with your background exposure using a flash. Basically, it will leave the shutter open a little longer after the flash to allow for better exposure for the background. It may take a little practice and can be tricky if you are planning on capturing people and fireworks.

On the other hand, it does not have to be all that complicated. The pictures below were taken hand-held with a Canon Powereshot s100.




White Burst by Porktitioner, on Flickr


Colorful Burst by Porktitioner, on Flickr
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:04 AM   #21
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NLD,

For #1, are you saying to use slow-sync mode in that example?

Thanks,

Kevin
Yes, you can. That would allow you to use a lower ISO, longer shutter speed, smaller aperture... and still get your subject sharp. (With the flash freezing the movement of the subject.) Just be aware if you're using a long shutter speed, you migth have motion blur in the background, from camera shake. If you put the camera on a tripod, then you don't have to worry about it.

I actually kept my ISO pretty high in the posted examples and just used the flash to expose for my subject and/or supplement the natural light.

Basically with flash (and I'm NOT a flash expert, so maybe others can help more)... there are two exposures: the ambient (background) and the flash. You want to get both correct so you don't end up with an over-exposed subject or a correctly exposed subject with a completely dark background.



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Originally Posted by Emma1987 View Post
Do you have any recommendations for a tripod that is easy to carry around and not too bulky? Also needs to be relatively reasonable in getting delivered to Ireland.

Thanks once again!
Now you've done it! Tripod discussions can get passionate on this board!

Honestly I don't have specific recs, but here's a rule of thumb with tripods:

Three qualities everyone wants in a tripod:

Sturdy
Light
Inexpensive


Generally speaking, you can have two of three... but not all three.

Sturdy + light = expensive

Sturdy + inexpensive = heavy

Inexpensive + light = not very sturdy


You have to decide what's most important to you.

With a crop body camera and kit lens, at Disney in non-windy conditions, I did okay with cheap + light.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:13 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Porktitioner View Post
Check out your flash modes "curtain sync" settings. Depending on the exact look you are going for, this can help with your background exposure using a flash. Basically, it will leave the shutter open a little longer after the flash to allow for better exposure for the background. It may take a little practice and can be tricky if you are planning on capturing people and fireworks.

On the other hand, it does not have to be all that complicated. The pictures below were taken hand-held with a Canon Powereshot s100.
True, fireworks and night shots can be taken handheld!

And you wouldn't want flash for fireworks, at all. (Hope that was clear!)

You're just going to run into the limitations of your lens going handheld at night. Personally I don't think I could have pulled it off with a kit lens and a ceiling of 1600 ISO.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:26 AM   #23
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Yes, you can. That would allow you to use a lower ISO, longer shutter speed, smaller aperture... and still get your subject sharp. (With the flash freezing the movement of the subject.) Just be aware if you're using a long shutter speed, you migth have motion blur in the background, from camera shake. If you put the camera on a tripod, then you don't have to worry about it.

I actually kept my ISO pretty high in the posted examples and just used the flash to expose for my subject and/or supplement the natural light.

Basically with flash (and I'm NOT a flash expert, so maybe others can help more)... there are two exposures: the ambient (background) and the flash. You want to get both correct so you don't end up with an over-exposed subject or a correctly exposed subject with a completely dark background.

Thanks. Thinking about flash photography makes my head hurt. I need to put the kids to work, ( as subjects ), and practice.

BTW, cheap and light seemed to work fine when I carried a tripod in the parks. It seemed sturdy enough to me, while at the same time I would not put any distance between myself and the cheap tripod while my camera+lens was sitting on it.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:33 AM   #24
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I used to shoot primarily with a Rebel XT (350D) and a 50mm f/1.8 for low light shots. These aren't Disney, but they are low light parade shots with the 50mm f/1.8 and a camera similar to yours. Disney's parades are brighter than Six Flags, so keep that in mind as well...

http://photo-chick.smugmug.com/Other...9306343_PhPjL2

With that camera and lens, because it was so light (the 400D is about the same) I could pull off shutter speeds as low as 1/15 without bracing myself against anything. It's such a light combination that it lets you get away with things you can't with heavier lenses and cameras. With my 50D I have trouble getting 1/30 since it's so much heavier so I'll still pull out the old Rebel sometimes for things.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:33 AM   #25
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Are there any stores in the vicinity of Disney where I could buy a tripod?
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:36 AM   #26
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I used to shoot primarily with a Rebel XT (350D) and a 50mm f/1.8 for low light shots. These aren't Disney, but they are low light parade shots with the 50mm f/1.8 and a camera similar to yours...

http://photo-chick.smugmug.com/Other...9306343_PhPjL2

With that camera and lens, because it was so light (the 400D is about the same) I could pull off shutter speeds as low as 1/15 without bracing myself against anything. It's such a light combination that it lets you get away with things you can't with heavier lenses and cameras. With my 50D I have trouble getting 1/30 since it's so much heavier so I'll still pull out the old Rebel sometimes for things.
Nice pictures, photochick. And good point about the lighter camera and lens combo.

I am now so used to FF that 1/15 doesn't even enter my head as a possibility!
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:49 PM   #27
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Polarizer filter.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:08 AM   #28
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Are there any stores in the vicinity of Disney where I could buy a tripod?
Anyone have an answer to this one ?

Also, thanks Manning. I've just bought a Hoya polarizer online !
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:55 AM   #29
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Are there any stores in the vicinity of Disney where I could buy a tripod?
Depends on what you mean by "vicinity" (driving distance? Walking distance?) I know there are photo stores inside the parks themselves, the one in Magic Kingdom supposedly carries accessories. But you're going to pay resort prices.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:07 AM   #30
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Hi

I'm a Canon user. Granted, I've a very standard SLR. a 400d to be precise. I only use the 18-55 lens. I don't have the money to buy a more expensive lens, although I would eventually like a 70-300mm lens.

I want to be able to take nice shots when I go to Orlando this year. By "nice shots" I mean, bring out the colour in the skies and trees without too much editing, nice sharp images. I want them to be as natural as possible. I'd also like to be able to take really nice pictures at night without the flash and still have a sharp (ish) image.

How do I get these effects with the settings on the camera?

Probably too much to ask, but I'm hoping someone can help out!

Emma
Just to get back to the original question here (i.e. spending very, very little money and trying to make the most of existing equipment)...

A circular polarizer is a very good thing to have for daytime outdoor shots. It's not so useful indoors or at night, but it's definitely a good investment.
The next one is a little harder and requires a little more experimentation: learn how to manipulate your White Balance settings. This is something I'm learning myself, but here's a good source:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/whitebalance.htm
And here's a related article with some other settings-based suggestions:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/camera-adjustments.htm

Finally, I suggest taking lots and lots of pictures, but make subtle adjustments until you get that "aha" moment. Then remember what you did and save it for the next time you're in a similar situation.
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