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Midnight at the Palace


This shot was taken without tripod, braced against the palace steps (~28mm/F4/4sec, existing light). The moon had just come into view (the lower white area) through the fog capturing a surreal, eerie feel.


© C.Hass 2001

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This is my first post to PHOTO.NET, and I hope that people might be

able to offer some criticisms or suggestions for me. I really enjoy

available light night photography, and am trying to improve upon my

results. One difficulty I have encountered is trying to identify a

sharp focus at night (I nearly always use manual focus). What do most

people do? For this particular shot, I tried to zoom & focus on the

sharp edges of the lamp near her face then pull back. But in some

situations (especially when there is less light), I can't. Thanks!

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I really like this picture and the angle you shot it at was excellent--I think it makes the picture very unique as well. Great eye! If I were to handhold for 4 seconds, even when bracing against something, all you'll see is a blur...
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Thanks Jason --


The palace was nicely lit up, but the colour of the (Tungsten?) lamps caused a strong colour cast. I assume that one would normally use a filter to correct for this. I was originally upset to have found an interesting perspective but then have no tripod available!


My biggest problem with it besides the colour cast is that the subject could not be perfectly motionless for the entire exposure, giving a slightly softer appearance... Would it be sometimes better to lengthen the exposure to "average-out" small shakes?


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For focusing at night you might carry a pocket flashlight, light the subject, focus, then turn it off. I really think this picture's great, and as far as color cast, I wouldn't change it one bit. It wouldn't be so eerie or unique-looking otherwise. You also might consider getting one of those little table-top tripods to carry around whenever you take your camera, they're better than nothing.
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The flashlight idea is a great one! I am definitely going to add that to my bag of goodies. Thanks... (and I have since bought a small Manfrotto tripod that fits in my camera bag, but I often find that I don't like the limited elevation of point of view I get with it).
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Great photo. I really love the perspective. Also, even though you said that you were without a tripod, I think the blur adds a lot to the feeling of the photo - a surreal kind of feeling. Very nice!
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I'm jealous. And that hardly ever happens. I live in Honolulu and this is exactly the kind of shot I'd like to have got (or even thought of) here. And a great job of hand holding - If I'd seen that a four second hand held exposure was required, I might not have even tried it.
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