Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dongdaemun At Night

While waiting for the boyfriend at Dongdaemun, I decided to fool around with the camera a bit. I've wanted to fool around with the shutter speeds at night for a while. This was a good opportunity. Now, unfortunately, I don't have a tripod, which makes this kind of photography really difficult with my shaky hands. I had to balance my camera on a fence and set the timer to 2 seconds so that hitting the button didn't shake the camera. Even then 10 minutes of taking photos resulted in only 3 clear photos.

According to the stats on Flickr, these photos were taken between .5-.8 seconds at 100 ISO.

Most of my photos came out very blurry like this next one. I guess my hand just can't stay steady...

How did it turn out for my first time? Any recommendations for this kind of photography?


  1. The problem isn't your hand - you might want to set a delay on your camera (2 seconds) - just long enough to press the button and let go to avoid shaking the camera. You might also consider bumping the ISO higher if you have manual control, or making the shutter speed faster (you have some burnout in these photos) - it doesn't need to be bright as day...

  2. I did shoot these at 100 ISO which is very low. But the lower the ISO the better the quality of the photo. I was also trying to get the red in the taillight of the cars, hence the long shutter speed though. I know I could get a clearer picture by upping the ISO and getting a quick shutter speed. But... really what I was going for was long shutter speeds here. As for the burnout... yea, I know... I guess this wasn't the best place to be using long shutter speeds. Bright lights and TV ads like this one tend to be an enemy to what I'm trying to do.

    Oh, and read my summary one more time. I did mention that I set the timer to 2 seconds. I really do have shaky hands though. It runs in the family, it's something called benign tremors. It comes and goes, but it gets worse when I particularly need steady hands. Or when I'm angry ;-)

  3. I see you were using your powershot, a nice little point-and-shoot. For night photos, you pretty much did all you could with what you were using. Setting it down and using the timer is what I would suggest. You could still get pretty good quality shots if you up the iso to 200.

    For shots like these, an slr or camera that lets you do more manually. You can find a pretty good used digital slr (like a canon 350d)for quite a good price. The newer ones have image stabilizer that lets you hand hold the camera down to 1/20 or even 1/10 of a second.

    I think the pics you posted look great though!

  4. Wow!!! Great night photos... ^^

    I usually set my cam at 10-20 seconds for night pictures... but then again, it still depends on your other settings. ^^


  5. With some practice, you can improve your hand-steadiness for these kinds of photos. I like taking similar ones with my point and shoot, and they've improved over time. Resting the camera on a nearby fence or pole like you did is a good idea, too. There are some really cool and inexpensive tripods at this site: http://joby.com/

  6. I can't beleive you don't know you need a tripod for the kind of effect your going for and I can't believe nobody said that to you when giving advice.