Christmas lights tips please?

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23 Nov '17 Thu Nov 23, 2017 21:05    
sasastro
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Post Christmas lights tips please?

Hi all,

Can anyone give me tips on photographing Christmas lights? I>E> settings etc. It would have to be handheld as I've done my back in so can't be carrying a tripod around


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24 Nov '17 Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:23    
Steve_7HC
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Post Re: Christmas lights tips please?

I usually shoot Bath's Christmas market with the cameras set to TAV, f5.6 and 1/180 sec. That shutter speed should be fast enough to freeze most movement and the aperture provide adequate DoF. Depending on what you are shooting and how strong the stall is lit, I'd expect an ISO in the range 3200 to 6400 with a few up at 12800. When you get them back and view them in LR, don't try to recover the blacks as you would normally expect to, try a -15 or -25 setting instead. Removes a lot of visible noise and the colours are stronger and the dark areas blacker without being OTT.

I'll be out next Tuesday evening with the K1 (and my new Black Friday purchase - an HD D-FA 70-200) using those settings.

HTH


Steve

 
 
 
 
  
24 Nov '17 Fri Nov 24, 2017 18:03    
sasastro
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Post Re: Christmas lights tips please?

Thanks for the tip Steve, I'm not sure when I'll be getting out to do local lights but it's nice to go armed with the right settings. Well done on that Black Friday buy


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29 Nov '17 Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:01    
Steve_7HC
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Post Re: Christmas lights tips please?

Interesting exercise last night shooting the Christmas Market with the K1 and the HD D-FA 70-200. Shutter speed ranges aren't the same as the K3/K5/K7 etc so I ended up using 1/160 rather than 1/180 or 1/200 (the next faster option). At f5.6 I was getting ISO results from 10000 through to 40000, depending on the target and the general level of the lighting the matrix metering setting was seeing. Drop the aperture setting to f3.5 with the same shutter speed and the ISO range general kept around 5000 +/- 1000. But for shooting individual lights found around/above the stalls, f5.6 and 1/160 was fine.

Plan to repeat the exercise next Tuesday but with the D-FA 24-70mm as the mid range zoom was general a bit toooo long for most of what I was doing, so had to stand back further and that increases the risk of walk throughs. Usually people don't stop whilst you are stood with a camera up to the eye and trying to get a shot but last night was exceptional.

 
 
 
 
  
19 Dec '17 Tue Dec 19, 2017 09:39    
Steve_7HC
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Post Re: Christmas lights tips please?

Don't know how you got on with getting your local Christmas light Sas but here are a couple from Bath. Can't do other than as link I'm afraid as they're not on Flickr.

Abbey Green

EXIF - K1 in TAV mode with D-FA 70-200 @ 108mm, f5.6, 1/160 sec, ISO 3200; LR processing: Landscape sharpening preset with 85 mask; contrast +10, highlights -25, clarity +20, vibrance +20

York Street

EXIF - K1 in TAV mode with D-FA 70-200 @ 82mm, f5.6, 1/160 sec, ISO 25600; LR processing: Landscape sharpening preset with 85 mask; contrast +10, highlights -25, black -35, clarity +20, vibrance +20.

The York Street example had a lot of noise in the original image, which by not attempting to recover the blacks as you usually do and applying the reverse approach, is concealed nicely and the detail of the lights, pretty standard designs I would think, comes through well. No additional adjustment in Noise Reduction been applied (just the default values).

 
 
 
 
  
20 Dec '17 Wed Dec 20, 2017 15:24    
layingback
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Post Re: Christmas lights tips please?

- Steve_7HC

Can't do other than as link I'm afraid as they're not on Flickr.


You can, FWIW. Display the image wherever it is and copy the Address/Location bar URL to the clipboard. Back in the post, click the scenic image icon

and then in the pop-up, paste in the URL from the clipboard.


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21 Dec '17 Thu Dec 21, 2017 09:26    
Steve_7HC
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Post Re: Christmas lights tips please?

Tried that but couldn't get it work Sad . Probably me being inept Embarassed

 
 
 
 
  
24 Dec '17 Sun Dec 24, 2017 21:42    
sasastro
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Post Re: Christmas lights tips please?

Not too bad Steve, here's an example. There's a few more that I took on another night after this, just haven't gotten around to uploading them

Spaceship Debenhams 4 by sasastro, on Flickr


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26 Dec '17 Tue Dec 26, 2017 09:58    
Steve_7HC
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Post Re: Christmas lights tips please?

Picked that up when you first uploaded it to Flickr Sas. I thought choice of shutter speed was a bit slower than I'd have used but it worked OK - dark clothing of the pedestrians walking out of shot just perfect to complement the colours from Debs and the street beyond.

 
 
 
 
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