Author Topic: Very long exposures with digital cameras?  (Read 20079 times)

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Offline Stef.

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Very long exposures with digital cameras?
« on: January 25, 2008, 03:28:37 PM »
Just wondered: I am just back from an exhibition by Darren Almond at London's White Cube gallery. He has taken extreme long exposures of landscapes at night just illuminated by the moon. Now it did not say how long the exposures where- but let's assume a couple of hours (I have read something similar some time ago). The images appear as if shot during daytime but still different. Sea scapes in particular look fantastic! Now I wonder whether this kind of exposure times would be possible with a digital camera such as the A700? What would the settings be like? With or without noise reduction? Do I not end up with an image full of hot spots? Would I opt for a slightly higher ISO and therefore a bit shorter exposure time or the other way around?

Anybody experience with that?

Thanks for your input- as usual very much appreciated!
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Offline d7d (aka Ronin, aka Shot by scott)

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Re: Very long exposures with digital cameras?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2008, 06:59:08 PM »
There are several ways of doing it first turn off DRO (I would also turn off noise reduction, but that a time thing). Then you want to use the lowest ISO you have and the highest F/. If you have an ND8 filter (higher use it as well), set the camera to B and use a cable release.

Thats the basics the main problems you will face with a DSLR is batteries drain and noise if you can some how have your camera on mains power it would help a lot.

Offline Clive

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Re: Very long exposures with digital cameras?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2008, 07:06:02 PM »
Long exposures (say, 30 seconds) with the 7D were impossible as the heat from the battery "exposed" one corner of the image--when it was cool at night. I've done 30-second star images with the A700 and the entire image was evenly exposed. Even with the new A700 there were some hot pixels. I can't imagine long exposure without some pixels that would have to be cloned out.

I took some evening ocean shots in Newfoundland in June '06 and they were at least 30 seconds. It was evening (well after sunset on a cloudy night) and not much brighter than a bright moonlight night. (Quite a bit brighter perhap.) I should not think exposures would have to be hours..maybe minutes. Hummmm..... maybe some cool mountain scene images. Hummm...Something to be tried.

One of my problems is that I am petrified of the dark. I would have serious problems in a remote area at night. Imagining some slobbering grizzly bear approaching.... ;)

Boo.

PS: This is out of the can with no adjustments. ISO 100, 20 seconds, f22...
Definitely brighter than moonlight. Went to ISO 100 and f22 to get the 20 sepcnds..was looking for smooth wave effect. It colored up 'well' in PS.


« Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 07:20:18 PM by Clive »
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Offline Stef.

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Re: Very long exposures with digital cameras?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2008, 07:09:57 PM »
So you are saying lower ISO is better that higher ISO with shorter exposure times? I am just thinking if you would have an exposure time of 1 hour at ISO 800 than obiously you get many hours more with ISO 100. In other words high ISO noise is worse than the noise that occurs with long exposure?

Same with the f stop? Why the highest? This will prolong the exposure time endlessly? Should I not try to keep the exposure time and ISO as low as possible and the only thing left for me to change would than be the f stop?

Why would I need a ND filter? That would prolong the exposure time even further? I have even been thinking of the stacking process- many exposures but much shorter times?

Sorry for these many questions but the images today were fascinating and as said I wonder how to do them with digital...
Thanks for your input!
STef.
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Offline Clive

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Re: Very long exposures with digital cameras?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2008, 07:27:46 PM »
Stef. I went to high f stop and low ISO because I was trying to max the time for the wave effect. Was bright enough that I had to do this for the long exposure...so obviously brighter than full moon. 

I'd think an f8 or f11 would be adequate under a moon. For one thing you do want big DOF. As for ISO...hum. I guess it is a matter of testing. Naturally noise will be an issue.

If it is clear tonight (and not too too cold or windy), I'll see what I can find out. No slobbering grizzly bears across the street! :( Just things that go bump in the night. ;)

Will try to shoot some snow and trees with no influence of street lights. Will advise.

Edit: Not happening today. Moon not up till 9:30 PM and won't be bright enough till midnight AND it is very windy here today and tonight.  
« Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 07:54:51 PM by Clive »
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Offline Fud

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Re: Very long exposures with digital cameras?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2008, 08:19:35 PM »

I'd think an f8 or f11 would be adequate under a moon. For one thing you do want big DOF. As for ISO...hum. I guess it is a matter of testing. Naturally noise will be an issue.

 

I remember in one of the photo magazines they recommended F8-F16 for photographing the moon.
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Offline d7d (aka Ronin, aka Shot by scott)

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Re: Very long exposures with digital cameras?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2008, 08:31:27 PM »
Long exposures (say, 30 seconds) with the 7D were impossible as the heat from the battery "exposed" one corner of the image--when it was cool at night.

Interesting I never saw that before. I have done a lot of exposures up to 5 minutes but not much longer and never had this problem.

P.S. http://www.enjoyyourcamera.com/Sony-Accessories/MQ-TC4-Timer-LCD-Remote-Control-Remote-Cord-for-Sony-Alpha-RM-S1AM-a100-100-a700-700-and-Minolta-Dimage-7D-5D::869.html
is a nice toy for just exactly what you want to do

Offline Clive

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Re: Very long exposures with digital cameras?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2008, 08:47:01 PM »
The corner heating was in cold weather. Was some discussion somewhere else....two years ago.
Enough of a temp gradation across the sensor to have an effect...had to be cold.

This is a flashlight "painting" BTW....

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Offline Simon [aka springtide]

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Re: Very long exposures with digital cameras?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2008, 09:14:06 PM »
Hi Stef,

Haven't done any long exposured at night with the A700, but did them in the daytime

So here you go,


LARGE@ http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2032/2190659226_5c11382230_b.jpg
FULL@ http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2032/2190659226_76c5bc27cd_o.jpg (if you want to pixel peep!)

Camera: Sony DSLR-A700
Exposure: 341 sec
Aperture: f/18
Focal Length: 11 mm

Yes on the 7D, the noise created within a 4.5 mins exposure would have been terrible (lots of red and green pixel spots everywhere). 
About 60 secs I thought was the limit of the 7D.  The A700 is pretty good I think.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 09:24:50 PM by springtide »
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Offline Gordon McGeachie

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Re: Very long exposures with digital cameras?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2008, 09:56:28 PM »
I read threads a while ago about long exposures ont he 7d, and was put off trying as they said the sensor will overheat and cause damage, but after seeing these results I will give it a try.

If it damages my 7d,I will argue with the other half that the purchase of the A700 is much needed, then think about getting the 7d repaired.
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Offline Rob aka [minolta mad]

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Re: Very long exposures with digital cameras?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2008, 10:06:51 PM »
Have taken several IR images of 45-60 seconds on the 7D with no problems.
45 secs on some of my sunset pics was about the limit before the noise became more of a problem. I am looking forward to seeing the results on the A700 when i finally get out.

Rob

Offline Gordon McGeachie

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Re: Very long exposures with digital cameras?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2008, 10:16:49 PM »
Thanks Rob.

You all have put my mind at ease.

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Offline Clive

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Re: Very long exposures with digital cameras?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2008, 10:19:37 PM »
Thanks springtide. How did you manage a 5+minute exposure at f18?

Ooooh...major ND filter perhaps.

Damn I want to try a moonlighted scape --  and it is howling outside. It is above freezing but gusting to 60 kph! Send the Manfrotto and a700 a flyin' .. yikes.
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Offline d7d (aka Ronin, aka Shot by scott)

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Re: Very long exposures with digital cameras?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2008, 10:26:42 PM »
Hoya make and ND 400 but they aren't cheap and very hard to find. but if you can find on you can extend your exposure by 9 stops from memory

Offline Rob aka [minolta mad]

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Re: Very long exposures with digital cameras?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2008, 10:29:11 PM »
Thanks springtide. How did you manage a 5+minute exposure at f18?

Ooooh...major ND filter perhaps.


Yes, he's got a 10 stop ND filter !!!



Rob

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Re: Very long exposures with digital cameras?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2008, 10:29:11 PM »