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Looking for improvement This is the e-group critique board. If you post a picture here it will be assumed that you are looking for comprehensive technical feedback - both good and bad, but always respectful. Only post pictures here if you can deal with potentially negative constructive criticism. Anyone is qualified to comment and post feedback, and everyone is encouraged to do so. NB: "Looking for Improvement" is the place to post any pictures you would like advice on improving, no matter how bad you might think they are.

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  #1  
Old 22nd March 2018
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London Skyline

I found a new vantage point for the London skyline that does not have telephone wires going across it. There is more traffic though so you have to time the shot more carefully as a brightly lit upstairs on a bus can completely ruin the shot.



The first issue was the exposure. Although it looked OK on the camera screen it looked overexposed when I got back to the computer by between 0.5 and 1 EV. Without adjustment the sky did not look black enough. Easily adjusted at exposure time by setting exposure compensation or using the exposure guide in manual mode but how do you tell in the field that you need this. I was using centre weighted metering, would ESP have been better? Is there a way to "clip" the blacks to get a black sky or I should I just mask it off?

The next issue was the anount of red which I had to reduce with the curves control. I'm guessing that most of this was from light pollution although some could have come from the over exposure.

Next was camera shake. The camera was on a sturdy tripod with little or no wind (although some passing cars). I was using a 2 second timer which I thought would be enough. With 12 seconds I could not judge gaps in the traffic. Image stabilisation was on. I've never had any trouble with IS and tripods before but I don't normally shoot at 1/2 second shutter speeds. Should I also go to an anti shock setting (the "diamond")? The image is definitely showing some shake along the 45 degrees angle.

There are also some red streaks in the picture at slightly different angles but all downwards from some red lights. Is this flare or they reflecting off buildings?

The shot above was 1/3rd second, F4, at ISO 1600 which seemed a good all round set of values without any being too extreme. Should I try at F5.6 to try and get a sharper picture? Oh, the 40-150 F/2.8 with 1.4x TC at full stretch.

I tried processing the picture in OV3 and got something acceptable but had better results from Photoshop Elements (PSE 12) using the Adobe Camera RAW that came with it and a curves plugin that I used to adjust the red curve to reduce the amount of red that was showing. PSE 12 image shown above.
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Old 22nd March 2018
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Re: London Skyline

Om I think being there in the blue hour is the thing to do.
Using a cable release or even a smart phone and app to trigger exposure.

Was it in focus?
Are you using MF as on a tripod I would be. The closest buildings seem to be sharper than the distant ones.

The last night shots I took were on my Sony RX100 (my daughter has my XZ-1) which does not have IS as good as I am used to even with the ZX-1

Shard and bus by Alf Branch, on Flickr
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Old 23rd March 2018
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Re: London Skyline

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Originally Posted by alfbranch View Post
Om I think being there in the blue hour is the thing to do.

Using a cable release or even a smart phone and app to trigger exposure.

Was it in focus? Are you using MF as on a tripod I would be. The closest buildings seem to be sharper than the distant ones.
Thank you for your thoughts Alf.

Unfortunately I can't time my shoot as I have to fit it in around other engagements that take me to that area.

I do have a cable release. I hadn't thought of that but assumed that a 2 second delay would be sufficient to stop camera wobble from pressing the shutter button. No app support on an E-M5 Mk 1.

I used both auto focus and manual focus as I believe its worth trying all the options you can. Unfortunately I can not tell which were manual focus as I used the clutch mechanism on the lens but the camera still records as S-AF.

Here is a 100% crop from the OOC jpeg.



Could I be getting traffic vibration through the tripod? Its difficult to know how sharp the picture is underneath the dancing light sources. Am I expecting too much from seven miles away?

One thing I have sorted (!) though are the red streaks in the sky. Its not me as as I see the same in Chris's entry in the "Bridges" competition.
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Old 23rd March 2018
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Re: London Skyline

I wish Oly would put the option of a focus scale in the viewfinder/rear screen.


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Old 11th April 2018
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Re: London Skyline

To my eyes, the image appears to have had a big jolt - with some prior vibrations - giving the lights in the image a "tick" shape (seen especially with the fainter lights which aren't over-exposed, but consistent in all lights). Your IS might not help here - maybe try turning it off ...

Other suggestions: underexpose in RAW (I think you already used RAW), and try stacking multiple images in your favourite image-processor :-)
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Old 11th April 2018
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Re: London Skyline

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Originally Posted by Kami View Post
To my eyes, the image appears to have had a big jolt - with some prior vibrations - giving the lights in the image a "tick" shape (seen especially with the fainter lights which aren't over-exposed, but consistent in all lights). Your IS might not help here - maybe try turning it off ... Other suggestions: underexpose in RAW (I think you already used RAW), and try stacking multiple images in your favourite image-processor
Thanks for your observations Kami. I was very dissapointed with those tick shaped jolts which is why I was asking for help. I now think it may have been some form of shutter shock made more pronounced by the subject choice as point light sources will easily show a jolt on a dark background.

I tried again with the 0 second anti-shock setting (and dialling in some underexposure to counter the red background glow) and got much better results. See this thread.
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Old 4th May 2018
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Re: London Skyline

Smaller aperture longer exposure ..the rule is 1sec at f8 and 100 iso or variations of the same for night shots.
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Old 4th May 2018
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Re: London Skyline

OM I use the anti-shock setting all the time, night or day. Is there a reason why you don't usually use it? any downsides to it?
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Old 4th May 2018
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Re: London Skyline

Quote:
Originally Posted by OM USer View Post
Thanks for your observations Kami. I was very dissapointed with those tick shaped jolts which is why I was asking for help. I now think it may have been some form of shutter shock made more pronounced by the subject choice as point light sources will easily show a jolt on a dark background.

I tried again with the 0 second anti-shock setting (and dialling in some underexposure to counter the red background glow) and got much better results. See this thread.
Anti-shock will make no difference for exposures longer than about 1/25s. The shock induced by the shutter dies down within about 20ms so any movement will happen in a very small % of the exposure time - so small so as to not be noticeable. Having said that, I can see no reason not to use 0s anti-shock as the default. There really is no reason not to use it. Electronic shutter would be fine too for exposures of this length - no risk of banding even with the artificial lights.

Whatever camera shake issues you have, I don't think it's shutter shock.
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Old 4th May 2018
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Re: London Skyline

You've not said where you were... Any chance you were on a bridge or overpass as they move far more than you think!

Also it could be the Tube giving you vibrations even through a pavement!
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Old 4th May 2018
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Re: London Skyline

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Originally Posted by Phill D View Post
OM I use the anti-shock setting all the time, night or day. Is there a reason why you don't usually use it? any downsides to it?
Thanks Phil. I did have it set but it may have cleared when I used a saved mySet and I didn't notice. I wish theer was some way to view (and edit) all your settings on your computer.

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Anti-shock will make no difference for exposures longer than about 1/25s. The shock induced by the shutter dies down within about 20ms so any movement will happen in a very small % of the exposure time - so small so as to not be noticeable. ...Whatever camera shake issues you have, I don't think it's shutter shock.
Thanks Paul. In "general" daytime photography I would definitely agree but when shooting point light sources in the dark I think the effect of shutter shock may not be overcome by the overall exposure to quite the same extent. It may not have been shuttershock - I went back another day (another night actually) and had no trouble. I'm very confused.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walti View Post
Thanks Walti. You've not said where you were... Any chance you were on a bridge or overpass as they move far more than you think! Also it could be the Tube giving you vibrations even through a pavement!
I was in south London on the pavement about a foot away from a road with cars and busses. No tube trains in this area. Its all a mystery.
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Old 5th May 2018
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Re: London Skyline

Quote:
Originally Posted by OM USer View Post

Thanks Paul. In "general" daytime photography I would definitely agree but when shooting point light sources in the dark I think the effect of shutter shock may not be overcome by the overall exposure to quite the same extent. It may not have been shuttershock - I went back another day (another night actually) and had no trouble. I'm very confused.
Yes, you're right. Point light sources will indeed leave a trail. However, shutter shock isn't usually of such a large amplitude as on your shot. Confusing - as you say
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Old 14th May 2018
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Re: London Skyline

Take a tripod with You and increase the shutter time.

Handheld, You will never get an optimal image at night or either have to increase the ISO to a very "unfriendly" value.
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