Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Big Ben at Night

I took this picture in the pouring rain, around 7pm on a Friday night in London (obviously!). I set the Nokia N95 to Night Mode, and I think it came out really well-I love the lens flare from the clock and the street lamps.

Incidentally, it's been recommended that I use the Cloudy settings at night too-something I'll try on my next night shot.

Comments, as always, much appreciated.


sams2 said...

you need a tripod or rest your phone onto something. In nightmode, the shuttle will open for 1 second. For brighter sky, you can try pointing the camera to the night sky, pressing the shuttle button halfway until the you get green box (sometimes not possible in night mode). Keep pressing the button halfway and move the camera back to bigben and press the button all the way down.
Changing cloudy Wbalance will give you natural orange street light just like what your eyes see. The reason people use DSLR because they can adjust settings manually. Auto mode does not produce perfect photo all the time.

chandelirious said...

Thanks for the tips sams2, I'll give that a shot - I love taking night pics, but they never come out how I want them to.

Must try to find one of those Nokia phone tripods too!

Zeca said...

Like sams 2 said, night photos require quite some stability, on that photo shutter openned for 1/17secs, may not look much but is big enough to get blurry photos.

Depending on Nokia versions, you may have night mode or/and night portrait mode, if you have both use the last one to focus on close subjects and the first one to landscapes.

Hope it helps... night shots with the phone is quite tricky...

The trick sams2 said about pointing to the sky doesn't work very well because of 2 issues, one is the noise that mobile cameras have (N95 handles ISO 800 quite well for the sensor size) the other is that most phones (idk about N95) don't lock exposure metering with focus (half press on shutter).

Some recent phones (like N97) allow manual EV changes and ISO selection, but still lack manual exposure time, that would greatly enhance night shooting ability.

Oh, if you have the ability of focus when shooting at night, but you're having trouble locking into a subject, you can use the trick sams2 said and lock the focus on other thing at same distance with half press on shutter, re-compose photo, and then full press. Obviously this also works without night mode, and my prove useful for macro shooting in hard to focus surfaces/textures.

And another tip, either using a tripod or just holding your breath use a 2sec timer (if available, older phones don't have it) so that the movement of clicking the shutter button doesn't shake the camera.

chandelirious said...

Yeah, I often use the timer so that I don't have camera shake, I guess I didn't think about that when taking this one, or the other night mode.

I do sometimes focus elsewhere, then move onto the subject, but this doesn't always work out well.

I do have the ability to change the exposure settings, but not the exposure time - which is a shame, I'd love to get some of those trailing light shots.

Never mind, I will continue with what I know, and with the info and advice that you've been giving me!

Thanks for looking!

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