Christmas Eve Eve

Taken from Eiserner Steg on December 23, 2014.  1 second exposure with f/1.7.  Tungsten WB settings.
Taken from Eiserner Steg on December 23, 2014. 1.3 second exposure with f/1.7. Tungsten WB settings.

6 thoughts on “Christmas Eve Eve”

  1. shoreacres

    Merry Christmas to you, and many thanks for adding the settings information up above. I’ve got a new, better than p&s but not yet DSLR, camera, and am learning how to use it. I’ve discovered the best way right now is to find examples of settings, find them on the camera, and then give them a whirl.

    1. cliff1976

      Merry Christmas, shoreacres! I have found that it helps me to keep these settings visualized as sliders in my mind:

      1. area of light
      2. length of light
      3. sensitivity to light

      You use these tools to adjust those sliders:

      1. aperture
      2. shutter speed
      3. sensor sensitivity (ISO rating)

      The point is to get the right amount of light to hit the film electric eye. “Amount” here means not just how big the hole is, but for how long. You can mess with any one of those 3 settings at the expense of the benefits the other two provide:

      1. widen up the hole, so you can use a faster shutter speed (preventing operator jiggle), but lose depth of field (but maybe that’s also what you want)
      2. shorten up that exposure time, preventing jiggle, but you lose light, or have to widen the hole, and lose depth of field
      3. crank up the sensitivity of the sensor, so that you don’t have to compromise between depth of field and exposure time, but your overall image quality drops in term of graininess (and this seems to be most noticeable to the naked eye when shooting in low-light conditions)

      The 3 settings above have applied to photography since forever. Sensitivity manipulation on the fly — without having to change the roll of fim — is new to the digital photography era. The white balance (WB) is also something new I’ve had to learn. Each sensor seems to handle shade, incandescents, fluorescents, and bright sun slightly differently. Most of the time the presets work pretty well, so it’s easy to flip a switch when you head indoors or the weather changes, but I find that most of the time a custom white balance works the best for me. The incandescent setting usually over-compensates (indoor shots come out too blue), but on the auto setting, it’s all too orange without manual adjustment. Of course, the incandescent setting outdoors at night can have quite a nice effect, like here.

      There you have it — the technology of photography. The hard parts, in my opinion, are all in the creative aspects: setting, framing, message, curiosity-piquing.

  2. shoreacres

    Oh, my gosh! Here it is not even quite Christmas eve for us, and Santa’s come already! I have one free evening in a hotel ahead of me. I’ve saved and printed this, and will take it with me and mess around. Thanks ever so much — very kind of you.

    I’ll see if I can bring back a nice photo for you. :-)

  3. Doug

    Wonderful shot! We were almost there this week, but changed our plans to June.

    1. cliff1976

      Thanks, Doug!

  4. Steven

    Fantastic shot!

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