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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any hints on taking nighttime pics in town with a compact digital camera?

I'm using a Pentax Optio S50 and was hoping to post a couple of shots of my commute over Tower Bridge in London for you guys, but I'm having problems getting the lights on the Thames. Do those of you who have posted pics use SLR type cameras or is it about settings?

TIA
 

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no SLR

i've been taking night time photos with a pocket sized digital. Mine has manual settings. I adjust the exposure time and the aperature and just take a bunch of shots while adjusting the settings. I don't have a tripod so i find something to set the camera on and I often use the10 second timer so the camera can stabilize itself before it captures the image.
 

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Only general advice from me.

Almost all of my "On bike" photographs are taken with a point-n-shoot Nikon, almost of my "Off bike" shots are with a fairly old Canon DSLR. I can't really tell you how to take a good photo with your camera but I can tell you how to take photos that other folks like.

First take lots and lots of photos. Edit them fiercely to find only the best. Then figure out what it was that you did to get those best photos.

Then do it again. Won't be long before everyone thinks you are a pretty good photographer.

MB1
Looking forward to seeing what you got.
 

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Big is relative
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Night shots are hard. I try to find a flat surface to steady the camera. I posted some night shots from San Diego that turned out well. I used a handrail to steady the camera since the exposure is so slow. Mostly I just do what MB says and take lots of pictures and delete 75% of them. I have a Sony digital that I run on internal memory. It has memory stick slots, but I find that setting up the format for VGA allows me to store up to 180 pictures on the internal memory. VGA allows me to directly post without resizing.
 

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N. Hollywood, CA
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fiddle with it

Hard to understand your question, really. I'm guessing you catch the brighter lights in the scene, but maybe it's the wispy reflections of light on the rippling water that eludes the shot?

I only use SLRs, but the advice is the same. Figure out how to set it to "night mode", which is a common automatic setting. Cancel the flash unless you *really* want to zap something bright (but that normally looks unnatural, and can unwittingly override other exposure settings). And if your camera has manual settings, follow the advice above and set shutter speed for multiple seconds, maybe 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds etc. In other words, give the light a chance to reach the film before the shutter closes (or whatever it is you do in a digicam).

If by chance you have aperture control too, try opening the aperture wide so that as much stray light as possible enters the lens. But a point & shoot probably doesn't have that much manual control. And you'd lose depth of field.

Some digi cams haven't perfected low light situations yet, and so very dim subjects tend to get lost in inky shadows. A situation where good film in an SLR with a 62mm diameter lens and a solid tripod will generally beat the digicam...
 
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