Saturday, October 13, 2012

Night Photography and Slow Shutter Speeds

I was recently on assignment in Nepal for a week and fortunately this time I had taken my tripod along , yes, a full height tripod, not one of those small 10 inch table top ones!

Most photographers, including me, are reluctant to take a full size tripod with them while travelling. The reasons are obvious – weight, length, lack of portability and a hassle to carry around. However, in some situations a tripod is invaluable as this photograph will show.

 NIkon D90, 16-85 VR lens at 20 mm, ISO 250, WB Auto, 4 sec at F/11 
I was walking one evening around 7 pm in the streets around Thamel heading back to my hotel after a long day’s shoot and yes carrying the tripod!  Near my hotel in a street intersection I found this temple.  I was able to put up my tripod at the corner of the street and was able to take a series of long exposure photographs. 

The beauty of this was that I did not need to crank up my ISO – it was set to 250 as normal. To get good depth of field I stopped down the lens to F11 and used matrix metering from the centre of the temple to set the shutter speed – I did not underexpose or overexpose. I took a series of six shots of which this was one of the better ones!

The same photograph could have been taken  technically, hand held,  by cranking up the ISO to say 3200, opening up the  aperture to say f3.5 and setting a speed of say 1/20 of a sec or so and hoping that VR would take care of the camera shake, but I doubt if the results would have been the same. I did not try it!

To see this shot in full screen and better resolution please do visit!i=2128239084&k=VndKWLM&lb=1&s=A

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