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Night shot: Canon XTi needs light before shutter will open in 'Bulb?'

Dec 29, 2007 8:18 PM

I am spending my first 24 hours with my new camera and noticed that in 'bulb' and in manual mode at night that the shutter will not open unless there is light sensed by the camera. I can push the button down but nothing happens until I point the camera toward a street light or other light.

How do I override the need for light to get the shutter to open? Doesn't 'Manual' mode mean that you can operate the camera without interference from automatic features? I want to start dark with the lens open and then move the camera to an area where there is light, to get a 'painted' effect I am after.
 
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    Dec 29, 2007 9:05 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    It should work fine in manual mode without sensing light as far as i know. are you sure it isnt trying to get focus first,and wont allow you to shoot till it confirms focus? switch it on manual focus,and see if it still stops you. here is a shot i did tonight on manual using flashlights to light this scene. good luck with it. <br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?picture=1H4aggdI3SG3UmJbfc34g QjooHp5vn1" /></a> <img alt="Picture hosted by Pixentral" src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1H4aggdI3SG3UmJbfc34gQjooHp5vn1_ thumb.jpg" border="0" />
     
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    Dec 30, 2007 7:04 AM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    I think Donald is on the right track here. Try turning off the autofocus.

    Nice shot, Donald :)
     
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    Dec 30, 2007 9:50 AM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    Thanks Rick. i bought two -million candle spotlights to expand my light painting ability.
     
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    Dec 30, 2007 1:21 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    Thanks, manual is just the exposure part of the picture taking. you can still be on either autofocus or manual focus in any shooting mode. i choose manual focus for dimly lit scenes,because i have seen autofocus hunt in the dark,or pick the wrong thing to focus on. just remember to witch it back on, for most shooting.
     
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    Dec 31, 2007 7:58 AM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    i Very useful.

    And very clumsy! I lost count of the number of missed shots because I twitch in the finger, or a slip in position defeated it.

    Damn, I miss the OM-1!

    Really nice, Donald. Two million candle spotlight or 2) one million spotlights? Whose? I'll be faced with similar problems fairly soon.
     
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    Dec 31, 2007 8:45 AM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    Larry, thanks, i bought 1- 1 million and 1-two million spotlight by garrity corp. they say they are good for 25 minutes, but that always seems optomistic. so far i have been able to shoot whatever i want in one evening shoot using the two units. they say not to use them constantly on, but i use them in bursts from 20 seconds to a minute or so at a clip. it really is dependant on your subject distance, how much juice you will need. the barns were at roughly 60-90 feet away,and i usually shoot around f11. i would get two- 2 millions if i did it again. they are not twice as bright,but somewhat brighter.

    When i first got them,i tried to make all kinds of diffusion to make the beam wider/softer, and i accomplished it,but it either was nice soft light, for closer stuff, or it knocked the thing back too far. they are actually perfect for when you get outside and do buildings or whatever. i usually hit my subject and move fairly quickly all over it,to give a softer ovrall effect,because if you pause in one region too long it has more of a spotlit effect, which can be cool also. If you want to use them for interiors, i found using a can of rustoleum- frosted glass spray paint on plexiglass, gave me a good balance of power and softer light.

    Here is a link to their site. i have the S700,and S900G. I paid 28.95 for the 2mill,and 19.95 for the 1mill. I think with a little practice you could actually light interiors with these. i bought a two headed leash clip,so i can hook them to my pants beltloop to walk hands free.

    http://www.garritylites.com/page79.html
     
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    Dec 31, 2007 4:18 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    Donald if you want a powerful diffused light a white surface such as an illustration board ora shiny surface such as a foil board facing the subject at an angle toward the light source which would be facing away from the subject would give you a fairly well diffused light.

    Or you can use your flash units in the same way and do multiple pops with multiple exposures and you can achieve even more control as you can vary the output of the flash or portable strobe. O f course if you had several strobes and or flash units you can achieve even greater control.

    And if you had access to the property they could be placed at varying positions within in the frame of reference.

    I just photographed the New Museum here in New York and wanted t iluminate the Bowery Street sign on the lamppost in the foreground and use a simply hand held flash to do so for both daylight and dusk shots.. It worked treat!

    But I am pleased that you are making progress in developing your techniques in this area.
    Now to get you to photograph more substantial compositions rahter than matter of fact.
     
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    Dec 31, 2007 5:14 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    My current work really shows what I mean but I cannot post until after publication but I can send you an example.

    wzphoto (at) verizon (dot) com
     
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    Dec 31, 2007 5:25 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    So far as composition is concerned, just remember Weston's remark:

    "Composition is the strongest way of seeing".
     
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    Dec 31, 2007 6:46 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    Didn't work for me either.
     
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    Dec 31, 2007 7:20 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    Sorry (dot) net! <br /> <br />Here is an older example truly focuses on the subject and context. <br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?picture=12qCOVj4bjRsU8fDU1Mhy CWLIpff0" /></a> <img alt="Picture hosted by Pixentral" src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/12qCOVj4bjRsU8fDU1MhyCWLIpff0_th umb.jpg" border="0" />
     
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    Dec 31, 2007 7:44 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    Here is another and I am now heading out. <br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?picture=1mYBbtfgBe9D7i3v9sWGd wyDLaU4Lj1" /></a> <img alt="Picture hosted by Pixentral" src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1mYBbtfgBe9D7i3v9sWGdwyDLaU4Lj1_ thumb.jpg" border="0" /> <br /> <br />This is my bent on what some of you might do differently you would say find fault with the ceiling and beams and eliminate it that would then limit either the view or the fireplace and then you would focus on one or the other and eventually there is no substance just object. <br /> <br />It could be anywhere in any room in any house in any location and you would eventually say less with less or if I see what you see correctly you would limit the experience for fear that you might do or say something objectionable. <br /> <br />I just notice that on this forum the only one I say does not do this is Shep who is not frightened about making a statement and tell what he feels about the subject. <br /> <br />I know it is much easier to criticize an opinion or an expression than it is to quest the matter of fact approach but it also lacks the substance of what one is capturing.
     
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    Jan 1, 2008 12:59 AM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    I really don't understand what you are trying to say, Wade. It seems you are criticizing a possible critique and anticipating the result.
     
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    Jan 1, 2008 7:15 AM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    I am not sure exactly what he means either. if i were to shoot that barn in a wide view, you would see a huge warehouse in the distance and a major highway right behind it. I dont know of a way to change the way one sees or interprets a scene. its just the way i see things and whatever style i have or dont have is hard wired into me i think. I took a friend along one day and he found several compositions he was proud of, and i did not like many of them when i looked through the camera. I know what i like and dont like, but i cannot shoot something that does not feel natural to me, so you could say i am not seeing the subject in its context,but i dont even get what that means. does in its context mean, shooting a wider shot to focus less on my subject and more on its lay upon the land? if so, like i said that would reveal way to much junk in this locale.
     
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    Jan 1, 2008 8:45 AM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    Don't let Wade or anyone else get into your head about such things, particularly without supporting comments. I get only vague generalities about his POV.

    If I were standing at exactly that place in your shot,Donald, I would carefully decrease the focal length and supply a bit more breathing room to that shot. But as you indicate, there may not be that extra space.

    Another trick (but more difficult here, due to the hand held lights) is to carefully move back and forth along the shooting axis and change the F/L to keep the basic composition.

    But I think you already have a fine eye, one that has grown in your work and will continue to grow.

    Happy New Year.
     
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    Jan 1, 2008 10:28 AM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    Thanks larry. this location is very limited in its angles.to many extraneous items to detract that are just off camera. the one problem i run into with the spotlights is not being able to shine them at harder angles to the camera when i am by myself, so unless i am doing 60 sec exposures,i am generally at the camera, because it gets tiring running around in short exposures. an assistant to fire the camera helps. actually, i think the place does offer more potential if we get snow,because it would provide some more angles that i currently dont like due to it including just grass. here is a wider shot i did,but am not crazy over the grass. <br /> <br />This property has been sold in the last month,and they are going to dismantle it,and move it to another location. it will be totally restored and reassembled in the new location,were it is slated to become an ag teaching facility,were people can learn farming heritage and what not. that is why i am on a mission to capture it before it is gone from here. <br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?picture=1pbXWgYGB1FmW73XwxUJd u1zqQ12S" /></a> <img alt="Picture hosted by Pixentral" src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1pbXWgYGB1FmW73XwxUJdu1zqQ12S_th umb.jpg" border="0" />
     
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    Jan 1, 2008 11:04 AM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    Good for you, Donald.

    If it is to be dismantled, I would strongly urge you to widen out and deal with the environment on which it presently resides, and back off a bit on the primo shot. Really document it, warts and all!
     
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    Jan 1, 2008 3:18 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    I would love to hear some explanation of how he thinks i could do better. at that location,you have a small pond which reflects the image, and if you back up to include the whole pond,you end up going downhill till you have no reflection,which is the main shot with this place. i can understand the concept of placing the subject in its surroundings,but i think the structures are quite interesting and detailed and choose to focus my efforts on capturing them. if i go wider,i get a set of trailers, a highway,a warehouse etc. i know if i get snow,there are a few angles that will be wider,yet cleaner,but i just dont feel like making grass in winter take up half my shot as is the current look.

    I am open to any different ideas that are offered, and we all see things differently.of the two shots wade posted,i really like the cityscape alot, but the interior does nothing for me. i am not crazy about the wall on the left,and the room just does not have an inviting feel to it for me. it reminds me the owners were just getting their furniture out for the season,and were not finished yet. i think it needs a foreground element,and as i look at it,i wonder why the chair would be so far from the fireplace,and be on the corner like that?but there again,thats my impression only.
     
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    Jan 1, 2008 3:30 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    Well let me put it this way the overall general concern that many or perhaps most photographers have when a capturing imagery and developing their composition is an irrational concept of purity and perfection. They immediately eliminate all so called distractions and isolate their subject and hollywoodize the subject visually to the point of unrealistic heights in other words they transform the subject from the time space continuum to another dimension or portray it as phony triteness.

    Look how perfect the subject is I made it look better than it really is then if that be the case why not pick a subject you respected in the first place. Commercially the rationale is I am making the product as appealing as possible and I say you are making as unbelievable as possible.

    Such as Donald did with the Farm Building under the guise of preserving its historic integrity which he is not doing by trying to disguise the true circumstance of the context and imply that that this structure was out in some pristine farmland which it is not and probably never was in such a situation.

    If you ever worked in an ad agency or design studio you will see how they go to such length to reinvent the world just for the sole purpose of proving how deceitful they can really be.

    And then of course they go on the weekend to March on Washington for Truth and Justice.

    I know I am going over board but for a reason.

    You can memorialize something but the danger here is that you leave out a more important and powerful message. Even when you isolate the subject there is still context to be realized and expressed and if you think about it and rid the task of all the don'ts then you can see a clearer image a far more dynamic way of expressing the subject.

    Probably the warehouse Donald refers to could have added a dimension he simply overlooked, he clearly indicates he was fearful of bringing it into the composition.

    But even at that the composition is lacking in reference to any time or space there is no way to even know if this is even a real structure and then he went and photographed it at a time when the coloring of light made it look unrealistically ideal. Not exactly the stated goal of presenting it as an historic record.

    Nothing wrong with Donald's approach but there is so much more to be had!

    IMO!
     
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    Jan 1, 2008 3:53 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    I can see were you are coming from, but for me photography is an expression of how i feel about a place. i never said i was recording the place as a exact record,but i merely want to try to give the place the dignity that it deserves. the original builders obviously had not only building skills,but artistic skills to lay it out the way they did. Reality is meaningless to me, and i offer images as i want them to end up. You see it a hollywoodizing something and i see it as removing all the crap that man has ruined it with. maybe you enjoy the esthetics of telephone poles,wires and truck trailers, but they are just things that i feel detract from this lovely structure. I do have a streak of perfectionism in my personality, and its extremely hard to go against your own inclinations, for me anyway, so i guess we just approach things differently, and thats a good thing i guess.
     
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    Jan 1, 2008 4:34 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    I still can't get in I simply get the Verizon home page.

    Seems as if you have the corner on authenticity, Wade. Have you been to that site?

    How do you account for differences in photographic materials? Which is the best? Why? How about 3D? Motion? 360 degree coverage?

    The photographer has choices to make. The most important one of all compositionally, is where to put the edges.

    Your pov works well for you, and that's the way it should be. Striding into a thread and hijacking it to overlay your compositional discount factors on someone who posted an image to show a use of a lighting fixture is odious and unacceptable.

    So Ken, does the camera work ok now?
     
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    Jan 1, 2008 6:13 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    >How do you account for differences in photographic materials? Which is the best? Why? How about 3D? Motion? 360 degree coverage?

    Al of these offer a different ability to express a subject and has time has proven that they have not replaced one another except for 360 i=which is not a part of the category.

    3D has technology development in front of it and motion does not offer the viewer a way of studying the the subject in the same way as still photography does but does offer a very good alternative. It also might need some more development which it is getting.

    Documentation is not the focus here but Donald's response is a very good one and shows that he does understands. In case you are interested Lawrence that is a far cry from the response i might have gotten a or two ago.

    As I was really encouraging Donald to go further because i think that will open up the possibilities for him and Ken is is interested in discussing the issue as well.

    Donald you are correct there is nothing about your desire to express things in a certain way, that's what makes you what you are but the inhibition to develop it further is something you might like to think about of course I speak from my own point of view.

    I think the fact that you showed here a lot os smarts in the way you lit the subject and took control of it to be also a big step forward and not allow yourself to be tied to a technique you were using to control what you do.

    >So Ken, does the camera work ok now?

    Lawrence you remind me of a incident in my drawing class and the teacher was Charles Cajori and after a year of interacting with a few of the students who had a hard time relating to what he had to tell them he was engaged in a conversation about a drawing with perhaps the student who had the most difficult time understanding and I heard the response from the this student something like this"yes I see what you mean, I see how the negative space between the shapes have an impact on the composition and relative spatial qualities and that every time one adds to the composition this these shapes and lines have a relative effect on the rest of the composition and this now makes the spatial relationship different as well and then perhaps one has to now look at the negative space and rethink how the shapes are relating to each other. And Cajori say that's cool you really do understand now! And the student responds and says so you think I should move the vase over an 1/8 of an inch?

    And Cajori throws his hands up in the air in defat!

    And he looks at me and says its the last class of the year. And smiles.

    Some people never get it.

    But Donald does get it. It is not something Donald has to do anything with unless he decides this is something it has meaning to him at the time.

    But it is good that he sees the possibilities, remember Lawrence at one time selling his images was a bit foreign to him as well even though he wanted to do so!

    And I think Ken will benefit from discussing compositional approaches as well. I know I always do I love the technique of using those lights I think that was either your idea or Ramón's. I usually use a flash but I will consider the lights Donald is using.

    I think Linda would find them interesting as well.
     
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    Jan 1, 2008 7:08 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    Ask Ken what he does for a living.

    There is a huge amount of presumption going on here, or there has been some activity of which I am not aware. Is this Photograpy 101 here in this forum? Are you the designated teacher, the anointed one?

    Your little story about the drawing class put you in the position of being the purist, Wade. I am completely at a loss to understand the connection to the question I asked Ken. I was simply attempting to get the subject back on track. Of course, you can now smile knowingly, throwing up your hands in "defat" and say "he doesn't get it".

    Painting with hand held light goes way back. You will find it in Adams Basic Photography, Book 5 I believe. He found an interesting tool to implement that technique.

    P in P
     
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    Jan 1, 2008 7:08 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    I understand using spotlights might be a bit out there for people who light things for a living, but i find them great for places were electric is not available,plus my light source is not even in the photo. when i think of trying to use portable flash to do this, there is no match to the spots power, unless the flash is up close to the subject. getting f11 at 60 ft with a portable flash is impossible,plus the spill onto everything else would be hard to stop.
     
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    Jan 1, 2008 7:59 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    What Adams used were studio floods, on power cords. He illuminated a church interior by opening the shutter and walking around, being careful to never stop, thereby precluding a human shadow in the image, and also being sure to never point the light at the lens.
     
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    Jan 1, 2008 8:31 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    >I understand using spotlights might be a bit out there for people who light things for a living, but i find them great for places were electric is not available,plus my light source is not even in the photo. when i think of trying to use portable flash to do this, there is no match to the spots power, unless the flash is up close to the subject. getting f11 at 60 ft with a portable flash is impossible,plus the spill onto everything else would be hard to stop.

    I like Donald's idea.
     
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    Jan 2, 2008 12:04 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    LOL!
     
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    Jan 2, 2008 1:40 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    Ken I am going to take offense to anything and everything anyone has written here regardless of its content and or intentwell not really!

    Lawrence might be laughing now but just you waitI'll be Bach!

    Which reminds me I want to buy an album, btw I have tickets to hear my favorite soprano
    Angela Gheorghiu at the Met in La Boheme at the Met.

    The last time I went to the Opera to hear the same soprano in La Traviata a beautiful young lady tried to pick me up but her father intervened mostly because she was four years old.
    She tought I was handsome and wasn't at all afraid to tell me so.

    The kid was a doll! I suspect she will be an opera star.

    But one can learn from her you have to explore the possibilities in order to find out what works and what doesn't and just because it doesn't work now it might work at some other time and I think Donald will see that in the future if he finds he can take advantage of it.
    Ken can as well I might add that ken has shown photographs of his previous pet if I am not mistaken and he like Hopper photographs pets very well.

    I used to be a graphic and industrial designer as well. Study graphic design in high school mostly painting at Cooper Union with some design and film making never studied formally photography. Though I ran the darkroom as the a student teacher assistant. The dark room was run by the Film Instructor and he is now legendary, very nice guy named Harry Hurwitz. He also promoted the idea of the bigger picture.
     
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    Jan 2, 2008 3:02 PM   in reply to (Ken_Nielsen)
    Wow. What a thread. And, I just stopped by to find out where Donald got his lights from! Looks like I ended up in a Hatfield and McCoy gathering. Yikes! :<)

    I'm slowing backing out, now........if I'm careful, no one will notice I'm here.

    Whew!

    Al
     
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