Back Modifications (4)
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London Town

By AndyPedant
Taken from Westminster Bridge at about 21.00. Original was cropped to give a widescreen effect.
Not really sure what I wanted to achieve, other than I love low light/night photography.

Tags: Landscape and travel Night and low light

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25 Sep 2020 3:23AM
WinkGreat night photo. I think your crop does achieve some of the pano'effect you want. The color is rich, picking up,the night colors.

GeorgeP 15 62 26 United States
25 Sep 2020 4:03AM
I really like this shot - the subject and the colours. It is an interesting composition and I think your crop achieves your objective of a panorama effect. I am struck by the "fuzziness" of the starbursts on those lights. I would like the rays to be thinner and to be pin-sharp. I wonder if your choice of f/22 (from the exif data) is the problem. It looks like you may have some diffusion here. I recall reading somewhere that anything beyond about f/11 is wasted with digital sensors. Not sure if it is true, but I wonder if that might be the problem here. (And, since we're nit-picking, maybe a slight adjustment to make that building on the right vertical with the right margin . . . ?)
25 Sep 2020 7:52AM
George P - many thanks, a very interesting point. I wasn't aware of anything over f11 may not be advisable. I was certainly shooting at f22 to get the starburst effect. I'll have a trawl through other pics I took that night to see if I took any round about f11. (I'll also take a look at the building on the right - something I hadn't noticed I must admit)
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.4k 2543 United Kingdom
25 Sep 2020 8:01AM
I agree with George, F22 is well beyond the range for optimum image quality. It also occurs to me that there may be the effects of road vibration, particularly given the length of the exposure and the fact that it was taken from the bridge.

I suspect that taking this a few hours earlier, after sunset but before total night sky, would have given the lights without the need for quite such a long exposure or increased ISO. (F11 would also help in that respect).

Welcome to the Critique Gallery, I hope you'll find it useful. Team member with more night photography experience will be along here in due course. I'm about to start packing the car for a journey, I'll be back here later!
sawsengee 16 6 41 Malaysia
25 Sep 2020 8:04AM
Hi Andy, I too like night photography and you have taken a wonderful pic. I have taken a few pointers from your shot and made a modification as a result of my observations and adjustments:
1. As George pointed out, f22 nightshot is a "waste" of depth of field because the lens suffers a light fallout in that small aperture, f11 or even f8 would be sufficient for light to enter the sensor and sharpness & dof are maintained (dof is not an issue here as your scenery was a distant flat plane);
2. the ISO 500 you used would not be ideal for an APSC sensor for night shot.....if you had shot at f8 or f11, you could effectively used an ISO 100 or 200 to reduce digital noise from your camera sensor, and this is event in the night sky of your original shot;
3. your sensor was not very clean with many dust bunnys (black spots) in your night sky and you have not attempted to clone them off;
4. noise reduction, slight white balance adjustment and taking off the distracting frame (just my opinion) resulted in my simple, humble modification.
Hope you like it.
Best wishes, ee. Smile
sawsengee 16 6 41 Malaysia
25 Sep 2020 8:33AM
Hi Andy again, If you had wanted to achieve a starburst effect on the lights,.......your 20 seconds exposure would not help because the light striking your camera sensor would burn a blur spot without achieving any defined sharp light edge. To achieve the ideal starburst, will depend on the following:
1. the blade formation of your lens;
2. a shorter exposure like 1 to 2 seconds max which you need to experiment with your lens to achieve;
3. f11 or f16 would achieve that but that would bring the question where Moira pointed out that an earlier shot with brighter skylight would be better suited to reduce the ISO.
Best wishes, ee. Smile
dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1950 England
25 Sep 2020 11:58AM
And welcome from me, too, Andy.

There can be various reasons for stopping down beyond the optimum aperture of a lens: greater depth of field, long shutter speed, and, as you say, getting a starburst pattern, which is generally more likely at smaller apertures. You can also get filters to do this, and I have several, one of which I may even have used in the last 30 years... You could also, I believe, add them digitally...

I like the picture, and as you said you have no particular objective, there's no doubt you've overachieved! It can be helpful to set a goal, so that you have a measure of success. In a limited way, the successful starbursts fulfil this.

Let's get the aperture thing in proportion: stopping down from full aperture reduces the effect of most lens aberrations, and so seems desirable, until you find out about diffraction - a reduction of quality because light acts weirdly going through small holes. It's most serious for very small sensors and short focal lengths - so much so that some compacts don't stop down below f/4, and mobile 'phones almost all work at full aperture all the time. It's less serious for full-frame cameras, more so for MFT, and APS-C sensors like yours come in the middle. There's no simple explanation, or formula, to apply to all lenses, because there are quite a lot of variables.

Looking forward to seeing more images, and learning more about you and your photographic aims...
25 Sep 2020 3:14PM
Dudler - many thanks for your comments. It's been a revelation joining this group; I've been a keen photographer for years but have only recently realised how much I enjoy low light / night photography. I thought I had it sussed, however, it looks like the phrase "life-long learner" is still highly apt.

As a by-the-by, I recently joined a FB group and the first comment I saw was a chap who didn't like his Canon standard lens "Cuz it was ****". I have recently left a FB group.
banehawi Plus
18 2.8k 4321 Canada
25 Sep 2020 3:34PM
Hi Andy..

Im arriving late, and all the good buffet is gone! You have already received a load of good feedback, not a lot left to say.

A bit about noise, - a long exposure like this may benefit with using the Long Exposure Noise Reduction option enabled. Use ISO 200 for the Fuji.

Saturation, dont overdo it it tends to smear colours once its pushed too far.

There are/may be a few small bits of dust on the sensor, I see some in thee sky, but could be wrong.I removed them in the mod.

You used manual exposure here, - try Aperture priority and see what comes up; you then have the ability to use exposure compensation plus or minus to fine tone the result.

The smaller aperture are often the realm of landscape photographers, with sharp lenses and needing depth of field to the far off horizon. That style of photography rarely includes lights that can reveal issues with diffraction.

I added exposure in the mod, reduced sky noise, reduced saturation so you can see the effect. I will add a second, blurry version to show what can be done other than sharpness.


dark_lord Plus
18 3.0k 826 England
25 Sep 2020 5:00PM
A late welcome from me too.

The technical stuff about aperture and so on has been well covered.
Night photography is greatdo and as we head into autumn it can be done at a reasonable hour.

Two things struck me on seeing this.
First, shooting earlier when there's still some deep blue in the sky gives a very appealing look, and avoids extreme contrast which allows more detail to be recorded. You'll also get better separation between the buildings and sky.
Secondly, it's very saturated, in fact some areas are oversaturated so if there's a camera setting where you can reduce that it would be useful. Additionally, keep an eye on it when processing the image, it's easy to overdo it.

For panoramics, consider taking two or three images and combine them in software, rather than cropping. You'll have a larger file so quality will be greater.
Saastad Plus
3 16 17 Norway
25 Sep 2020 11:25PM
Looks like most things already is said.
But there is also a very good article about night photo on the site here.
If you go too, How To: Techniques, and scroll down you will find.
There you will find things like composition, temperature of the light, and how to get the right exposure.

Good luck,
Arne Smile
26 Sep 2020 10:46AM
Arne - many thanks, I'll take a look later today.
paulbroad Plus
15 131 1294 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2020 7:02PM
Strong but just a touch soft. May be the f22, but even on a tripod there an be vibration. traffic, wind, foo falls and other effects that mean keeping the shutter speed down may be a better bet. 2.5 sec at f8 although many exposures can produce reasonable shots with different densities.

i assume you are releasing the shutter with te self timer or remote release. Never directly use the shutter button for long exposures.

3 Oct 2020 7:10PM
Paul Broad - thanks for the comment and I agree that f22 was probably too much. I was actually experimenting with increasing the starburst effect on lights and had read that the smaller the f-stop, the more pronounced it would be. Mind you, photography is one of those topics whereby there always appears to be a trade-off - and this was one of those cases!

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