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View of Dubai on Dhow cruise at night

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This is picture taken in Dubai on Dhow cruise at night. Used canon ixus camera. I want a critique on subject, composition and given the restrictions, how the photo has come out

Camera:Canon Digital IXUS 950 IS
Lens:5.8 - 23.2 mm (35 mm equivalent: 35.1 - 140.4 mm)
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:30 Mar 2012 - 6:09 PM
Focal Length:5.8mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/2.8
Shutter Speed:1/5sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
Metering Mode:Evaluative
Flash:Off, Did not fire
White Balance:Auto
Title:View of Dubai on Dhow cruise at night
Username:Anilgupta70 Anilgupta70
Uploaded:1 May 2013 - 9:11 AM
Tags:Dubai creek, Landscape / travel
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Unique Views:32
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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
paulbroad  8108 forum posts United Kingdom965 Constructive Critique Points
2 May 2013 - 8:50 AM

You have a serious camera shake problem which over rides everything else. Something in the image should be sharp and, even at ISO1600 you are at 1/5 sec. The camera must be supported at these slow speeds, tripod, wall top, something.


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pamelajean Critique Team 9942 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1764 Constructive Critique Points
2 May 2013 - 6:19 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Shooting a night-time picture from a boat (I assume it was moving) is a real challenge, Anil. Even experienced night photographers go through a lot of trial and error.
You say, "given the restrictions", but there lies the problem.
Nothing is in focus, the image is full of noise/grain, the lights are overexposed and, although the reflected lights are interesting, there is no real focal point. It would have been a good idea to wait until you passed an interesting building that had lights, one which reached up into the sky area, which is quite bland. You ask for critique on the subject and composition, but I see no obvious subject and therefore no composition either. I'm so sorry to be so negative.
I think this scene had a lot of potential, with its coloured lights and rippling water to distort the reflections. The time of night was good, it's when you tend to still be able to capture a bit of detail and colour in the sky. It doesn't have to be totally dark for you to have a try at night photography, and late dusk when there's still a little light left in the sky will give you scenes with less contrast as the light that's still in the sky will illuminate areas not lit by artificial lights.
A long exposure will generally be used for a night shot, for which you need a tripod. If your boat was moving, a long exposure would not be possible without blur.
The temptation is to use a high ISO, but the best thing is to stick to ISO100 or 200 and go for high quality and long shutter speeds, which will give you better quality pictures.
This type of photography is challenging, the results arenít always predictable, and experimentation is the key to success, so if you wish to take up the challenge, do it on dry land with a firm support for your camera. The unique images available using long exposures at night is a whole realm of photography that many people do not attempt, so you have at least given it a try.

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