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Harlech Castle

By WeeGeordieLass    
I wanted to show the castle when it was lit up at night and also show as much detail as possible.

I took the shot just after the lights came on and before it got too dark, as I wanted to have some colour in the sky.

I'd be grateful for any opinions and advice please.

Thank you very much


Tags: General Architecture

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


ams99 Junior Member 7 65 9 England
29 Mar 2012 7:07PM
I love the way the castle is lit up and can't help but feel it would make a striking contrast if the sky was darker. More "night black" as opposed to blue. Cracking shot though.

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ams99 Junior Member 7 65 9 England
29 Mar 2012 7:09PM
With a couple of stars and moon thrown in too...... Tongue
saeidNL 8 3 Netherlands
29 Mar 2012 7:21PM
Love the lighting and comp of this images,
chensuriashi Plus
11 281 17 England
29 Mar 2012 7:47PM
I think you were very brave to try an 8 sec exposure and got a nice, well lit sharp shot of the brickwork of an old castle with a flickering flag...Well caught I say...Congrats!! and this one could easily be used as a postcard shot for the Fort.

Seeing this one, and, if I was to say, for a critical comment, in hindsight of course, well I hope that you can try a re-shoot, or you may have done one anyway.

I would have shot it a little wider to show the forts true defenses in the gloom, just why it was built on the hill it is built on. Then, as the light slipped from the blue sky above the effect would have blown out the line of the battlements and blacked out the houses somewhat...Sure you could have seen it that way wonder if you have another to show us. Smile Chen.
netta1234 6 382 2 Wales
29 Mar 2012 7:54PM
I have seen this castle many times and been in a few ,but never seen it as nice as this
Lovely photo ,
29 Mar 2012 8:59PM
Hi Alan,

Quote:feel it would make a striking contrast if the sky was darker. More "night black"

Yes I think that would make an interesting variation - will try to get that shot next time.

Quote:With a couple of stars and moon thrown in too

Aaaawww you're such a romantic!! lol...........

Thanks for your opinion Alan
29 Mar 2012 9:01PM
Hi Saeid,

Thanks for taking the time to comment on my image - I'm glad you like it.


banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3892 Canada
29 Mar 2012 9:06PM
Hi Elaine,

Good effort at night shooting, and a good idea to get some light in the sky.

One of the main points to look out for with night shots, is that you generally need to expose for the bright lights, and in this, you are losing detail in the walls as the lights are a little overexposed. Youve tried to compensate with the -1, - a good idea also, but not quite enough. Since youre all set up, its well worthwhile to take a few shots, - one at perhaps 4 or 5 seconds may have hit the spot.

Loaded a mod thats underexposed compared to the original, - theres still nice light in the sky, but you can see better wall detail. BTW, a couple of dust bunnies on either the sensor or on the lens, can be seen in the sky.

Hope you find this helpful,


29 Mar 2012 9:10PM
Hi Chen,

Great idea about a wider view. I think that could be quite a dramatic shot.

I have a wider shot but it's not wide enough to portray the castle in it's surroundings as you describe. I can see the scene you're suggesting in my minds eye, and I'll try to do that next time.

Thanks for all your help.

29 Mar 2012 9:19PM
Hi Netta,

Thanks for your nice comment, and for taking the time to look at my shot.


29 Mar 2012 9:34PM
Hi Willie,

Thanks for your help. The mod is great - the detail in the brickwork is wonderful.

I have another version which I exposed for 3 seconds - It might be a little too underexposed, but I'll have a play around with it and see if I can get it to look a bit more like your version.

I spotted those "dust bunny" thingys on some of my other images today (didn't realise they had affected this image too - so thanks for pointing that out). I've contacted Nikon and am waiting for a quote to have my camera cleaned (I daren't try to do it myself!!).

You've been very helpful and I'll bear in mind exposing for bright lights in my next night time shot.


Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
29 Mar 2012 9:46PM

Quote:I've contacted Nikon and am waiting for a quote to have my camera cleaned (I daren't try to do it myself!!).

It's nowhere near as difficult as you might expect, once you find a method that suits you and by doing it yourself, over time, you'll save a small fortune. There's nothing worse than cleaning your sensor (particularly if you've paid for it) only to find that it's just as bad a week later.
Also, there's a possibility that the dust may be on the rear element of your lens, so it's worth checking that before you part with any cash. Sod's law dictates that that won't be the case but it's worth looking anyway.
29 Mar 2012 10:12PM
Hi Bren,

Actually there are some intructions for cleaning the low-pass filter (I think that is where the problem is - I've tried both of my lenses and the marks are still there), on the Nikon website.

I didn't read them, but now that you've mentioned it, I'm going to revisit that site and see if I can get my head around the instructions.


29 Mar 2012 10:31PM
Hi Bren,

Just had a look at the Nikon website and you're doesn't look too difficult - I'm going to have a try tomorrow.

Thanks for taking the time to help me.


Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
29 Mar 2012 10:38PM

Quote:I'm going to revisit that site and see if I can get my head around the instructions.

It's certainly something worth considering but I'd seek advice before you attempt it for the first time.
There was a thread on here not very long ago in which someone asked 'how do we all go about cleaning our sensors?'
There were loads of replies and it would appear that we've all got a favoured method, many of which would certainly be frowned upon by the cameras' manufacturers!
I'd imagine also, that there must be plenty of advice and/or recommendations online regarding how best to go about carrying out the cleaning.
I watched someone doing it professionally at 'Focus' a couple of weeks ago and he made it look easy and presumably, he was doing a good job. At the prices he was charging, I should hope that he was doing an absolutely excellent job!

Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
29 Mar 2012 10:44PM

Quote:I'm going to have a try tomorrow.

Good for you but as I've said, see what advice you can find online first.
Decide what tools you'll need for whichever method you settle upon, That kind of thing.
I won't tell you what I do to mine!
banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3892 Canada
29 Mar 2012 11:23PM
Ive cleaned my sensors many times, - its not too difficult. It is actually the low pass filter you are cleaning, not the actual sensor, which is behind the filter. They are not as easy to harm as you may think. Try a blower first with the camera in clean sensor mode (with a fully charged battery); then if you wet clean, have the right swab ready, the cleaning fluid, read the instructions, have the sensor well lit, and away you go. An alternative ti to go to a local camera shop, - many will do the cleaning at a reasonable cost, definitely faster that Nikon, and perha[s less costly.

30 Mar 2012 3:36PM
Hi Bren & Willie,

Just had a go at cleaning the low-pass filter with an air blower - it seems to have worked!

Thanks so much for your advice..................and saving me some hard earned cash!!!!


paulbroad 10 123 1249 United Kingdom
31 Mar 2012 5:04PM
A nice shot - well done. Possibly just a little less exposure to deepen the density of the lighting.

The dust is tiny and almost certainly sensor dust. Most dust only shows at tiny apertures. Take a shot of a white card at f22, or an area of blue sky at f22 - then look at the image magnified - that will tell you how dirty your sensor is.

I've cleaned the sensor twice on my 20D, never on the 40D or 7D. Change lenses as quickly as possible and have the new lens in one hand ready to go straight on as you take the other off - not as difficult as it sounds. Try not to change lenses outdoors in any wind. Always point the camera down as you change lenses to minimise dust falling in. Clean quickly round the lens/camera joint just before you change lenses. If you take care you will get very little dust in there in the first place.



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