Advice needed for exposure setting... helicopter ride over Vegas
Posted 16 November 2006 - 02:09 AM
I have a Sekonic flashmate and can take some measurements on the street first... should I just set it for a stop or two lower than ambient street levels to keep the neon from blowing out? Or should I shoot for more details and let the neon blow out? Or is there even more to consider?
Posted 16 November 2006 - 02:51 AM
Vegas is pretty bright at night, and I've never shot it, so I have no reference for what you should shoot it at.
But having done a night shoot recently on a building that has about 1/8th the lighting of a Vegas building, I wouldn't be surprised if you had to close it down to a 5.6 or 8 even.
Posted 16 November 2006 - 03:59 AM
You could grab your film SLR and shoot a couple of shots and get a 1 hour development. See what you like.
Edited by Gavin Greenwalt, 16 November 2006 - 04:00 AM.
Posted 16 November 2006 - 04:46 AM
Posted 16 November 2006 - 05:20 AM
Posted 16 November 2006 - 03:32 PM
Posted 20 November 2006 - 07:28 PM
1] The helicopter was loaded down with 6 passengers. The pilot told me the only seat where I'd get a direct view of the whole strip was on the left in back because of the flight plan. He was right, but I was sandwiched in with 3 really big guys so my mobility was basically zero. I had my own window but couldn't use it because I couldn't move my head far enough away from it to put the camera in front of me! A vertically arranged camera like a Bolex would have been much better for that reason, but I wanted to shoot super 16mm so my two choices were my Aaton (huge) and the K100 that I took.
2] The thing shook at about 4 Hz, sometimes viciously, sometimes not so bad. I had to hold the camera in very peculiar ways to diminish the movement, and I chose 64 f/s (fastest on that camera) to reduce the vibration down to 1.5 Hz so it wasn't so nauseating. I opened up to 1.4... my reflected meter readings told me that should work... I did multiple measurements on the street in preparation for the shoot. There was still some post-sunset sky light that helped out.
3] Helicopters are extremely fast. I thought the pilot might hover a bit when approaching some of the big buildings but just as I would raise the camera to begin shooting, we cruised right past a lot of the best shots. Also, I was busy winding my brains out (64 frames really chews up the spring) a lot of the time. I got lots of nice shots but I wished I had a small electric camera like a super 16 modified Scoopic instead.
Posted 21 November 2006 - 06:18 AM
Don't bother about the neon lights and doing measurements - they're highlights and are supposed to be overexposed (= bright). It's the dark
areas in between you want to see that gives it scope, and they never are bright enough.
My personal mantra is: there is no such thing as an overexposed nightscape.