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sportcoupe 09-03-2008 05:46 PM

Digital camera tips for night shots wanted
I searched but...........the search feature never has worked for me. It just sits there acting dumb.

Can someone give me tips for taking digital camera pictures of laser beams at night? My 1st attempt didn't come out too great. Leaving it set to "auto" was a failure.

Scog 09-03-2008 06:32 PM

Re: Digital camera tips for night shots wanted
Firstly, the flash is useless. Turn it off. Secondly, depending on how much manual control you have, try doing a long exposure at low iso. You will need a tripod or maybe sit the camera on something solid to keep it steady. Low iso will reduce noise in the image, and long exposure will give you enough light for the low iso. The whole thing rests on how steady you can keep the camera and laser. If you want to play around I suggest moving the laser around during long exposures and see what you can get.

RA_pierce 09-03-2008 07:35 PM

Re: Digital camera tips for night shots wanted
1. Use some sort of fog or smoke. But only a little. If it looks like a rain cloud squeezed into your house or you set the couch on fire, that's too much.
Just enough to bring out that beam.

2. Then, try shooting in low light.
Not complete darkness. This gives your camera enough light to auto-focus correctly and reduces the necessity for super long exposures. The lighting should be low enough that the beam is visible, of course. And obviously the smoke will help your efforts. I find that dusk/ dawn is best for outdoor beam shots (besides the fact that it just looks so pretty, the lighting is perfect).

3. A good camera helps. I use a sony cybershot 8mp. It's no SLR but it does the job, and well enough to satisfy me... until I can afford a better camera.

4. Keep the laser and camera steady... Mounted if possible.

5. If your camera has a macro setting (the button with the little flower) use that for close up photos.

Most of my shots that I take are taken without fog/smoke. But, my laser is bright enough that I don't really need to use fog.

Here's a few I took recently, just for fun :D

Hope this helps! :)

john_lawson 09-03-2008 07:41 PM

Re: Digital camera tips for night shots wanted
man scog quit teasing me with that groove pic :'( ;)

JaxSmirkingRevenge 09-04-2008 08:28 AM

Re: Digital camera tips for night shots wanted
Also, a big pointer is when you have your shot set up (camera focused and on the tripod or solid mount) -


I can not overstate how much better your long exposure pics will turn out if you let the timer do the shutter release for you. Just pressing the button will cause enough shake in the camera to perma-blur all of your shots. Long exposure shots are my favorites. I get some great effects with a little patience and the willingness to do it right.

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