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Blackpool illuminations night time shots

im going to blackpool next month to see the blackpool illuminations
what camera settings should I use and tips to capture this.


  • use a tripod
  • what camera settings would you suggest.
  • I had to look up what the blackpool illuminations are. I would advise for starters seeing if you can find web suggestions or the like for Christmas lights, as that will be very similar.

    Just what you want to set at will vary, but (tripod mandatory for sure) it will depend a little on what effects you want. There would appear to be many lights, but if you're not careful you may find yourself overexposing, as the camera's meter will try to make the black background gray, and will, as a consequence, treat the lights as specular highlights and blow them out. If there is a lot of light, you may find you need to underexpose a little less than you would for Christmas lights.

    You're likely to blow out some bright lights anyway, but try not to end up with too much overexposure of the lights themselves.

    I would start with a medium aperture, auto ISO off always for this, a low ISO, and a shutter speed that gives good exposure. On a tripod shutter speed will be of little importance unless things in the picture are moving. You will probably need to disobey the meter recommendation, and underexpose some to keep the blacks black. If you shoot in aperture priority mode, you can use the exposure compensaton. If you shoot in manual, simply disobey the meter, but make sure auto ISO is off, or it will undo your work. The lower your ISO the less noise. If you're shooting in Raw mode, you can underexpose a little less sometimes, and lower the exposure in post, and get even less noise, but you must be careful you're not blowing highlights. The lights will be much brighter than the surroundings, and easily overexposed.

    Check the images and the histogram after a couple of shots to see if you're getting what you need.

    You'll probably have to use manual focus, and aim at some lights in the middle of your depth of field. AF may not be very reliable. But MF will fire whether it's in focus or not, so check your results to make sure you're getting it right.
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