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fishinchicks

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I was out tonight taking pictures of my hubby running our flamer, and trying to get pictures. I was having troubles getting the settings correct to be able to get a decent shot. I was using my Canon XT Rebel on a tripod (try running through a cornfield at night with that!). Here is a sample of one I took while he was on the end rows.

2629403029_132dcca980_o.jpg

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I just looked at your EXIF data and it would be very difficult to get a clear shot with your settings. ISO 800 f5.6 and 1/10s shutter speed on aperture priority.

So how to fix that and get a sharper picture and one that is a bit lighter;

1. You can up your ISO to 1600 though I know on the Rebel you will have some noise issues.

2. Introduce external light, a flash for instance. I don't know if you have an external flash, the on board one will be difficult to control. You would need a wide setting on the flash or better yet multiple flashes for a large vehicle such as this.

3. The best option would be to shoot a bit earlier in the evening when you have a bit more light, yet the flame will show up nicely on the photo. Your photo was shot at 9:43pm try shooting around 8:30 to 9:00pm and see if that gives you a little more shutter speed and light on the subject.

You could also just set your tripod up high on a truck in front of the tractor and get a timed exposure of say 5, 10 or even 15 secs and get some cool light trails of it coming toward you. Or try the same thing off to the side. I always start at ISO 100, f10 and 10secs at night and go from there adjusting the exposure time to get the look I want.

If you use a timed longer exposure you could also take a flashlight or handheld spotlight and flash it over the tractor to paint it in with the light.

Don't be afraid to try any or all of these things, its free, its digital. I would love to see some of the results of a few of these experiments. One way to improve your skills is to constantly experiment and come up with ways to tackle a problem and get the shot you want. Good luck and ask away if you need more help.

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you will get better info than this but this is a start.

For settings what I have done was focus on one particular object in same lighting conditions and experimented with the settings.

On a picture like this you want to experiment when you want the shutter to open. I beleive you want the shutter to open earliar to let more light in before the picture accually is taken.

Wish I could be a bigger help, With these digatal camera's its easy for learning by trial and error. just take the picture erase try a differant setting until you get the result your looking for.

I forget most of what each setting does so I have to keep teaching myself over and over. Wish I had a photograghic memory. grin

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Thanks guys. It would be a lot easier if it wasn't a moving target! It would also help if I wasn't nervous about running around behind an LP tank with open flames in front of it. Something in my mind keeps telling me that this is really wrong!

This is the best one of the night, but he was lifting the nozzles, so it is kinda cheating. smile

2629508633_51fea3f369_o.jpg

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Dbl suggested some excellent advice.

If I was attempting the shot, here is what I might try...

put the camera on a tripod, choose auto exposure minus 1/3. Set your flash to slow sycn and fire as he goes by. Depending on his speed you may need to adapt. Perhaps choose rear shutter sync if it looks better... my guess is that it will. Depending how much sky you have in the composition will determine how the overall (auto exposure) will turn out. The more sky you have in the shot, the more you might have to tweak you exposure compensation.

That is where I would start... of course I am not implying this will be best, but it will give you somewhere to start from. With the rear shutter sync on the flash, you will get some very nice images once you balance out the flash and ambient (existing light) exposure.

Post your results please.

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An external flash is not something I currently have. Maybe it is time to invest in one?

Since the flames are aimed at the base of the corn, I can usually eliminate the sky if I focus on the flames.

I'll have to print up all the suggestions, and see what I can come up with. Hopefully he won't finish flaming before I can get out there again!

I should mention that I am intent on getting a shot to send to a PR company. They had planned on coming out today, but couldn't make it - so hubby said I would try to get some good ones. Thanks, dear! smirk

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Does your camera have a pop up flash? I shoot Nikon and each of the cameras I use has an on board pop up flash. Not a great one, but at least one. Does your camera have it? If it does, it will probably be enough to get the shot.

If you don't I might try, as a starting point, to do auto exposure with a plus 2/3 compensation. Especially if focusing on the flames.

As Steve said.... no pressure??!!

Enjoy the process. It's fun.

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I will agree - the process is fun! Although the two kids we have staying with us from New York think I am nuts. grin

We are currently in the hosting phase of a 4-H Interstate Exchange, so our county has about 25 guests from Pennsylvania and New York. During the free times we have had our two guests out experiencing farm life, including rides in the flaming tractor. Busy week, but I hope I can get out at dusk again.

I do have an on board flash, but haven't tried to sync the flash. I was concerned that the flash would light up the corn enough that you couldn't see the orange glow. I'll have to play with that.

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fishinchicks,

I can't help with settings, but I saw a shot not long ago like this. If you can get hubby to help set it up so you don't get run over!!!

The shot was taken from the front, maybe a couple feet off the ground and about straight on, far enough away that the complete tractor was included with some background, the flames were showing up below the the tractor , I don't remember seeing any head lights on on the tractor,probably earlier in the eve as Dan suggested.

MAKE SURE THE HUBBY KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE DOING, SO YOU CAN GET YOUR EQUIPMENT OUT OF THE WAY, !!!!

You should not be very close by the time you are done anyway, but it pays to be safe.

Just another angle on the shot.

Dan

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fishingchicks you are correct that the on board flash will not help you a whole lot, it just isn't strong enough to light a subject as large as you have. I honestly would take multiple flashes or strobes to make it look like....well it wasn't just a flash on a camera.

You mentioned the sky, use it to your advantage. Shoot earlier in the evening and use it as part of your composition. This would be a shot that will work best from a wider point of view I think. Include some of your surroundings so that a viewer has an idea what is going on.

Your fist shot is a bit tight and some folks will have no clue as to what is going on. Give them a sense of farm work and the surrounding area, the vast expanse of the field.

As Dan (DMN) said be safe, no picture is worth injury. I really can't wait to see what you come up with. No pressure from me, just enjoy the challenge. I have no doubt you will come through and get a shot you will be proud of.

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