Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

The M8 in the dark

Wandering across the M8 (on a footbridge), I noticed the overhead lights had failed and it was much darker than usual, and this meant an opportunity for some more low-light pics.

There wasn’t much to support the camera on, but I took a range of shots to compare long exposures against the sort of short exposure the camera would call up, if left to work on its own.

I kept a fairly wide aperture, as previous results proved that small apertures make horrible patterns around small lights, and this set was better.

The camera did a very good job on its own, provided that the aim was not to get light trails recorded, and in both cases, the focus was pretty good.

Focus is still a puzzle in the dark – some is spot on, some is dreadful, but I can’t find a consistent rule. Autofocus is generally not an option once it gets this dark, and you can neither see much, or be accurate. Autofocus lenses don’ generally have distance scales (like the ‘old’ days when autofocus was not the norm), nor do they have very good manual operation, since the focus ring has a very short travel.

Looking at the camera’s ‘automatic’ result shows an extra problem – the direction of the light trails at the front of the vehicles.

While those at the rear at fine, those at the front appear to precede the car, so would seem to be best avoided, perhaps by forcing shorter exposure times.

Unlike first and second shutter sync for flash, it’s not possible to play the same trick to fix this.

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January 8, 2014 - Posted by | photography | , ,

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