E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Everything Else > The Off-Topic > Photography

Photography

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 04-28-2014, 06:18 AM   #1
1`
Banned User
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 450
My Ride: 330i
Help taking photos of SUPER BRIGHT headlights at night

I just learned how to take night photos (see my sig for the link to the tutorial I just wrote, BUT!! I don't know how to take night photos with my SUPER ULTRA BRIGHT HEADLIGHTS.

Now let me also add that my SUPER ULTRA BRIGHT angel eyes with HEADLIGHTS OFF come up as nothing but a white blur - you can't even see the front of the car - because they are SO BRIGHT. No matter even if I walked very far away like 100 yards, still no good.

Since I learned how easy it was with a couple tricks to take AWESOME night photos, I was wondering if there was also a trick to take those photos with my ULTRA SUPER CRAZY INSANE BRIGHT angel eyes and/or headlights ON as well without getting a huge white mess.

See some pictures:

Angel eyes ONLY: ("is that a car or two mini suns shining at night?")


Angel eyes AND xenon headlights: ("what car? and how is the sun out, it's midnight! Ahhhh, I'm blind!")


p.s. in real life my eyes think they are really bright but I am able to distinguish what they actually look like.
p.s.s. these are only 35W xenons
p.s.s.s. no way to dim my angel eyes.

Last edited by 1`; 04-28-2014 at 06:20 AM.
1` is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2014, 10:18 AM   #2
cowmoo32
drunken science
 
cowmoo32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 5,533
My Ride: Trek 1.5
Simple answer: not really. You can get proper exposure for either the car or the headlights, but not both in those lighting conditions. If you want to capture the headlight then you'll want strong light coming in on the front of the car, like at sunset, to compensate for the light coming out of the headlight. You could also play around with getting two exposures, one for each, and blending them in post, but it can be tricky.
__________________

flickher

What's this about a brownie in motion?
cowmoo32 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2014, 11:40 AM   #3
Xcelratr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: So Cal - 310
Posts: 958
My Ride: 04 330Ci ZHP
Wow, those are ULTRA SUPER CRAZY INSANE BRIGHT.

I suggest a much brighter location. You need lots of lights from buildings behind the car and light on the ground around the car to lessen the contrast. Or perhaps take the shot at sunrise or sunset.

Try taking the shot from more of an angle instead of almost directly in front of the car. Try getting up higher, further above the cut-off of the brightest part of the headlight beam.

Also, what cowmoo said. Take one shot exposed for the headlights (fast shutter speed) and another from the exact same place exposed for the rest of the image (slow shutter speed) and then photoshop them together.

Put some dark window tint film over your headlight lenses to tamp down the light for the pics?
__________________
----------------------------------------------
Quote:
As a juror, do you think the trial was a publicity stunt?

Yes
----------------------------------------------
Xcelratr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2014, 11:49 AM   #4
peytonracer4
:D
 
peytonracer4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Valparaiso, IN
Posts: 6,689
My Ride: '00 328i
If you're shooting in low light, you can't have your headlights on. The reason for this is because in low light your lens is open and will capture all light equally. So with your headlights being brightest, they will always be brightest. To capture with headlights on you need to shoot in a spot with the same amount of light or more focused on the car. This will counter the headlights and allow the lens to be open for a shorter amount of time. Then it will not pick up the headlights for x seconds and they won't glare.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
__________________
choose to click or forever hold your peace ;)
peytonracer4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2014, 11:51 AM   #5
peytonracer4
:D
 
peytonracer4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Valparaiso, IN
Posts: 6,689
My Ride: '00 328i
Do you have projectors? Because if not, that's what everyone coming at you at night sees and it's awful.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
__________________
choose to click or forever hold your peace ;)
peytonracer4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2014, 02:04 PM   #6
Adamo99
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Port Credit, ON
Posts: 296
My Ride: e39 530i, e93 335i
I had posted, explaining how to do this. Why was my post deleted?
Adamo99 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 12:04 PM   #7
tcphoto
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,068
My Ride: '01 325Cic TiAg
The camera only knows what you are telling it, what are you metering? You also have extreme low light conditions along with a small area that is very bright. You decide what is properly exposed or you need to add a little flash to balance it out. Take the camera out of programmed mode and explore the manual settings.
tcphoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 12:18 PM   #8
Solidjake
Zero. Oil. Leaks.
 
Solidjake's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 23,000
My Ride: 2002 330i
Please, enlighten me on the lighting setup you have.


As for the pic, you are in a place way too dark. Impossible to capture the lights and the car. You didn't even mention what you are taking a picture with.
Solidjake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2014, 02:10 PM   #9
Adamo99
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Port Credit, ON
Posts: 296
My Ride: e39 530i, e93 335i
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post
you need to add a little flash to balance it out
Lol.. Yes, you need a little flash that is going to evenly illuminate two city blocks.
Adamo99 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 01:05 AM   #10
1`
Banned User
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 450
My Ride: 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post
The camera only knows what you are telling it, what are you metering? You also have extreme low light conditions along with a small area that is very bright. You decide what is properly exposed or you need to add a little flash to balance it out. Take the camera out of programmed mode and explore the manual settings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidjake View Post
Please, enlighten me on the lighting setup you have.

As for the pic, you are in a place way too dark. Impossible to capture the lights and the car. You didn't even mention what you are taking a picture with.
1) They are stock bi-xenons (projectors) with angel eyes. 35W
2) Camera is Canon ELPH 320 HS but that is besides the point, I want to know how to capture with any camera.
3) Flash defeats the whole purpose. No I am definitely not going to use flash. And definitely not going to use a spotlight.
4) The whole point is I WANT to take it in low light. Duh of course I can take it in daytime. That's not the question.
5) Don't ever tell me impossible. Nothing is impossible. That's just another way of saying "don't know how to do it."

Last edited by 1`; 05-01-2014 at 01:05 AM.
1` is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 01:09 AM   #11
1`
Banned User
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 450
My Ride: 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xcelratr View Post
Try taking the shot from more of an angle instead of almost directly in front of the car.
Doesn't make a difference. Half the problem as you see is the angel eyes themselves are too bright for the camera to capture in normal settings. You can't angle out of that. If I take a picture from the side even, the front end is just a big white spot. I've tried it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xcelratr View Post
Try getting up higher, further above the cut-off of the brightest part of the headlight beam.
Doesn't make a difference. Half the problem as you see is the angel eyes themselves are too bright for the camera to capture in normal settings. You can't angle out of that. If I take a picture from even the top, the front end is just a big white spot. I've tried it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xcelratr View Post
Take one shot exposed for the headlights (fast shutter speed) and another from the exact same place exposed for the rest of the image (slow shutter speed) and then photoshop them together.
Ok can you tell me exactly how to do this?

Last edited by 1`; 05-01-2014 at 01:10 AM.
1` is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 01:10 AM   #12
Adamo99
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Port Credit, ON
Posts: 296
My Ride: e39 530i, e93 335i
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1` View Post
1) Don't ever tell me impossible. Nothing is impossible. That's just another way of saying "don't know how to do it."
It's impossible to do in a single frame due to the limitations of the current sensor technology, which are capped in the neighbourhood of fourteen stops of dynamic range. The current Sony/Nikon sensors do offer a couple of stops over the Canon sensors, but nowhere near what you need to capture all of the dynamic range in these images.

You will need to bracket your exposures, and combine them in post.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
Adamo99 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 01:16 AM   #13
1`
Banned User
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 450
My Ride: 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamo99 View Post
It's impossible to do in a single frame due to the limitations of the current sensor technology, which are capped in the neighbourhood of fourteen stops of dynamic range. The current Sony/Nikon sensors do offer a couple of stops over the Canon sensors, but nowhere near what you need to capture all of the dynamic range in these images.

You will need to bracket your exposures, and combine them in post.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
I don't mind not getting in single frame, I just need instruction on how to take the frame which makes the headlights exist instead of big white blob.

Last edited by 1`; 05-01-2014 at 01:16 AM.
1` is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 01:23 AM   #14
Adamo99
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Port Credit, ON
Posts: 296
My Ride: e39 530i, e93 335i
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1` View Post
I don't mind not getting in single frame, I just need instruction on how to take the frame which makes the headlights exist instead of big white blob.
You need to properly expose for the headlights. As in dial down your exposure compensation until the headlights are properly exposed.

A point and shoot may not give you the range of control that you need.

Also, you're going to want to shoot in RAW, again most likely not supported by the average P&S camera, for maintaining maximum image quality.



Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
Adamo99 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 01:32 AM   #15
1`
Banned User
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 450
My Ride: 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamo99 View Post
You need to properly expose for the headlights. As in dial down your exposure compensation until the headlights are properly exposed.

A point and shoot may not give you the range of control that you need.

Also, you're going to want to shoot in RAW, again most likely not supported by the average P&S camera, for maintaining maximum image quality.
I have Canon ELPH 320 HS. Can it do it?
1` is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 02:22 AM   #16
peytonracer4
:D
 
peytonracer4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Valparaiso, IN
Posts: 6,689
My Ride: '00 328i
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1` View Post
1) They are stock bi-xenons (projectors) with angel eyes. 35W
2) Camera is Canon ELPH 320 HS but that is besides the point, I want to know how to capture with any camera.
3) Flash defeats the whole purpose. No I am definitely not going to use flash. And definitely not going to use a spotlight.
4) The whole point is I WANT to take it in low light. Duh of course I can take it in daytime. That's not the question.
5) Don't ever tell me impossible. Nothing is impossible. That's just another way of saying "don't know how to do it."

It is IMPOSSIBLE to capture your headlights on in low light without a photoshop layer of 2 pictures.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
__________________
choose to click or forever hold your peace ;)
peytonracer4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 12:27 PM   #17
Xcelratr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: So Cal - 310
Posts: 958
My Ride: 04 330Ci ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1` View Post
Ok can you tell me exactly how to do this?
I just took a quick look at the manual for your camera, and it looks like it's going to be difficult.

With an SLR or other camera that gives direct control over shutter speed, aperture and ISO, you'd take one picture with a normal aperture and fast shutter speed. That shot would have the headlights normal looking and crisp, but everything else would basically be black. Then you'd take another shot with the headlights off with the aperture maxed and a slow shutter speed. That shot would capture the lights in the background and the car. You'd then use Photoshop to combine them. It would take a lot of trial shots at various settings to get the two shots to work with.

However, your camera doesn't seem to allow direct control over aperture (a lot of p&s cameras don't).

You could try shooting with the various Scene modes (night mode, low light, fireworks) but you may not be able to override the flash in some of them. See page 76 and following.

Setting shutter speed is on page 91.

You could try using Spot Metering. See page 100. Change the metering to spot, take one shot with the spot on the headlights, then take another after setting the exposure with the spot on the dark background. You'll need to learn to use exposure lock because you have to return the camera to the exact same position for the shot.

I only skimmed the manual, there may be more control options than what I came across.

Ultimately, you just have to take your gear and manual and go fvck around with it to see how it turns out. Take a laptop so you can look at the shots on location to see what's working and what's not.

However, what you're trying to do may be impossible with the camera you have.
__________________
----------------------------------------------
Quote:
As a juror, do you think the trial was a publicity stunt?

Yes
----------------------------------------------
Xcelratr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2014, 11:17 AM   #18
dreamdrivedrift
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ithaca, NY --> Baltimore, MD
Posts: 6,469
My Ride: 99 M3 & 95 325i
Send a message via AIM to dreamdrivedrift
OP

That said, something that's easier than bracketing and blending 2 shots together that nobody has mentioned is:

-use the remote angel eye feature to flick them on at the end of the exposure, so that during the long exposure, they're only on for less than a second. Same thing can be done with HIDs if you have someone in the car.
__________________
Chris

Last edited by dreamdrivedrift; 05-02-2014 at 11:17 AM.
dreamdrivedrift is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2014, 10:05 PM   #19
tachi1247
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 669
My Ride: '04 330i
if you're going to try and merge 2 frames, you will have to use a tripod to take the photos or you will never get them to overlap correctly. not to mention you won't be able to hold the camera still enough to get a good photo of the car without the lights on.
tachi1247 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 03:03 AM   #20
Breezy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: CA
Posts: 151
My Ride: LSB M3, saab 900s
ask gheybe
__________________
Breezy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use