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Old November 24th, 2003, 01:25 PM   #1
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XL1s traffic shot at night: suggestions?

I'm going to be shooting some B-roll on the side of a highway at night. I'm not familiar with the area, so I don't really know how much traffic there will be, but I expect a fair amount of cars. I'll be using an XL1s, and will have a tripod. Any recommendations to get the best shots?

Thanks.
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Old November 24th, 2003, 01:43 PM   #2
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I'd shoot at dusk instead of night. That will probably create the
night look for you since the camera needs more light then your
eyes do! More cars their probably as well.
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Old November 24th, 2003, 01:49 PM   #3
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Rob, my thoughts exactly! The problem is, the time that has been arranged for me is about 6:30 or so, which here will mean darkness (sunset is about 5:30), so I won't have the luxury of setting the exact environment. I may have to come back and do it another time, but it is about a 4 hour drive from my house.
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Old November 24th, 2003, 02:00 PM   #4
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It will be really difficult if it is dark. Too bad you can't get there
earlier. Ofcourse lowering shutter speed, opening the iris and
increasing the gain will help, but only so much. In that regard
the XL1S isn't the best low light camera around, but better
then the plain XL1
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Old November 25th, 2003, 09:26 AM   #5
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Have you considered a time-lapse shot? Shot one recently on PD 150: Sun going down, headlights coming on and then nice trail on the head and tail lights - make for a dynamic 10" burst...

Shot fairly tight (shallow DOF w/ wide open iris) on slight bend on freeway to give the impression that I was virtually in the middle of the road... of course, I was blessed with the I-10 West of Houston which dives headfirst into the sinking sun... awww and those Texans sure know how to fill a freeway...
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Old November 25th, 2003, 10:43 AM   #6
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Stephen, I was going to try several different approaches, but I had not thought of time lapse. I'll give that a shot to see how it works.... Thanks!!

James
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Old November 25th, 2003, 05:36 PM   #7
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I thought I had my time lapse video on my laptop to post. I shot about an hour of traffic for use it for time lapse. I was using my GL-2, which should have close to the performance of the XL-1 in low light. The lowest I could get a usable "night" shot of traffic, where the car shapers are visible, was right after the sun crossed the horizon. A half hour later, all you get are headlights and taillights. I will try to dig up my timelapse clip when I get home and post a link.

One thing I learned. While I normally keep my UV filter on the camera to protect the lens, I will remove it for any night shots with point light sources (headlights). Otherwise, you will get a few ghosts of the headlights when the light bounces between the main lens and the UV filter.
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