Photographing Lights-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Photographing Lights

    my new nightlightning digital blast (720 lumens) will arrive next week .

    so that i can finally give something back to this forum (instead of take) i would like to post some good beam shots.

    would all you 'experts' out there - you know who you are - please provide some valuable advice on how to achieve meaningfull shots.

    OK - i have a 35mm SLR camera with full manual option.

    Suggestions for:

    1. film speed
    2. Apeture
    3. Shutter speed
    4. Focal length (have a 35-70 zoom lense)
    5. number and placement of distance markers
    6. Placement of camera eg. distance and height behind light
    etc etc.

    Hopefully will be able to take some shots next week.

    Cheers Guys,


  2. #2
    Spanish biker
    Reputation: msxtr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    To do night photos, you first need a tripod.

    I use the digital camera with manual regulation to f2.8 to 1 or 2 seconds without zoom. And too put the timer of the camera to 2 or 3 seconds for no moving he camera when this do the photo.

    Greetings - Saludos

    Warning!!! my english is very very bad, sorry.

    Easy DIY led light1
    Easy DIY led light2

    The Beast!!!

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    It will be hard for you as you are doing 35mm so you won't get instant results. Here is what i did. You can see beam shots at near the bottom and i posted my settings with them too.

    I took it at 12mm (about 20mm for a 35mm camera) so I could get the whole beam pattern in the shot. I took a test shot first so you could see how dark it is with no lights, then took a shot with each light on different settings of the light. The fence in my shots was about 50-75 feet away. I took a niterider HID light along with my home made light so people would have a reference to compare it to. Shots of just my light would be hard to really see how bright it is as i could make it look as bright as i wanted with different exposures. But including a light that alot of people are familiar with you could see the difference.

    I also did 3 sets at 3 different exposures and after looking at them on the computer picked those 2 sets.

    My last set was these settings:
    12mm lens
    daylight WB (won't matter to you since you are on film)

    no flash and on a tripod. I used a remote shutter release so the camera would be steady but i held the bike and that's why the bars have motion blur alittle. My first shots didn't include the bars at the bottom of the picture but it looks more realistic if you can see just atleast alittle part of the bar. Gives you a reference point of where the bike is. I also had the tripod high so it was about my eye level so it is what i would be looking at.

    Well that is atleast how i took mine. I think the settings i just posted would be a good starting point as my led light should be around 1000 lumens and the hid would be in the 500 range. So yours is kinda inbetween. Also remember to take into account your lens, if you are going to be more zoomed in than mine you will need to take alittle off the exposure.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: James@GearReview's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    I use a Digital Rebel on a tripod. I use the stock lens, not sure what it is, set to manual focus. I set the camera to F3.2 and hold the shutter open for 1.6 seconds. I don't use a remote shutter release or the timer. I also don't mount the lights on my bike, but, rather, I've made a stand for them out of PVC -- it's easier to set up and holds a TON of lights :-).

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    G'day Blokes

    thanks for the valuable info - only one thing for it now - give it a crack.

    will post results (if they are worthwhile)



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