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Old 01-09-2013, 09:37 AM   #1
disneyluvrs4
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I need settings help for Disney World. Can anyone help?

For Christmas my mom got my family a canon rebel t3. I'm used to my old point and shoot but know that this camera is more than that. I would love to know what type of settings (iso, aperture, and shutter speed-think that is all...tried googling it) is good for capturing night castle pics and parade pics...fireworks and anything else you might be able to clue me in on. I would love to get some great pics when we are there in Feb. If anyone could help me, that would be great! Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:44 AM   #2
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No one can tell you exact settings. We can tell you the approach we'd take, but the exact numbers will vary. The biggest thing that would help you know what settings to use when is to understand the relationship between ISO, aperture and shutter speed as well as how each variable affects the image.

For fireworks you need a tripod. The exposures will generally be too long to hand hold the camera. Shots of the castle at night can also be a bit easier with a tripod.

When I shoot things like parades I tend to put the camera in Tv mode. I set the shutter speed fast enough to stop any motion blur--- the rule of thumb here is 1/focal length to stop camera shake plus whatever you need to stop motion. IS lenses can let you get away with a little slower shutter speed sometimes and how steady you are will also affect the minimum shutter speed you need. After I have my shutter speed I bump up the ISO as needed to get the exposure. This is really my go to approach for low light photography. Other people prefer different methods though, so you just have to figure out which one works for you.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:09 PM   #3
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The best fireworks shots are taken with tripods, to capture the full streams of the fireworks. Really long exposures..... I used 6-8 seconds. You want to manually set your ISO to the lowest setting. Really, fireworks are the only time I use full manual control. Aperture around 8-11. May even manually pre-focus the shot.

For stationary night pics, like the Castle... A tripod doesn't hurt. Would let you play with some long exposures, but it's not necessary. You may want the aperture wide open (a small number), and let the camera handle the shutter speed and ISO.

For parades or other low light with movement, you need to be conscious of shutter speed. The camera may opt to reduce the shutter speed, instead of increasing the ISO, which will give you motion blur. You may need to manually increase the ISO, accepting a higher level of noise, in order to get your shutter speed high enough to avoid motion blur.

Another setting to consider is whether to shoot jpeg or RAW. Shooting RAW is a bit more work, but would let you do some correction work in post-processing.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:38 PM   #4
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Thank you both so much! I will have to do a little playing with it to get used to the different setting, but at least now I have a starting place! Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:41 PM   #5
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From your first post it sounds like you don't have a lot of experience with a DSLR. If not, I would recommend you do a little studying to help. There is a book, Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson that comes highly recommended. It's excellent in explaining the photographic triangle of ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed. This is the basics of photography. Its around $16 at Amazon or you can pick it up at a local library.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gianna'sPapa View Post
From your first post it sounds like you don't have a lot of experience with a DSLR. If not, I would recommend you do a little studying to help. There is a book, Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson that comes highly recommended. It's excellent in explaining the photographic triangle of ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed. This is the basics of photography. Its around $16 at Amazon or you can pick it up at a local library.
Follow this advice! Get this book, I received this same advice here a few months ago and am so happy I got the book. (I had to read it twice in order to really get everything to make sense!)
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
The best fireworks shots are taken with tripods, to capture the full streams of the fireworks. Really long exposures..... I used 6-8 seconds. You want to manually set your ISO to the lowest setting. Really, fireworks are the only time I use full manual control. Aperture around 8-11. May even manually pre-focus the shot.

For stationary night pics, like the Castle... A tripod doesn't hurt. Would let you play with some long exposures, but it's not necessary. You may want the aperture wide open (a small number), and let the camera handle the shutter speed and ISO.

For parades or other low light with movement, you need to be conscious of shutter speed. The camera may opt to reduce the shutter speed, instead of increasing the ISO, which will give you motion blur. You may need to manually increase the ISO, accepting a higher level of noise, in order to get your shutter speed high enough to avoid motion blur.

Another setting to consider is whether to shoot jpeg or RAW. Shooting RAW is a bit more work, but would let you do some correction work in post-processing.
Very helpful info!! Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gianna'sPapa View Post
From your first post it sounds like you don't have a lot of experience with a DSLR. If not, I would recommend you do a little studying to help. There is a book, Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson that comes highly recommended. It's excellent in explaining the photographic triangle of ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed. This is the basics of photography. Its around $16 at Amazon or you can pick it up at a local library.
I don't have ANY experience with a DSLR. I will look for the book for sure. Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:06 AM   #9
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For most of my night photos I still use either P or Av to take advantage of the cameras auto metering. These cameras are pretty good at metering a scene, including night scenes. If the image is not what I want then I add some exposure compensation, maybe -1 or 1.5 stops (see the manual for how to do this, it is easy). Another option is to use exposure bracketing (also easy to set up), this will provide three different exposures to choose from, one of them should be just right. Try -2, 0, +2 (or -1.5, 0, +1.5) to start with.

Practice with these settings before you actually need them (it is a lot more difficult when you are in a rush and it is dark) and remember to set compensation and bracketing back to normal mode when you are done!
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boBQuincy View Post
For most of my night photos I still use either P or Av to take advantage of the cameras auto metering. These cameras are pretty good at metering a scene, including night scenes. If the image is not what I want then I add some exposure compensation, maybe -1 or 1.5 stops (see the manual for how to do this, it is easy). Another option is to use exposure bracketing (also easy to set up), this will provide three different exposures to choose from, one of them should be just right. Try -2, 0, +2 (or -1.5, 0, +1.5) to start with.

Practice with these settings before you actually need them (it is a lot more difficult when you are in a rush and it is dark) and remember to set compensation and bracketing back to normal mode when you are done!
I will break out the manual and give it a try. Thanks.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:17 PM   #11
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Settings that have been best for me (Nikon D3) at MK, Epcot, and at Disneyland have been:
Tripod, camera on Manual
ISO 200
Shutter ~20 sec.
Aperture - Anywhere between 16-22, depending on the scene at hand.

I typically use a 24-70 f2.8 lens.

Now... Every camera is different, so depending on your model, you'll have to adjust a bit here and there. It's not gospel what I just posted, but it's an adequate starting point.

Illuminations is harder to shoot simply because there are points of LOTS of darkness throughout the show and points of LOTS of light during the show. And it's nearly impossible to get a great reading until the show begins.... but then you don't want to spend the entire show messing with settings and not seeing the actual show with your eyes. So play around with it a bit, but make sure you don't stress too much about it!

The MK and Disneyland fireworks are MUCH easier to gauge. You'll want to take a good meter reading on the castle when it is lit at it's absolutely brightest before the show. Make sure you have a nice long shutter (anywhere between 10-30 seconds) and then adjust your aperture so that the castle isn't blown out. For my camera, blue is the hardest, and it's always the color channel I blow, so I always make sure, prior to the show, that I get a solid meter reading on that color. I have another camera body that blows the red channel easily... so sometimes it is just about the model you are shooting with.

Good luck! Shooting fireworks is REALLY fun. Always a plus on any trip for me.

ETA: All this advice was for fireworks. I just re-read your post and realized that you were asking about parades as well.
For a novice I would suggest putting your camera in Av mode with auto ISO. It will do a fairly good job if you have a fast lens (f1.4, f1.8, f2.8 or f.3.2). There are a few tweaks that make it even better, but I don't want to bog you down too much, and most of the cameras will be sufficient.
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