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Guest Craig C

Night time photography in Aberdeen?

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Guest Craig C

Can anyone here recommend any good spots in and around Aberdeen that would be interesting to photograph at night? Now that I have myself a decent tripod, I want to get out and attempt low-light photography, something which I've not done in a long time. I was thinking possibly the harbour with all the boats lit up, would look good? Where else would be interesting?

Thanks in advance,

Craig :up:

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Can anyone here recommend any good spots in and around Aberdeen that would be interesting to photograph at night? Now that I have myself a decent tripod, I want to get out and attempt low-light photography, something which I've not done in a long time. I was thinking possibly the harbour with all the boats lit up, would look good? Where else would be interesting?

Thanks in advance,

Craig :up:

Shots of the Harbour from the Battery would be good.

A panoramic view of the city from Altens would be another.

See if you can get up thon tower at the AECC - that would be a great vantage point.

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The harbour, rivermouth & bridges are all pretty good. IME, the battery less so - there is a surprising amount of black/unlit-space there that weakens your composition. Better go there, just at dusk or dawn IMO. Also, often around dawn, especially if it is quiet, the dolphins come right into the basin so you can see them right-up close. Off the old harbourmasters house or by the water accross from the pub in torry (Campbells?) is a good spot. Its been a while since I've done any night-stuff there so I don't know what the current security regime is like but in the past, you could expect someone to turn-up & check you out/have a chat etc but once they had seen what I was up to, nobody ever said to go. Indeed, I've often ended-up being pointed at more interesting things or got permission to photograph other activities, eg boats under repair etc. Also remember the tide. A string of nice sharp shots with vertically blurred boats as they rose/fell on the tide is most embarrasing! :O

The fish market can be good but again, anyone wielding a camera can be treated with suspicion/hostility as Inland Revinue have sent their inspectors down there pretending to be snappers before now. Avoid the airport, unless you get advance permission - an encounter with the security there is usually unpleasant. I have photographed & even sketched there with permission before but not for a very long time.

Other places, anywhere in town that is light, where you can get a number of light streaks from traffic etc. Roundabouts on the main roads etc.

Aslo that this time of year is good for the Northern Lights & if you sign-up on something like Aurorawatch alerts & get out of town, there can be some splendid images to get. :)

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Aberdeen University campus is a favourite of mine - the buildings are beautifully lit at night. I've taken quite a few interesting black and white shots of King's College and Elphinstone Hall. There are so many intriguing pieces of architecture and unusual shapes.......also, the buildings have quite an eerie and imposing presence by night.

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try just shooting normal streets at night as well, the low light changes the atmosphere quite a bit and what seems like a really dull street during the day and result in a brilliantly moody shot at night. this works particularly well when there's been a bit of rain or just some moisture lying on the ground as you get the street lights reflecting on the ground.

i'd imagine union street would be quite a good place to try with the christmas lights. i've been meaning to go out with my camera ever since they went up. same with hmt.

also remember to look up. if you've got a clear sky then a good long exposure will result in some excellent star trails. set your camera to it's smallest aperture and slowest film speed and try a ridiculously long exposure(so long as your patient and wrapped up warm of course). anything from half an hour to a few hours should result in some pretty good shots. even better if you have a nice building in front of them.

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Guest Savant
set your camera to it's smallest aperture and slowest film speed and try a ridiculously long exposure(so long as your patient and wrapped up warm of course). anything from half an hour to a few hours should result in some pretty good shots. even better if you have a nice building in front of them.

You'd be quicker just setting the exposure time to a few seconds, pressing the button and turning the camera a wee bit. Done. :D

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Guest Craig C

Again, good info folks :up:

I've been meaning to shoot HMT at night for ages, but it's somewhere I always forget about when actually out.

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Maybe try taking pics of cars passing so you get the light trails. Usually an exposure of over 30 secs is needed, also busy roads are best.

Maybe get a release cable, they save you having to you touch the camera and it reduces the chance of camera shake.

For decent results, dont use a digital camera, it can't handle night-time photography. This is IMHO the biggest problem with digital cameras.

If your trying star trails, go out of town to avoid light pollution.

One of the best images you can get at night is of Aurora's. You can get notification from Aurora websites via email when they think you will witness one.

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Guest Craig C
...For decent results, dont use a digital camera, it can't handle night-time photography.

The Hasselblad it is then, lol.

By the way, I've been meaning to ask you - who do you use for printing purposes? Or do you print yourself?

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The Hasselblad it is then, lol.

By the way, I've been meaning to ask you - who do you use for printing purposes? Or do you print yourself?

check out mamiya's on ebay. you can get some total bargains right now. i've seen rz67's going for under 200 with a lens. really good entry level medium format cameras.

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The Hasselblad it is then, lol.

By the way, I've been meaning to ask you - who do you use for printing purposes? Or do you print yourself?

A bit of both. I have a fuji pictography for reprint orders but I also use Loxley Colour in Glasgow for bigger orders.

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RZ's ? 200 ?

I. Must. Resist....!

tell me about it. i have an rb67 and i'm awfully tempted to upgrade to the newer model at that price. god bless digital photography. it means there's heaps of medium format kit going cheap :)

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tell me about it. i have an rb67 and i'm awfully tempted to upgrade to the newer model at that price. god bless digital photography. it means there's heaps of medium format kit going cheap :)

Dunno, the RB is a pretty good camera in itself. But I only use my 645/6x6 gear occasionally these days, digital has replaced film for most jobs & where I need the detail, 54 is still my favourite traditional medium.

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Dunno, the RB is a pretty good camera in itself. But I only use my 645/6x6 gear occasionally these days, digital has replaced film for most jobs & where I need the detail, 54 is still my favourite traditional medium.

yea the rb does me well. though i tend to use my digital alot more now instead. i find 5X4 a bit of a hassle but obviously the results are worth it. one day i might own one.

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Maybe try taking pics of cars passing so you get the light trails. Usually an exposure of over 30 secs is needed, also busy roads are best.

in front of hmt is a shit hot place to do this!!!

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Guest Craig C
in front of hmt is a shit hot place to do this!!!

I ventured out last night and got some good shots of HMT with car trails. Although I'm going to head out again soon, but not leave it so late. The only thing that lacks in last nights shots is no detail in the sky.

Also, there is a lone tree type thing with blue neon lights in the union terrace gardens, I think it could make a good photograph if shot at the right angle etc...

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HMT comes out really good at night, and the arches above the cemetry opposite McDonalds look really eerie. Also there's a big spooky looking School on Esslemont Avenue that's lit up at night that looks really really cool when shot at night, but you have to shoot from a distance cos it's all behind a fence, so it's hard to get a decent photo. Also, you can probably get arrested for hanging around outside a school taking photos. Also standa t the castlegate a 4am and look down Union Street you get a great long shot of the empty street, though it's best when there aren't Xmas lights looking garish and ugly.

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i find 5X4 a bit of a hassle but obviously the results are worth it. one day i might own one.

I found the extra hassle all worth it, added an extra level of discipline & thought to my photography. Once adapted, the running costs are probably less than a conventional film camera as you tend not to be wasteful. If you are not worried about buying new, good lenses can be surprisingly cheap, although they are often not very bright. Also, adequate lenses in Prontor shutters can be had from process & repro gear, often for next to nothing.

Lugging the average monorail/tripod combo about in a rucsac is also bloody good for the leg, chest & back muscles. :D Although I eventually got a field camera going.

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Also, there is a lone tree type thing with blue neon lights in the union terrace gardens, I think it could make a good photograph if shot at the right angle etc...

I've been eying that tree-up for the last few days, just a little snow to pick up its colour around it would make the shot perfect IMO. :)

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