Igor Kromin |   Consultant. Coder. Blogger. Tinkerer. Gamer.

Ahead of tonight's New Year's Eve celebrations I decided to experiment a little with the Sony DSC-HX90V camera that we bought for our round the world trip. I didn't have time to play much with this camera while travelling and was really interested in its manual exposure time control so I finally took some time to do it the other night.

Keep in mind I am not a professional photographer, unlike my friend Jan from Kristensen Photography. These are all just amateur experiments with a couple of settings on a camera. All of the photos were taken on the 'S' mode on the camera with a 2 second timer delay.

Because I was interested in taking long exposure photos of fireworks from my balcony, naturally I decided to set up the camera in the location where the fireworks would be seen from. This meant on my balcony overlooking the highway and the river below. For the first set of photos I set the ISO level to 80 and varied exposure time between 4 and 20 seconds.

Exposure times: 4s, 10s, 20s
ISO Level: 80
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From what I saw, exposure time between the 10 and 20 seconds seemed to have worked best. So for the next set I decided to set exposure to 15 seconds and vary the ISO level.

Exposure time: 15s
ISO Levels: 80, 100, 400, 800, 3200
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ISO 80 seemed to be the best for such a long exposure in these lighting conditions.

Just for fun I set exposure to 30 seconds and ISO to 80 to see what would happen. The results weren't good.

Exposure time: 30s
ISO Level: 80

I think realistically I will have to set exposure time to around the 5 second mark for the actual photos of fireworks, perhaps even less (like 2 or 3 seconds), but at least I know the ballpark settings to start with.

For the last set I decided on a more static setting, without the moving traffic. This was of the garden planter box I built, now with a solar powered cow light to guard it. This setting had a lot less light coming in. I went for 15 seconds exposure and different ISO levels.

Exposure time: 15s
ISO Levels: 80, 200, 400, 800
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I think the 400 ISO worked best here. By the way the festive lights were flashing on and off the whole time and there was a bit of wind to sway them, so some photos got a little bit of a blur due to that.

I want to try and take some night sky photos soon, it's not easily done from a balcony in the city centre due to the light pollution, so I'll try making a bit of a trip out for this purpose. Also once I have the fireworks photos all processed, I'll be sharing some of those too.

I used ExifTool to get some of the metadata from the original photos for this post.


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