Macbook Pro back in action! Go Apple, Japan!

5 03 2009

Apple Japan, managed to get my computer fixed in 2 days instead of the one week they said would be necessary!  They also, gave me a spanking new keyboard, and a new screen.  The service was first rate, and I honestly am glad that I had an Apple computer that could be repaired at an Apple Store.  I honestly wouldn’t know what to do if had a laptop of a different brand.  Maybe it wouldn’t have broken :P, but regardless I am glad that it all worked out.  Thanks Apple!

I have a post about Nagoya Castle lined up, and then it’s back to the Otakuism with a post on Oosu, Nagoya.  Stay tuned!  In the mean time, enjoy my second attempt at night time photography, with no tripod!

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7 responses

6 03 2009
Chris

A full 1s exposure time… ouch. I guess it’s remarkable that you don’t have more shake than you have. Did you try some of those tricks I linked?

If it doesn’t sound too overbearing, and if you’re interested, I have a few tips for you for night photography.

First and foremost, get that shutter speed up. There’s a rule of thumb: you can hand-hold, at best, a shutter speed of 1/focal length. From the picture’s EXIF data, your focal length is 27mm (this rule applies for the 35mm-equivalent focal length, which is, for non-full-frame cameras like most DSLRs, larger than the stated one (in your case, 18mm)) so you might be able to get away with 1/30 in this scene. 1/60 is *my* rule of thumb, just because I don’t necessarily know my 35mm-equiv focal length for a given scene 🙂

Now, this rule isn’t hard-and-fast. Your lens is likely a VR lens, right (Vibration Reduction)? When that comes into play, that rule becomes really conservative. The problem with relying on it, though, is that it needs enough contrast in available light to know what is vibration and what isn’t. It’s probably having a hard time in the low-light conditions, so 1s is pushing it.

To get the shutter speed up without just capturing less light (except for the horizon and the lights, the photo is very nicely exposed for my tastes… though you may want to experiment to see how little light you can get away with without losing detail you care about), try raising the ISO to something higher than the 100 you used in this shot. The D60’s on-board noise reduction works almost perfectly up to 800, and tolerably well over the even higher settings, so try them out and figure out how much noise you’re willing to tolerate.

Another thing you might want to consider is shooting in RAW. It’ll have more luminance information in its file so if you need to do some post-processing (exposure correction being the most common), you’ll want all that information so your photo editing software has a clue of what’s behind that over-exposed white blur you’re trying to correct or what’s underneath that under-exposed shadowy area that you’re trying to brighten.

Watch your depth of field in this, though. With your aperture wide open to capture all this light, you may be losing focus. Check your lens to see what parts of the image will be in focus. For city scenes like this, try and get that to a number that starts where the closest stuff is and can reach across the street (unless of course you want things to be out of the field of focus, like an obtrusive background or foreground object)

Regardless, this is a new camera for you, so experiment *lots*. Try the higher ISOs, try faster shutter speeds. Try leaning the camera against something solid and *really* slow down that shutter to get some Akira-esque car tail-light trails.

You’ve got a nice beast there, so take it through its paces. You have an eye for composition, now back it up with some weird technical stuff 🙂

6 03 2009
robostrike

Congratulations on the new laptop keyboard and screen. By any chance, did they just switch your hard drive?? None the less, another great shot w/o a tripod

6 03 2009
bluemage

Picture looks great! Photography is not one of my strong suits…as I have enough trouble with the basic digital camera that I have at home 😄

6 03 2009
meronpan

nice service, glad you’re back in business ^^

think chris covered everything and more than what i had to say about the pic ^^; again, it’s amazing you were able to take that with no tripod… hand held 1s exposure and all i would get is a huge smudge ^^;;

6 03 2009
aaroninjapan09

Thanks for all the comments :D.

Chris: Really many thanks for that techniques page, it helped greatly with this photo. I really appreciate your advice, but that much info is going to take me a little bit to digest.

O and one more location that popped into my head that a light otaku would probably want to see is the Bandai Museum in Chiba.

Robostrike: Nope they didn’t switch my hard disk, everything is the same, except now my monitor works 😛

Bluemage: Photography is fun, once you have fun stuff to take pictures of :P.

Meronpan: Haha thanks for the comments. I am so picking up a tripod tomorrow for under 3000 yen.

6 03 2009
Exyen

Nice pic, but way to waste my off day morning, jerk! Nice bog so far though!!

23 03 2009
Parka

Nice blog. You’ve great photos.

Also get the additional 2 year Applecare if you haven’t. It’s worth the money for less the hassle.

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