When i was in Gatineau a few weeks back, i had a great view of Ottawa across the river.  Therefore, when the sun went down, i took advantage of the balcony that we had with our hotel room and experimented with some night photography.

I did not bring my tripod with me, so i had to improvise on how i would keep my camera stable.  Luckily, the railing around the balcony featured a wide, flat hand rail that i was able to sit my camera on top of.

My amateur mistake: i left the OIS on.  You don’t need the OIS of your lens turned on when your camera is on a tripod or any other stable platform.

I shot in both JPEG and RAF since i wanted to be able to play around with the files in Fuji’s RAF file converter.

Aside from shooting in RAF, i also experimented with different film simulations, metering modes and exposures.  I wanted to see what combination of settings would best suit shooting at night with.

Unfortunately, because i scale my photos down for my blog, there is visible banding and other artifacts in the JPEG files that i posted here.  The full resolution files are far better and very clean.

One thing that i did notice, is the fact that if you shoot in a punchy film simulation like Velvia/Vivid, the shadows do tend to be very dark.  You can certainly lift the shadows in post a little bit, but i found that shooting in Provia/Standard was more desirable and you can always add some contrast in post, not to mention punch up the color a bit as well.

Not only was i able to determine the best settings for shooting at night, but i was also able to use Fuji’s RAF converter quite a bit when developing the RAF files that i shot.  The software seemed a bit daunting at first, but after a handful of files, i became more and more comfortable with it.

Though i am happy with the results, i can only think that the files may have been a tad better if i had of used a prime lens on my camera.  I did have my 27mm with me, but i was enjoying the flexibility of the 18-135 to much.

Who dares wins.

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