Digital Night Photography: Test Exposures, Noise Reduction, and Image Stacking « Joe Reifer

Digital Night Photography: Test Exposures, Noise Reduction, and Image Stacking « Joe Reifer.

Dawn has been asking about techniques for night exposures. Here’s another of the types of things that night photographers do. “Stacking” multiple exposures is a way to get rid of some of the noise that comes from long exposures by averaging it out–this is more about stacking to get light trails when the light is otherwise too bright for a long-enough exposure. I’m not sure that putting together two (and only two) exposures in lighten mode would do much for the noise, though.

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1 Comment »

 
  • Joe says:

    Hi Tommy – Most Canon and Nikon digital SLRs that have a CMOS type sensor can make long exposures of 5-6 minutes without in-camera noise reduction. The 5D series is fine up to about 8+ minutes as long as the temperature is cold. The temperature was in the low 50’s when the images in the article were made. By stacking two 7.5 minute exposures I didn’t have to run noise reduction, but still got the benefit of the long star trails.

    Testing your camera for noise is a good idea — in typical conditions make back to back exposures with in-camera noise reduction turned on, and also turned off. Compare the results in Photoshop to see how long you can expose without needing to turn on noise reduction. Again, ambient temperature can play a big part – colder is better for noise.

    Cheers,

    Joe

 

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