Past Meetup

Class: Long Exposure and Night Photography

This Meetup is past

21 people went

Price: $20.00 /per person
Location image of event venue

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Last Minute Updates

For those that are new, the night before an event, I update you with any final notes that you need before a class. Behold, this is one such update:

When you arrive, go ahead and order lunch and bring your food preparation signaling device upstairs to claim a seat. I will be at the table right next to the door during the discussion. And I get pretty excited. So you might want to pick a different table so I don't spit on you. No seriously, that's happened.

When you order, MAKE SURE and tell them you are with "The Group".

Feel free to leave everything on your tray while you eat. This will make it really easy to clean up, just pick up your tray and set it outside the door for someone to pick it up later.

You can eat at your table even while I'm talking. The room is small and hard to maneuver with a tray full of food. So be sure and come in on time so you aren't trying to find a seat after we have already started class.

See you tomorrow!

NOTE: This event is now FULL. However if we have at least 10 people on the waiting list, I will open another session for the same afternoon. If you are interested in attending, join the waiting list so I'll know.

Since we will be doing a night shoot on the same day, this month's photography class will be about Night Photography and Long Exposure.

Taking pictures at night can be tough. The role of the camera is to "capture light", to record it some way so it can be reproduced later on paper or on our monitors. But what if there isn't enough light to capture? There are several important techniques for capturing amazing low-light photographs!

Typically, taking a long exposure image involves three things, and we will cover each in this class:

Gear Setting up the shot Post Processing Part 1: Focus on Gear

When it comes to low light photography, many folks know that the Tripod is essential. But there are some camera settings that will actually make your images WORSE if you tripod your body! We will discuss how to temporarily disable these features that could spoil a great night photograph.

Other important bit of gear includes a shutter-trigger. There are many trigger variants available for really cheap to really expensive. We'll discuss several types and stress their pro's and con's. We will also discuss why we bring our camera flash even when we don't plan to use it, and why we always bring our trusty flashlight (not just for safety!).

Part 2: Setting Up

There's no such thing as a "quick" low light shot, and unfortunately the Sun waits for no man. If you're trying to get that perfect, near-sunset image, proper set up in advance will help you make the best image as quickly as possible. We'll discuss how to make sure your tripod "stays put", and talk about some of the unexpected issues that cause our low-light images to be blurry.

Night photography almost always requires us to shoot in "manual" or "M" mode, which can be uncomfortable for some folks. We will discuss the interplay between shutter speed, ISO and Aperture so you are more comfortable with "M" mode settings. (NOTE: not everyone's camera works the same, you should bring your manual).

When we photograph people in low light situations, sometimes the person looks great, but the background is inky black even though they are in a nice building or at a party. It looks as if you took the shot in a pitch black room. When working together in Auto mode, your camera and flash will make sure the person in front of you looks great, irrespective of how the background looks. We'll talk about a concept called "Dragging the Shutter", that allows you to create a nice image with background/foreground balance.

We will talk about how to use special lens filters to darken areas that are too bright while maintaining a well-exposed image!

Part 3: Post Processing

Post Processing, or the changes we make to our image on our computers, will pay a big role in your final image. When we shoot in high ISO, for example, "noise" is introduced and we have to use post processing techniques to repair it.


Please be sure and read the "Payment and RSVP FAQ" Information below the sample images! ( ( ( ( ( ( (


(This is the "read this before posting a question" section)

Can I bring a guest / date / significant other?

The restaurant's meeting room is just small enough for those who RSVP. Please do not bring adds.

Do I have to eat at the restaurant?

The meeting room fee is based on food sales. If you choose not to eat, bring an additional $10 with you (cash) to contribute to pay for the room use.

I had an emergency / my fish tank went green / I have to change my RSVP. / I had to no-show / I need a refund.

We always expect people not to show up for various reasons. Life happens. Unfortunately we have to pay for your seat if you are there or not. Refunds are not available for this event.

Even though I can't get a refund, I have to change my RSVP for the event that starts in 10 minutes.

Please change your RSVPs with plenty of time for someone on the waiting list to attend. RSVP changes with less than 24 hours notice will be considered a no-show.

The "Waiting List" is huge, should I even bother signing up?

Absolutely. The more people on the waiting list, the more likely we will repeat the event. Also, many (MANY) people sign up but never pay, so the waiting list moves rather fast.

I'm on the "Waiting List", should I go ahead and pay now?

Nope. Wait until you are promoted into the "Going" list before trying to pay please. Also, make sure you have edited your email settings so that you are receiving all email from the group. That way, when a spot opens up, you will receive an email.

Do I need to bring my camera?

Never hurts to bring your camera to a camera event.

I am on the "waiting list", can I just show up anyway?

No. The waiting list folks will get moved in on a first-come-first-promoted basis. Please respect the RSVP list. Unexpectedly showing up creates havoc and confusion of epic proportions that usually lead to being marked as a 'no-show' even though you didn't RSVP.

I was on the "List" yesterday, but I just got an email saying I've been removed!

HPW does not require people to instantly pay to secure their initial RSVP. This gives folks the ability to quickly RSVP for a spot, even if they are on a smart phone and cannot paypal the funds. However, we do like to see the money within 24 hours. After 24 hours, if your RSVP isn't paid, we hand your spot to someone on the waiting list. (NOTE: I'm flexible. If you need a few extra days for your payment to paypal to complete, just send me an email BEFORE you lose your spot.)

I am on the "waiting list", but we're good buddies and I've been in the group for years, can you move me up on the list, good-ol'-boy style?

Nope. I love you like family. And just like family, I hate drama. The wait-list will move in order of first-come-first-promoted. Its the only fair way.

I have a complant and I want to post it in open-air comments?

Please address your comments / complaints / gripes to me via personal email. If you think something's not right and I agree, it will get addressed ASAP. The "comments" section is for things you think would be interesting to the entire group -- if you have something *I* need to know, address it to me.

I want to post a complaint in open-air comments!

Long time members will tell you, I respond to unfriendly or cranky public comments in the sharpest way imaginable. My apologies for offending you in advance. I suggest you email me complaints directly; I tend to be less over-reactive when I'm not responding to the entire group.

I'm seriously new to the group / This is my first event. I don't understand what to do next.

No problem. A couple of nights before each event, I send out the "last minute updates". This email contains a lot of extra info not posted on the open meetup. If you are horribly confused after reading that email, reply back and I'll walk you through your questions.

I don't use PayPal. What are my options?

Start using paypal. Unfortunately people who pay "when I get there" rarely show up. RSVPs are secured by your paypal payment. Paypal is a big part of how we manage this group.

How does the RSVP policy work?

The RSVP, Paid RSVP, and No-Show policies are posted here:

There were too many words in this FAQ, so I didn't bother reading it, is that a problem?

Not really. I wrote it and didn't bother reading it. But if something goes screwy, we both will be referring to it for answers.

I have another question not listed here, how do I contact the group organizer or host?

Information about how to contact a Meetup group organizer can be found at this link: "How do I contact an organizer? ("

I can't attend. Will you be recording the event and making it available?

This is a social photography group, so we try to do everything while actually rubbing elbows. However if there are enough people on the waiting list, I'm happy to do repeats of most classes and photowalk location visits.

Can I record the event? Can I scan the hand outs and send it to my friends?

Well, that wouldn't be too friendly. We can't be cranky about people stealing our images and reuse them while stealing someone else's voice and documents, right? A lot of work and effort goes into any class, book, and instruction materials. Don't rob me. :)

See all Meetups from HoustonPhotowalks Photography Club