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Night time/ Dusk Skyline Photography Question

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What would be the best Manual photo settings that will help capture the best clarity of a city scape at twilight? Thank you all in advance!
 
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What would be the best Manual photo settings that will help capture the best clarity of a city scape at twilight? Thank you all in advance!
Archileo, this is 100% impossible to say when we don't know the light and wind conditions. Use auto exposure and auto ISO.
 

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@Archileo This is going to be an exercise in experimentation for you. If you look at the options for the camera in the ST16 you will see "sunrise/sunset" as a WB option. Try that first. ISO and shutter speed will depend on the light available and again you'll want to experiment. Be careful on ISO as at higher levels the photo will definitely be noisy.

AUTO anything rarely delivers great results. If you use AUTO at least you can blame Yuneec for the less than great results.
 

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I was going to answer this last night but both @Photo and @rdonson are right in that the correct setting is... what is correct at that time, under those light conditions. There are two ways to approach this...

1) Go to a local camera shop or online, and pick up a basic handheld light meter. Used is fine... basic without all the digital readouts is fine. You can pick up something simple like a used Gossen Pilot light meter for under $50.

https://www.amazon.com/Gossen-Pilot-2-Light-Meter/dp/B0000AG93C/

2) As @rdonson mentioned, become your own light meter and start experimenting. You do not have to fly to do this type of practicing... Simply have the H booted up and the camera connected to the ST-16. When viewing the screen you will see the brightness change as you adjust settings in Manual mode.

However the screen on the ST-16 is dark, so the correct setting is going to be dark as well. A good general rule is when the image on the ST-16 looks "right", reduce the exposure by 2/3 to 1 full f-stop. So, if the image looks good at a shutter speed set at 1/500 second, change the shutter speed to 1/800 to 1/1000 second. Note that the shutter speeds change exposure in 1/3 f-stop increments. ANNOYING SIDE NOTE: When using the CGO3 app and the ActionGrip, exposure control is limited to full f-stop increments.

The more accurate way to do this is to get a photographic gray card set, but this will necessitate taking photos of the card and then removing the microSD card and checking the photos to compare results with with the original target. So you will need a laptop / tablet in the field... trying to check the exposure off of the ST-16 screen, will be no more accurate than guesstimating as described above.

https://www.amazon.com/Anwenk-Balance-Exposure-Photography-Calibration/dp/B01DPV5PUA/

The grey card provides a standardized neutral grey tone that your camera is calibrated to, for exposure and color balance. With our wide angle lenses focused on distance, it will be out of focus when placed in front of the camera to fill the frame. No matter as you are checking exposure, not focus. Take a few frames bracketing shutter speed up or down... compare the tone of the card to the photos. INTERESTING SIDE NOTE: If you are out in the field in an urban environment, exposure readings off a typical red brick wall, will be within 1/6 of an f-stop from a standardized grey card... in terms of exposure, not neutrality of the scene for color balancing.

Also note, that with the rapidly changing light conditions at sunset / dusk, you should be manually bracketing anyway.
 
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It usually takes some time for photographers new to any type of photography, scenery, portraits, action, wild life, etc., to learn there are no “standard settings” that will provide one shot satisfaction. Unless shooting for tech articles in a controlled environment photography is an art, and what the artist is trying to deliver is different for them all. You have to experiment, often shooting the same scene or setting over and over with slight variations until you capture and create the message you are trying to tell. One size simply never fits all. That’s the beauty of digital photography; you don’t have to wait until the film is processed to review your efforts, and shooting many shots to get “the one” costs only your time.
 
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And if all you do is get close, there are a lot of post processing tools to tweak the image to you liking or sense of how you want it to look, especially if you shot DNG.
 
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First of all don't do it at dusk. Shoot shortly before dusk and then adjust the raw file or video you've captured a bit darker so that it looks like dusk or even darker. This will tremendously reduce the noise in the shadow areas. Also bring up the midtones slightly and the highlights
a bit as well. By shooting it in this manner you decrease the dramatic contrast which occurs
between the highlights and shadows which will yield more detail thru the whole image and a broader tonal scale.
 

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I love shooting during the "blue hour" after sunset but.... that won't be a great idea with the CGO3+.

I wonder if any of the drone makers are going to offer HDR shooting. By that I mean something like 3 shots in quick sequence with say a -2, 0, +2 EV spread.
 
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You can manually shoot the different shots and then combine them in Lightroom... Just go Menu Item >Photo>Photo Merge>HDR. By the way Mavic has HDR mode.
 
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rdonson

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You can manually shoot the different shots and then combine them in Lightroom... Just go Menu Item >Photo>Photo Merge>HDR. By the way Mavic has HDR mode.

That's true, IF, the H is completely stable during the shooting. Otherwise its a case for PS (AUTO align then Merge) instead of Lr.

My go to for HDR work is Photomatix Pro.
 

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I find HDR useful for a lot of landscape work and sunrise and sunset. As the dynamic range of sensors continues to improve though I use it less. I used to shoot 5 shot spreads now I’m down to 3.
 

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I wonder if any of the drone makers are going to offer HDR shooting. By that I mean something like 3 shots in quick sequence with say a -2, 0, +2 EV spread.

Parrot’s new Anafi is being advertised as shooting HDR. Small and employs a 180* vertical swing gimbal.
 
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You will have to most often adjust the camera in the air, as the light on the ground will be different than what it will capture from the air. An example would be if you were to take off in a field with no light source other than the lights from the drone, and as you fly up you see the lights of the city, there will be a definite change if you set the white balance on the ground. Or if you take off and set your drone where there are street, or house lights, there is a yellow colour from most street lights up close, however in the sky the lights should be correct, and won't appear so if white balance is set in that condition. I recommend turning off the lights to the H so they don't affect the video, the only visible light though will be from behind with the indicator of flight mode visible. With the H lights off be aware of the direction it is facing, and if you are unable to fly proficiently in angle mode I don't recommend flying at night. Also the area you fly in should be observed during daylight and very familiar to you, as obstructions like telephone/power lines etc are now obscured and invisible. Fly smart and safe and maybe we can eventually gain public opinion of the safety and benefits a drone has. One idiot with a drone flying near a airport can offset the millions of drone pilots around the world flying safely. It is strange how a person driving a vehicle drunk crashing into something, or killing somebody doesn't make most people say "vehicles are unsafe and we should ban them." Sorry I went off topic a bit. Good luck and hope I have helped a bit.
 

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