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R32 3352

Getting Good Photos of Moving Trains Underground.

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Hey, Everyone. 

 

 

I've only recently started with regular Subway Photography. I've been hanging out at the 7th Avenue Chambers Street Station recently and have never been disappointed with my video footage. However, I'm a little disappointed with my photos. I've got a Nikon P510 SLR Camera and I can't, for the life of me, figure out how to get good stills underground. I consider myself an amateur and am a little afraid to mess with the manual settings. Is there anything done out there to make sure you get good, clean, and still shots in the lower light of the Subway Tunnels? Please get back to me with your answers. 

 

 

-Nick

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Don't worry, the manual will not kill your camera. First set the ISO (sensitivity of the sensor) to a high number, your camera's max is 3200, I'd suggest 1600 in the station. Then adjust the aperture (amount of light let in) to a high, which is low number. Aperture is the number with the F before it. Then adjust your shutter speed (how long light is let in). Anywhere below 1/30th underground will be too blurry, meanwhile anywhere above 1/70th will be too dark. Experiment in the station before the train comes to find the perfect setting. As the train enters, take a picture of it.

 

EDIT: To change aperture and shutter speed, use the multi-selector for aperture adjustment and the command dial for shutter adjustment. In manual, do not use auto-ISO. Select it manually. As I said, 1600 is best for subway.

Edited by Quill Depot

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if your lens has image stabilization, you can go down to 1/15. and depending on the camera ISO 1600 might be too noisy. I personally use ISO 400.

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Nikon P510 is not a DSLR. It is an advanced point & shoot, or bridge camera.

 

Drop the f-stop to as low as your camera can go, and increase ISO & shutter speed. Since every camera is different, play around to see what works best.

 

A good place to begin is ISO 400 f/2.8 1/60. 

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In my experience, you need a shutter speed of at least 1/125th of a second to catch a reasonably sharp photograph of a moving train or bus.  As Quill Depot noted, an ISO up around 1600 is probably necessary to shoot in the subway.  Play around with different settings to see what works best for your camera.

 

One trick with subway photography is the dark track area - it can mess up your camera's light metering system or force a lower shutter speed before the train arrives.  Same with headlights.  I'm not sure if your camera has an 'exposure lock' button - Nikon's DSLR cameras have these and they allow you to meter the camera on a brighter subject (like a station wall) and adjust the settings and then lock these in when you refocus the camera on another subject (like the train itself).  It's a neat feature.

 

Good luck!

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