enter image description hereI need to photograph a long house 200 feet at night - recently bought a Tripod - this picture was taken without using Tripod. What D51000 setting will give optimum result

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    \$\begingroup\$ What do you think is wrong with it? To me, the biggest problem is the tree in the foreground, but I suspect you're asking about something else. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Dec 2, 2018 at 10:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ One thing that bothers me is the blueish light left/behind the tree on the grass. I would switch it off, whatever it is. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andreas
    Dec 2, 2018 at 10:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ What were you trying to accomplish in this photo? Where do you think it fell short? Is there an example you'd like to emulate? Is there something you are trying to communicate or show? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Dec 2, 2018 at 14:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Does it need to be at night? Why? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Dec 2, 2018 at 19:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ And, I mean this in as gentle a way possible, but... why do you think a camera setting is what you need to deliver an "optimum result"? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Dec 2, 2018 at 19:51

2 Answers 2


Sorry to sound harsh, but these are the immediate problems that jump out at me

  • The Highlights are blown

  • The shadows are too dark

  • The building is leaning on the left

  • The building is not lit from all angles

  • There is a mismatch of white balance

  • The tree in the foreground is a distraction

  • The roof isn’t defined

  • Lack of sharpness

  • Lack of clarity and contrast

  • Some windows are lit whereas others are not

To me, it is not about camera settings but more to do with the time of day the image needs to be taken to show off all the features of the house.

A house like this needs to have multiple images taken over a period of time starting during the day, through the golden and blue hours and possibly into the night. Then these images need to be stacked and merged to mask in/out the best exposures to composite the final image.

Alternatively, if the image has to be taken at night, then the image needs to be lit from several angles, possibly once again with several separate images taken with a flash and then stacked and merged in photoshop.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Please don't forget this weird blue-ish (flood(?))light in the front behind the tree. This part of the image is what jumps first into my eye and personally I can't even tell if the house was the desired subject in this image at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – confetti
    Dec 4, 2018 at 9:19

With a tripod I would probably set the iso at base iso.
Set the aperture to 7-8 or perhaps higher.
Then adjust the time until the exposure is correct.

This should give you a good depth of field, low noise and perhaps even some star shaped lights that can look good in some images.

You may need to go even higher in the aperture to get the star shaped lights, but that may also mean you get diffraction in the image.
It's a matter of balance.

Remember to set the camera to 2 second delay to make sure when you push the button you don't create shake in the tripod/camera.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Or better yet (unless you have a very sturdy tripod): Use a remote \$\endgroup\$
    – confetti
    Dec 4, 2018 at 9:17

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