Night photography/editing advice?

Hi all, recently I was on an acceptance streak for planespotters.net but I recently got a night shot rejected for graininess, bluriness, and JPEG compression. I know that the getting photos rejected from these websites doesn’t necessarily mean that the photo is hot garbage, but I’d like to improve on my night photos anyways.

Edited in LR and used denoise as well. Just wondering what people here think, how much graininess/bluriness is acceptable for a night shot? (and obviously how to fix those issues) Keep in mind that my gear is relatively mediocre so high ISO performance will be significantly worse than that of modern, mirrorless gear.

Thanks!

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Acceptance to planespotters.net or not this is a great shot! Light years better than my ever aging phone can do

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As for your rejections; Graininess would be caused by your ISO, likely due to the gear you have as you mentioned, though it’d really only be an issue if this isn’t a long exposure. Blurriness is because of camera shake while taking a long exposure. JPEG compression is a post-processing issue (usually fixable), I’m not quite sure what a concrete solution for this would be as I rarely get hit with this. It’s detectable by seeing clear blocks and pixels in the sky.

In the Singapore shot you had shared, the front area of the aircraft is properly exposed but you can find a lot of grain where the flood lights don’t illuminate the aircraft. Attempting to solve this issue with Denoise and stuff will work sometimes but also causes the other rejection reason of blurriness since it’ll soften the areas where you have the grain.

Unfortunately, I found that night photography is where you’ll find your limitations on your camera equipment since higher ISO will cause issues, long exposure is the best work-around. Obviously having your settings properly set would help you since the less you have to increase the exposure in post, the less grain you have. I usually do a 2-10 second long exposure with F/11-16, and ISO100, it depends on the situations.

@AndrewWu should be able to help you more since he does night spotting much more frequently than me.

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Hello! i’m happy to give some advice on this rejection.
i firstly would like to mention that i don’t upload to planespotters.net, i upload to jet- photos but it should be similar.

now with the blurry-ness; since you used de-noise it actually softens the image and smooths it out and that’s how de-noise works. i would say don’t use more than 50% unless you really have to.

JPG compression; i can see tons of it in the sky. so make sure you export your image in 100% quality
and the image is also lacking contrast as well, the noise looks a bit … eh…

just a suggestion for the white balance. this isn’t required but it makes the image look better. just fix the WB on the blue side, just use the eyedropper tool and tap it on the nose it should make whites more white :)

hope this helps!

i did upload a few night shots my self on JP - my account; Christian M Despotidis

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Honestly I don’t have much to add, other than with crop sensors (especially old ones) if it’s not a long exposure it’s probably a no go. It is extremely hard to keep the shutter open long enough on a crop sensor for the noise to go away without a tripod.

I don’t really like telling people there’s no solution but for night shots it’s sort of a reality you have to put up with.

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Thanks for the edvice everyone :)

Not your fault though