December 3, 2010

Canon Rebel XTi Limitation with Exposure - Corrected


To get a long exposure time with the Canon Rebel XTi, you must set the camera to Bulb Mode.

Set the camera to Manual (M) mode.
Adjust the aperture (F-Stop) by turning the Scroll Wheel.
Hold the AV+- Button and turn the Scroll Wheel to Bulb Mode.

The shutter will remain open for as long as you hold the Shutter Release Button.  I bought a cheap remote switch which has a lock that will hold the shutter open for as long as I need it to.

I got back home a couple nights ago from Tennessee after spending over a week and an entire cold there.  Because of the constantly dripping nose, the rancid cough, and the general feeling of sick, I spent quite a bit of time at the house.  One night when it was shockingly frigid for my Central Texas internal thermostat, I wandered out in a few layers of clothes (roughly 10) and took some shots of the night sky including the tree line.  At least there wasn't any wind which I'm sure made the dozens of pilots thrilled whom I counted overhead while waiting for my camera's shutter.

Here's an unedited image I took:

Terrible, right?  I discovered that my camera cannot take shots longer than 30 seconds.  I would have preferred a full 1 minute shot for starters.  Some kind of manual exposure setting.  Something!  There might be some trick to it, but I didn't take the manual with me and didn't have a solid internet connection or the wherewithal to bother finding one online.

After some editing in GIMP, here's the shot:

Fuzzy, grainy, and horrible despite some sense of what the shot would have been.  Granted, exposures longer than 30 seconds are rare for me, but here's a case where I would have really liked a manual exposure option.

I hope everyone in the US and the ex-pats had a great Thanksgiving!


  1. I think it looks pretty cool to me! Amazing the difference!

  2. Now that changed the exposure for the better.

  3. It's lovely. You have skills, girl!

  4. So do you like using Gimp? I recently got my first mac and feel lost without Adobe photoshop. I have Gimp but find it not doing all I need it to do.

  5. Candy - The difference is pretty cool. I was actually amazed at how much information was pulled after an edit in GIMP. Still... I wish I'd had a better image.

    GWGT - It at least somewhat resembles the scene better than the first.

    webb - Thanks!

    Randy - GIMP is much more powerful than what most people need, and it really is quite robust. It perhaps requires more work than Photoshop, but if you're a good photographer, you shouldn't need to rely on either program beyond a few simple edits such as color levels, cropping, and resizing. I wish I were such a good photographer that I could just use it for cropping and resizing to be honest because that would mean I was doing just about everything else right from the start. Still, sometimes the capture is more important than the quality. I could probably go on and on about it, but meh... I don't think too many people are interested in that. Anyway, there's a bit of transition time for people going from Photoshop to GIMP and vice versa. I haven't used Photoshop in so long that I'm not sure how well I could switch back.


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