Tips for night time gas stations audits.

Any useful tips for night time gas audits. [photos etc.] The bonuses are getting too large to ignore. I've only done one day time gas audit.

A Dad shopping the Ark-LA-Tex and beyond.

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We don't have any night audits yet in our area. If it's the mystery shops, as in the ones that you are just taking photos from across the street? You don't even have to bust out a pen if there are no infractions. Snap the clock on the dash, snap the printed address on your instructions, snap the required photos, snap the clock again, and drive away. When you go through photos the clock pics will separate them nicely.

(I shop rural areas where data is not available so no, just using the app is not a thing.)
If it is the regular audit, but at night? Just do the exact same thing as for day. It can be trickier to get a good overall photo of the station, so take several. (You might not realize they are blurry until you get home.) The pump photos at a well-lit station turn out as well as if it was daytime.
I have done several of these, and I recommend starting as SOON as it's dark enough to qualify. I messed up a route once and ended up in a not-so-good location at 10 pm: no bueno.

Also, if you don't generally wear a safety vest (some brands require it and some only suggest it), I suggest you do so for these. It really does make a difference as to if people see you when you are traipsing around a gas station at night.
I don't use the camera flash and the pics come out just fine. I also use a regular, old style digital camera since I cannot change the phone's photo file size. Pics upload faster and save space when set for 640x480 size. I just prefer to do the work at home on the computer than to stay extra time at the station messing with an app.

sestrahelena
@heartlandcanuck wrote:

Snap the clock on the dash, snap the printed address on your instructions, snap the required photos, snap the clock again, and drive away. When you go through photos the clock pics will separate them nicely

Genius. But...

Because my dashboard clock is set 10 minutes late on purpose to scare the bejeezus out of me, I usually take a pic of my shoes to separate a route of the same shop, and get the start/stop times from the time/date stamp embedded in the pic.

Was that a run on sentence? Too many commas?
I always use my digital camera, day or night. However, with the night shops, I turn on my flash for the pump photos. The MID and overall photos, no. Otherwise, the shops are no different than the daytime shops.

But, as with all of the shops I do, I always bring my laptop and download my camera's photos into it (in a file for that particular shop). Then, I review, name and do anything else needed.
It is worthwhile to me as I do not like doing night shops and I do not want to have to go back to take another photo. BTW, I never will.
Also, like MamaBearBlue advises, wear a safety vest!
Hold your camera or phone very still and pause a little when taking photos. This sounds obvious, but when you are used to snapping quick pictures in the day it can be hard to remember your camera needs a little extra time for exposure in bad lighting. At least it was hard for me to remember, I had to go back several times for simple pump photos that were completely blurry because I didn't take a few extra seconds to keep my camera still.
I was taught by a professional photographer to get the subject in frame, exhale and take the picture during the last portion of the exhale. Continue to exhale until the photo is captured. Relaxed body for a still frame. Has always worked for me when I've had too much coffee. *Especially* for the green night audits.
The camera on my tablet allows changing the exposure time and I find it very useful for the green dark audits. The camera on my phone has no such setting. Both running Oreo, so it must be the device and not the software, but it might be worth checking your camera settings to see if you have that option.
Learn the features of your phone and how to use them, especially the panoramic feature.

Always wear your safety vest. It makes you invisible.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
It sounds like you have an Android phone. the camera app built into Android is very limited. I suggest installing Open Camera. Not only will it put the date onto the photo if you want, but it also has more setting than any SLR camera that I have ever used (I used to be a semi-pro photographer).
@panama18 wrote:

The camera on my tablet allows changing the exposure time and I find it very useful for the green dark audits. The camera on my phone has no such setting. Both running Oreo, so it must be the device and not the software, but it might be worth checking your camera settings to see if you have that option.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I'll try it. Thank you.

@myst4au wrote:

It sounds like you have an Android phone. the camera app built into Android is very limited. I suggest installing Open Camera. Not only will it put the date onto the photo if you want, but it also has more setting than any SLR camera that I have ever used (I used to be a semi-pro photographer).
@panama18 wrote:

The camera on my tablet allows changing the exposure time and I find it very useful for the green dark audits. The camera on my phone has no such setting. Both running Oreo, so it must be the device and not the software, but it might be worth checking your camera settings to see if you have that option.
I also find the stations pretty calm between 2 and 5am on weekdays, if they're open 24 hrs.


@MamaBearBlue wrote:

I have done several of these, and I recommend starting as SOON as it's dark enough to qualify. I messed up a route once and ended up in a not-so-good location at 10 pm: no bueno.

sestrahelena


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/30/2019 11:29PM by sestrahelena.
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