Nice try, but no banana

Aced
I’ve seen quite a few shots recently involving playing cards and motion blur so though I’d have a go myself having borrowed a rather nice Manfrotto Tripod from a friend. I didn’t realise how hard this is to do by yourself !! – For those interested, the Flash was bounced off of the ceiling, and the exposure was metered for the ambient light minus around 1 stop.
Multiple test shots gave me a resultant shutter speed of 1/5 @ f6.3 which captured the movement of the cards quite nicely when I was able to get the timing right. Keeping an eye on the timer, and making sure the cards are within the frame was rather tricky, and I only ended up with two usable shots from 20 or so attempts

Sadly, my living room is too small to not have included the wall in the shot. I already had to clone out a bit of sofa behind me. This for me, makes this shot pretty much just below average, but at least it’s good practice. I thought about trying to remove the wall by copying or cloning in more floor, but my PS skills fall way too short to even attempt it.

Added to the list of shots to re-try properly at some point this year.

Empty Promises

Something different to end the month with. Different in that it’s kind of a self portrait (well, it’s me in the picture at least). Been reading up on Flash, and after owning the 480EX for over 6 months, I still haven’t fiured out how to use it properly.

So, with a view to practicing, I got hold of some black foamy stuff, and wrapped it round the end of the flash to focus the light in a narrow field rather than having it spill all over the room.
The flash was then attached to the wireless trigger set to 1/16th power and placed on the floor so it pointed upwards to the space where I wanted to be. I took a couple of test shots to make sure my position and the flash position worked OK (f32 was too dark, f8 let too much ambient light in for the exposurte time I wanted).

Once I was happy with the effect, I then stuck the camera on the tripod, locked the focus just in front of a black tv screen and set the timer. I had a few duff attempts where I hadn’t managed to get myself in the shot, but finally got myself in the right place. The Flash was set to first curtain sync, so as soon as it fired, I slipped out of the shot and then used a keyring torch (one of the cheapy single LED ones) to paint in some swirly light.

See this Image on Dave Frost's Flickr Stream
Empty promises

Post processing was just a bit of sharpening and a conversion to black and white.
Aperture – F11
Shutter Speed – 10 Seconds
ISO – 100

More From Adventure Island – Southend on Sea

Another couple from our afternoon jolly on Saturday, all again from Southend, Adventure Island.

Rage - Adventure Island
Rage - Adventure Island
. This is the Rage – A vertical climp leads to a terrifying vertical drop before being thrown through a loop the loop and some very tight bends. You may just be able to make out the Cars coming down the drop – They moved so fast that the 1/4 Second shutter speed wasn’t enough to really capture anything other than a smudge as it sped past.

This one is Pharoe’s Revenge – This time a 1.6 second exposure with a narrow F22 captured the movement nicely. Somewhere on there are Tommy and Alfie.

Southend on Sea, Adventure Island
Southend on Sea, Adventure Island

No Fireworks, but some long exposures instead.

So, we packed up and shot of to Southend for the afternoon. Unfortunately we were a week early for the Christmas light switch on (oops) but were looking forward to the fireworks. I never had the tripod, but did think I’d be able to rest the camera on a fence or railing. I hadn’t planned on the crowds and completely forgot that my “pointless” and “annoying” hobby would of course come much lower down the list than everything else.
So, the firework shots were appalling. I mean really really bad. But I did manage a few shots while the kids were on the rides in the Adventure Island Theme Park instead.  This one (as were all the others) was hand held, shutter speed was 1/4 Second @ f4.0.   Have a couple of other shots of this at different settings which can be found at my Flickr page here.

Giant Tortoise
Giant Tortoise
There were also a couple of attempts to shoot some of the other rides. such as the Rage roller-coaster. Under the circumstances they also turned out OK. I’ll be trying more long exposures throughout the winter. I need the practice !!

Light trails and long exposures

Was messing around yesterday evening, trying out some ideas for this months Talk Photography competition.¬† The standard this month is unbeleivably high so I need to up my game considerably (especially after last month’s disappointing entry that may have been a little too out of the box. This shot was achieved by resting the camera

Light Trail in my living room.

on the sofa, manually focussed on a point at the other end of the room. The aperture was around f22 or f32 with a corresponding shutterspeed of around 10 to 15 seconds. With the camera on Timer, I released the shutter and then swiftly made my way to the other end of the room. I did have mixed results, with this one being on of my favourites.