Monday, March 7, 2011

You know you're a photography geek when...

Last week, I went to Disneyland for part of a day. At the end of the day, I was stopped by a cast member taking a survey wanting to know how many rides I'd been on that day. Keeping in mind that on the day I went the place was as empty as I've every seen it, I went on... 6 rides in 6 hours. However, my photo count for the day was 178 frames. That's 30 pictures an hour, or one every 2-3 minutes. The photos I'm about to post are boring. They are of the parking lot. But, they did provide a chance to stand in one place and tinker with photo settings until I got the photo I wanted. :)

I started with the camera in Program ("P") mode because I knew I definitely wanted to keep that pesky flash from firing. A shot in that mode is useful to know what the camera picks so you know what to start changing. For all these photos, I was using an improvised tripod by setting my camera on a railing. (And lest you have a sympathetic heart attack about the camera sitting on a railing 4 stories above a street, you should know the strap was still around my neck!) Here's what I got, and really, I was happy with this photo as a snapshot:

Geeky details: ISO 1600, Exposure 1/60th of a second, F-stop f/4.50

Then I started to play around a little because I wanted to see if I could get a cool effect with the moving cars. I can't remember if I switched to Shutter mode ("TV") or Manual ("M") for the rest of these shots. If I was in Shutter mode, the f-stop was selected for me by the camera. If I was in Manual, I set it myself. I do know that I increased my exposure time, and reduced my ISO, and this is what I got:

Geeky details: ISO 800, Exp 5 sec, F-stop f/22

I don't remember really looking at this image on the camera screen too much before bumping my exposure up again. At the top of the ramp, just about dead center of the photo, there are headlights, but 5 seconds was just not long enough to get the effect I wanted. So here's what I got next - WARNING: Sunglasses required!!!:

Geeky details: ISO 800, Exp 10 sec, F-stop f/22

It was when I saw this image that I realized for a long exposure I needed to change my ISO, so I dropped it all the way to 100. Ah, much better:

Geeky details: ISO 100, Exp 10 sec, F-stop f/22

Now I'm getting close! I have some long trails of headlights, and the exposure isn't so bright that I feel like I'm going to get a headache. I increase the exposure time once more to 15 seconds, and shot a couple more frames, and this is the one I like the best:

Geeky details: ISO 100, Exp 15 sec, F-stop f/22

This is still not perfect as it's still a little bright, but I had fun and learned something, so that's what counts, right?

1 comment:

  1. From one photo geek to another, I {heart} this post!

    I know the hour long phone call didn't help your ride count any, either! :-)