Photography Experiments

My assignment for this week’s photo class was to play with shutter speed (the amount of time the camera sensor is expose to the light, as measured in seconds and aperture (the amount of light entering the lens), as measured in f-stops.  First thing I did was to play with light writing.  I would have preferred a sparkler but I had to do with a glow stick since per usual I was doing this last minute :)  So all of these are done by adjusting the shutter speed to several seconds and basically waving a light around.  The hardest part was getting to the camera to focus the right way, so what I did was I manually focused on a distance that I guess would be where the glow stick would be, it was a process with many blurry, blurry photos. The first two images are done with my fingers covering part of the glowstick (that second one turned out a bit more creepy than intended…!), the third is done by simply writing (backwards from where I was standing) and the fourth and fifth are done by just waving the red glowstick within close proximity to my face.  How cool is that fourth one with just the silhouette?

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Next, I played with aperture and depth of field.  Basically, the lower the f-stop, the blurrier the background (and immediate foreground) will be.  The first and third images were taken at f1.8 and the second and fourth were taken at f22.  Aperture has always been the the most difficult concept to understand so I’ll have to play with this one some more before I actually get it.  Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think these rules are intuitive: 1) The bigger the f-stop number is, the smaller the physical size of the aperture will be.  2)The smaller the physical size of the aperture, the greater the depth of field.  3) At the same f-stop number, a shorter lens will have a greater depth of field.  4) The depth of field will increase as you move away from your subject.

I can also do some weird stuff like this:

To get a ghost image, you can increase the shutter speed, stay in the photo for half of the time and then make a quick exit.  Fun to play with :)

And to leave you with something more professional to look at (instead of my lazy last minute photos), my teacher talked about this mystery of a man last week: Michael Wesley.  Although he’s super secretive about his process, we do know that he does very, very, very, very long exposures.  To give you an idea, compare my ten second glowstick photos to his three year photographs!  Apparently he’s quite talked about in the photography world, so much so that he doesn’t even feel the need to put images on his work on his super vague website.  You can find more images in this article.

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