I saw a little blurb on television tonight about how the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike has taken a terrible toll on awards shows. Apparently, without writers to put together the brainless chatter that award presenters emit at a constant (and significant) rate, it is impossible to have an awards show, at least in the usual manner. Thus, the “People’s Choice Awards” have done away with a live presentation show and are instead airing a show that announces the winners, who will give pre-taped acceptance speeches. As for those priceless red carpet moments and the mindless prattle, they are 86’ed.
I hope this strike continues for a thousand years.
Here is a picture of Spouse lunging her horse Ralph to help fill the empty spaces in your life, and to prove that I actually have been spending some time trying to get to know the ins and outs of my new D-SLR. Props to Doug and Mike for giving me a short course on lenses and basic photography principles in the comments section of my last post. Taking this shot was a challenge because the setting (the indoor riding arena at the barn where Ralphie boards) was dark – only two little bulbs hung from the high ceiling, way down at the other end of the building. Luckily, I was able to convince Spouse to keep the door open to the arena (visible, and highly over-exposed, at the bottom right of the photo) which meant I had a little natural light to work with. I then had to review my basics – bump up the ISO, open up the aperture (lower f-stop denominator) and try not to use the zoom. This shot was taken using a tripod on the aperture priority setting, which I had chosen initially just to see what kind of a shutter speed the camera suggested. I think the camera ended up choosing a .6 sec exposure, obviously not quick enough to “freeze” Ralphie as he cantered past the camera. I ended up liking the ghostly images of Ralph I got and took a few more “ghost” shots on purpose, concentrating more on compositional elements. This is one of the better shots. Full disclosure: I’ve fiddled a little bit with the brightness and saturation levels using an image editor – the initial image is a bit too dark to post to the Web in reduced form, and some alterations were, accordingly, necessary.
Ditto on the awards shows. My imagination, or did they multiply in the last few years?
Something else that might work well for you — slow sync flash, synchronised to the second curtain.
Slow sync = camera meters for the background, so you get the long-ish shutter speed.
Flash = a bit of light, not overpowering, to catch a foreground subject.
Second curtain = flash fires at the end of the exposure, not the beginning; that way any light trails stream behind the foreground subject, not in front (looks wonky the other way around).
Ah, aperture priority. What would I do without it? And high ISO = grainy, but for me, with too much Tri-X Pan on my brain, the unnaturally clean high ISO pictures of today’s dSLRs freak me out.
On Long Exposures (sorta):
Could be done with your new SLR but I suggest using your old digital or even film camera. It is called Camera Tossing and it creates some pretty cool results.
The gist: At night or in dark space with interesting light sources, set camera to long exposure, release shutter and toss camera in the air…… oh and then catch it. Look at image.
Here is a link to a blog all about it http://cameratoss.blogspot.com//. There is also a whole bunch of people on Flickr who have posted their camera tossing images.
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