Day: August 29, 2007

Photographing Indoors to Achieve Streaks of Colorful Light – And a Rant

Abstract Streaks of Light during Radin Mas Performance, by Nawfal Nur

Photographing Indoors to Achieve Streaks of Colorful Light


Abstract of RADIN MAS, Frame1208, Edit B, originally uploaded by fine-grain.

Abstract, Fine Art Photography: Streaks of colored light recorded during the performance of “Radin Mas,” a cultural and Historic Malay drama.

This is a result of a long shutter speed and allowing the performers on stage, to move around long enough to form the colorful streaks.

This is not as easy as it seems. The easy thing to do when taking this sort of shot is to overexpose the image. Getting it perfect, is the trick.

You can make these sorts of shots by moving the camera; or, by keeping your camera firm, and let the subjects move around. Or…both.

One trick you may want to remember, however, is to use some sort of support (tripod, monopod, beanbag, etc.).

When shooting indoors, under the subdued hues of the artificial lighting coming from the stage lights, there is no problem with making long exposures. Being that digital photography has now made it “SO EASY” for anyone to instantly check if they “got it” or not, there is usually time to take a second, third, fourth or fifth shots, until you get the best effect without overexposing the image.

Start by setting your camera on Manual Mode. Set the shutter speed at 1 second, and adjust your aperture until you see a nice balance in lighting (nothing blown out in the highlights): You can check this in the LCD for most Point & Shoot Users and those of you using Olympus DSLR’s with the real time viewing technology (if I understand their cameras’ capabilities correctly).

If you are using a regular DSLR, then GUESS! f/8.0 is a beautiful and perfect aperture – start with that, and adjust as you “Chimp” and see the images on the LCD after taking each shot.

Sometimes, it takes a good 2, 3, or 4 seconds to create good streaks, and that will make it necessary to adjust your aperture also, so keep that in mind. But hey, digital film is cheap, so take lots of shots, check your results and adjust from there.

You can also use your zoom lens on long exposures and really go wild with the colorful streaks!

Have at it! Have fun!

Remember, you don’t have to have $5,000, $10,000, or $20,000 cameras and lenses to make fantastic photographs; that hype is just a bunch of camera manufacturer bullshit!

The creativity is in you! If you don’t have a creative bone in your body, a new D3 or Mark III or some Medium Format with Digital Back, isn’t gun’na do a damned thing to help you take better photos. It’s like I’ve said before: “If you give a Chimp a $5,000 camera, you’re still going to get photographs of bananas; Or, he’ll bust the shit out of it!”

Do I seem a bit grumpy today? Maybe…

I think consumers have bought into the digital camera propaganda, hook, line and sinker. You buy a new digital camera today, and 9-months later, these same people are telling you your camera is obsolete and out of date, you better buy a new one. Hell, I have a circa., 1960’s Nikon F that, in a total destruction contest, could outlast any of the new digital cameras, and it still takes fantastic film photographs. It will only become obsolete when the film companies stop making film! But in the meantime, it has gotten, roughly, 47-good years of use out of it! Try that, with any digital camera! Good Luck!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, fancy smamcy advertising agencies want to see the photographer with the Hasselblad and Phase One digital back and all that, because it may be today’s norm. And hell, it looks f’ing cool, right! Stock Agencies use to say 8MP image files were required; then it was 10MP; then it was 12MP; then what, 16MP; and then what…?

I’m not sure how the hell this Journal Entry started out with How to take Nice Color Streaked Images, to a Rant on Digital Imaging, but it sure as hell got there one way or another.

F’, I love digital imaging! No doubt about it.

But I’m sick of the idea that we need to upgrade our cameras to become better photographers! That shit just don’t fly with Homeboy here! Ah…no way!

Cameras don’t make the photographs, Photographers do!

And, it isn’t about you, anyway! It’s not about vanity and “Oh, you are so cool!”

It’s about this type of reaction when someone looks at your photographs: “F’en A! I can’t believe those people are taking justice into their own hands, and stabbing the shit out of that guy for “whatever”!

You just happened to be the Photojournalist or Street Photographer with whatever camera you had in your hands, and you captured that EXTREME MOMENT IN TIME, that MADE A POTENT STATEMENT, and TOLD A POTENT STORY with your photograph!

** It’s about the picture, not the photographer. It’s about the photographer, and not the equipment! **

So, with that said, I’m finished!

I’ve got to go cool down and do something else for awhile….

No need for comments on this one…I just wanted to state my thoughts, no one has to agree with me!

Peace! And, “Live Long and Prosper!”