Month: June 2012

HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH RAIN – STOP MOTION – WITHOUT FLASH – and, ‘Neglecting Air Resistance’ hehehehe

I get the question – OFTEN – How to Photograph Rain?

This is really a question that takes two sciences into account – Physics and Photography.

Now I get to say the famous Physics statement:  “Neglecting air resistance, and all those other pesky things that slow down stuff…”

“It depends on the size and weight of the raindrop how fast it falls: the heavier, the faster.

At sea level, a large raindrop about 5 millimeters across (house-fly size) falls at the rate of 9 meters per second (20 miles per hour).

Drizzle drops (less than 0.5 mm across, i.e., salt-grain size) fall at 2 meters per second (4.5 mph).

A raindrop starts falling and then picks up speed because of gravity.

Simultaneously, the drag of the surrounding air slows the drop’s fall. The two forces balance when the air resistance just equals the weight of the raindrop.

Then the drop reaches its terminal velocity and falls at that speed until it hits the ground.

This simple view neglects updrafts, downdrafts, and other complications.

[Source: ]

So, let’s say that our raindrops are big raindrops and they fall at 20mph (9 meters per second).

Now, as a photographer, I want to know what Shutter Speed I need to use to stop those raindrops in Stop Motion.  By knowing what shutter speed will create stop motion images, I can also know what shutter speeds I can use to create blurring effects.

We need to know the formula to figure out Motion Blur – that formula is:


Let’s say that the raindrop falls at 9 meters per second, or, 9,000 mm per second, and you set the shutter speed of your camera at 1/250th of a second.

MOTION BLUR = 9,000 mm per second x .004 of a second

Then, the MOTION BLUR would be 36 mm.

Let’s increase the Shutter Speed to 1/1,000 of a second.

MOTION BLUR = 9,000 mm per second x .001 of a second


At 1/1,000 of a second, there is still 9mm of MOTION BLUR.

OK, we are still not there.  Let’s increase the Shutter Speed to 1/1,500th of a second.

MOTION BLUR = 9,000 mm per sec x 1/1500th of a sec, or

MOTION BLUR = 9,000 mm per sec x .0007 of a second.

That would give us a MOTION BLUR of 6 mm!  Still NOT at Stop Motion:  Let’s increase the Shutter Speed to 1/2,000th of a second.

MOTION BLUR = 9,000 mm per sec x 1/2000th of a sec, or

MOTION BLUR = 9,000 mm per sec x .0005 of a second.

Using a Shutter Speed of 1/2000th of a second, the MOTION BLUR is, 4.5 mm of MOTION BLUR.

How Frick’en Fast does the Shutter Speed need to be (without using flash), to create a STOP MOTION IMAGE of RAIN?

Let’s continue, shall we…

How about if we really go wild and try 1/5,000th of a second shutter speed:  That would be .0002 of a second.

MOTION BLUR = 9,000 mm per sec. x .0002 of a second

Considering a big raindrop traveling at 9,000 mm per second, and using a Shutter Speed of 1/5,000th of a second, the MOTION BLUR is still at 1.8 mm.

We are going to go totally wild now, and say we are using a 1/9,000th of a second Shutter Speed.

MOTION BLUR = 9,000 mm per second x .000111 of a second, thus,

MOTION BLUR = .999 of a mm.

Could you live with 1mm of motion blur in your rain photography?  Yes?  No?  Maybe?  If not, then what is it going to take to get that damned rain to stop moving?

1/12,000th of a second Shutter Speed?  Let’s give it a try.

MOTION BLUR = 9,000 mm per second x .0000833 of a second.

MOTION BLUR at .0000833 of a second would equal, 0.7497 of a mm.

This is getting ridiculous!

HOW ABOUT, 1/25,000th of a second Shutter Speed?

MOTION BLUR = 9,000 mm per second x .00004 of a second.

**MOTION BLUR, at 0.00004 of a second Shutter Speed, still equals 0.36 of a mm.**

Shall we do 1/100,000th of a second Shutter Speed? Why not…

MOTION BLUR = 9,000 mm per second x 0.00001 of a second.

The MOTION BLUR of a big raindrop falling at 9,000 mm per second, and using a Shutter Speed of 1/100,000th of a second, is 0.09 of a mm.  That may be about as close as I want to continue going, to find the STOP ACTION Shutter Speed needed to capture a big raindrop that falls at 9,000 mm per second.

You can attempt to use ultra-fast flash with high-speed shutter settings to stop rain in motion, but that is another Physics and Photography story.

Does that answer the question about “How to photograph rain?” – I’m not sure if it does because it depends on what effect you wish to get – stop action or blur motion.  If you use flash, you can illuminate rain drops better to give that sense of stop motion.  However, if you are depending on capturing raindrops using ambient light (diffused cloudy sunlight), then you will need a heck of a fast shutter speed.  If the equation, BLUR MOTION = Distance Traveled per Second x Shutter Speed, is accurate, then, to stop that big raindrop traveling at 9,000 mm per second, will need, approximately, a 1/100,000th of a second Shutter Speed to get near STOP MOTION images.

Perhaps a camera like this would do the trick to take Rain Photographs,

We are Forgetting What May be the Most Difficult Thing about Photographing Rain!

Rain is WET – Really Wet!  To photograph rain properly, I hate to tell you, but you will need to get out there in the rain and photograph it.  You can expect to get wet, and your equipment is also likely to get wet.

And, to get macro shots of rain is even messier!  You need to get pretty close to your small subject to get decent captures.  Of course, you can use a longer focal length macro lens and stand back a bit, but not too much.  Rain is small, really small. When rain hits the ground (or any object, it explodes and get everything around it wet, including the front element of your lens.

It is pretty hard to capture good rain drop photographs between wiping the front element of your lens.

If you are a one-man-show, the difficulties multiply:  Now, you need to focus on your subject, keep your camera secure, steady, ready, and dry, all the while, timing your shots to attempt capturing raindrops as they fall from the sky at 9,000 mm per second.

You may be holding an umbrella in one hand, and focusing and clicking the shutter button in the other hand.  Oh, and don’t forget, wiping the front of the lens, and camera body, of rain water.

Photographing rain out in the “wild” is no easy task.

That’s not to say, don’t do it, do it, give it a shot!  Have fun with it, but attempt to keep your equipment as dry as possible because water and electronic gadgets don’t mix very well.

Is Iritis Dangerous!

It is time to answer a question from my Search Terms used to look up blog entries at my blog.  The question is:

Is Iritis Dangerous?

Yes, it is very dangerous.  If left untreated it can cause extreme pain for one thing; but worst of all, it can cause blindness or other complications to your eye-health.  So yes, it is dangerous.

If you suspect Iritis, get to your Ophthalmologist A.S as frick’en fast as possible to get treatment!


Finding Nawfal Nur, Art Photography at ImageKind dot Com



I never thought I would have to give instructions on how to find me (“Nawfal Nur”) at; but the time has come to saturate these instructions wherever I can, because Imagekind makes it SO difficult to find my Art Photography when putting in something so direct, as the NAME of individual pieces of my artwork.  It is Supreme’O Insane’O to the Maximus!

Click on the photo above to go to my name’s search page where some of my work shows up.

On the one hand, I really like Imagekind – they have never failed me, or my customers.  They offer wonderful printing, plenty of options, first-rate products, perfect framing, brilliant customer service and fast & safe shipping.  I’ve ONLY heard good things from my customers about their experience with Imagekind.

On the other hand, I’ve been a member at Imagekind since their beginning – I’ve been a member since 2006!  A Grand Opening Member.  My photography has provided them and me with business.  NEVERTHELESS, I don’t care if I’m not a “preferred” member, or whatever the hell they say determines search priority; I think that if someone is specifically looking for my work, and they plug into the “SEARCH” field my Name or the names/titles of my works, then my work should show up FIRST in Line for the Search Results.

I’ve experimented putting in exact titles of my work, into the Search field, and work that has no connection to the title that was inputed, comes up first, and in the first dozens of pages.  This is simply ridiculous.

I mean, IF I have to physically put the URL and a small image of each of my artworks, at my blogs, then so be it.  There’s nothing I can do to change the way they constructed their SEARCH algorithm – it simply favors certain members.

Well, if that’s the case, then I’ll just have to direct everyone, personally, to my artwork pages.

With that said, I wanted to let you know that I just uploaded 22 new Smoke Art Photographs that belong to a new collection, “SMOKE-EVOLUTION 3”.  Please have a visit to see this new work.  Thanks!



Apparently, my …

Apparently, my last post fell on deaf ears, and blind eyes.  It is very sad.  People can write about all kinds of stupid, unimportant things and get a lot of idiotic comments.  But when someone attempts to be serious and touch on a very serious topic, there is nothing – no – thing.  Silence.  All that is heard is the grasshopper sitting in the far corner of the outdoor auditorium.  My last post means about as much as this gibberish…

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Oh well…Perhaps someday, someone will seriously look at what I have written, and will really consider my words.  And maybe, even maybe, help someone else who is having a hell of a horrible time in the here-and-now.

There’s nothing more to say.

HELP – Wake up and be Aware of the Signs of Major Depression!

It is time for you to wake up and be aware of the signs of Major Depression – It could help save someone you care about!

HELP - V 2, Edit F, NJN667

It’s not always easy to stand aside and be unable to do anything except record the sufferings around one. – Robert Capa

Photography helps people to see. – Berenice Abbott

It isn’t one of those days to create happy, fluffy, pretty, beautiful, or feel-good images.  While those types of images have their place and their time, today is not one of those times.

Sometimes, you have to record suffering, or, create a scene that mimics suffering to get the attention of other people and to spread a message – an important message.

As Berenice Abbott said, “Photography helps people to see.”

At times, people would rather not see; and most of the time, they would rather not consider suffering.  It is always easier to ignore someone else’s suffering than to help that person.  If you don’t get involved, then you don’t have to think about it.  Out of sight – Out of mind!

I guess the question you need to ask yourself is, “Is that other person, the one suffering, worth it to you, to help?”

In other words, Do You Give One Good god Damn about anyone but yourself? If you do, then read on good people!

The humanity in me wants to answer that question for you, “Yes, that other person is always worth some amount of help.”  In addition to that, the closer the person is to you, the more you need to help.  But as you can guess, these are not universal laws by any means.

What am I talking about?

I’m talking about People who struggle with Major Depression.

How might you know if someone is struggling with Major Depression?

Certain clues would reveal themselves to you if you are concerned enough to observe them in someone.

  1. The person may have a major change in eating habits (not hungry, or wanting to eat too much).
  2. The person would likely be extremely tired all the time:  A person finds it very difficult to get out of bed in the morning and wants to sleep all the time.  However, this would not be restful sleep – they will constantly be disturbed by their troubles.
  3. The person will have a vast change in energy level – EVERYTHING takes major effort.
  4. The person may have difficulties concentrating.
  5. The person may experience elevated levels of aches and pains.
  6. The person will have a severe lack of happiness:  Nothing makes the person happy and the activities that the person used to like doing, they never want to do.
  7. The person does not want to be around people who they normally used to be around.
  8. The person has very low esteem – to the person everything seems hopeless and worthless.  The severely depressed person will have an outlook on life as if it is a bottomless pit of hopelessness – everything sucks!
  9. The person may exhibit bouts of anger, or rage.
  10. The person may show extreme emotional releases – they may cry for what seems no apparent reason.
  11. The person may elude to “not being around” or they may come right out and give clues about wanting to kill themselves.

There could be more signs of depression, but those are some major ones to look out for.

The person who suffers from major depression will feel that their problems and feelings are so heavy and overbearing that there is no possible escape.

If you know anyone who has any, some, or all of these symptoms, then you can help them…if you want.  I say, “if you want” because not everyone wants to, they are too busy locked in their own world to worry about the cares, concerns or problems of other people.  That’s just the way life is with people:  Some people are selfish, and other people are selfless. 

I just hope that if you are suffering from depression (of any level) that you are surrounded by selfless people who want to help you.  And if you are so lucky as to have caring people who want to help you, that you, the depression sufferer, wants to be open about receiving the love and help that these people want to give.

What can be done?

I’m just going to throw out a few ideas for you to consider.  I’m not even going to attempt to know about a solid cure for major depression.

  • Talk to the person you feel may be suffering from depression and let them know you care.
  • Be open and honest – don’t fake it, be real.
  • Be available to the person if they need to talk.
  • Be patient.
  • Talk with the person about going to see a Counselor or Psychiatrist – They need some sort of trained medical help to overcome depression and reach remission.

Organizations that Have Information about Depression:

MHA (Mental Health America)
DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance)
Families for Depression Awareness

In Malaysia

MMHA (Malaysian Mental Health Association)
Depression Understood Organization

Depression can be very damaging.  Depression can also linger on for a long time.  The faster someone with depression finds help dealing with the root cause(s) of their depression, the better it will be for them, and everyone else around that person.

The Best of Luck!


My Photograph:  I wanted to grab your attention.  I wanted to evoke emotion.  I wanted to get you to stop your busy life and consider what you are seeing and what this photograph is illustrating.  I wanted you to read this blog after seeing this photograph!  I want you to be open and aware to the symptoms of severe depression.  If my image did any of these things, then it was successful as an image to accompany this piece.