Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday's Photolife--Doing it in the dark


When it gets dark out, don't put those cameras away. You can get some seriously cool shots in the dark, and don't think you have to use the flash. Taking pictures of things that are lit up in the night generally doesn't need a flash. With these fireworks, it was almost like daytime.
Go with the strengths of the darkness--glowing flames reflecting on a lake. If you're worried about blurring (which is always a concern in the dark without a flash), put the camera down on a solid surface. I used the fence around the lake to help me hold the camera steady for this shot. It works like a charm. A tripod is great, but it's not always convenient to carry around. Just work with what's there.
Sometimes I might use a flash when I'm far enough away that the light won't bounce back just so I don't get any blur when the subject is in motion like this ferris wheel.
Sometimes the blur is just what I'm going for. In the Tower of Terror--the blurs look almost like ghostly presences.

To get good blur pictures the point is to move the camera. Duh, eh? After years of working to keep the camera still, though, it was a revelation to me. Move the camera? On purpose? Yep. Totally. It can be really fun. Just play. Probably 1 shot out of 10 will be really cool.
Move the camera in wavy lines, in circles, squares, spell things out (if it's dark enough, you'll have time to do it).
Just go for it. Embrace the blur.
Application to writing? Don't think you can't do something a new way because you've always done it differently. Experiment. It might turn out great, just like taking blurry pictures in the dark.

25 comments:

Nisa said...

Those pictures are seriously cool. I love the application to writing. Great post!

Angie said...

Those are cool pictures. I'll have to tell my husband about this post. He's always experimenting with the camera. Great analogy to writing too. Maybe that's just what I need right now.

Solvang Sherrie said...

You always have the most awesome photos! I think I'll try to do something differently today :)

Crimey said...

I love the blurred photos. Photo of action captures a completely different feel.

And yes, you're completely right, in writing, you've got to be willing to experiment.

scott g.f.bailey said...

I love your photos. Do you use a digital SLR? We just bought a Canon EOS somethingorother and Mighty Reader has taken some amazing photos with it. Excellent point that we can try new things and that there is, in the arts at least, only a danger that we'll either make something bad but harmelss or we'll make something cool. We can't get the coolness without the experiment. Thanks for pointing me at your post today in your comment over at my blog; I've been busy and not reading much online and I would've missed this.

The fireworks picture is amazingly cool!

Kat O'Keeffe said...

I love the Ferris wheel pic! The sky, the lights, the angle-- it's all perfect!

sarahjayne smythe said...

Very cool pics. I seriously love the wavy lines ones.

lotusgirl said...

Nisa, Thanks. Time to get your camera out.

Angie, Send him on over. If he has any questions or comments, that would be great too.

Sherrie, I'm cheering for you.

Crimey, Thanks. It's so nice to have you back.

Scott, Yes. I have a digital SLR. A Canon 20D. I just bought a film Medium Format camera. I'm still prepping to use it. Reading the manual and figuring out how the film goes into it. (It's not like the film SLRs I grew up with.) It's kind of intimidating. I glad this post helped you. It just seemed to fit perfectly with what you were saying today.

Kat, Thanks. I love that shot too. It's from the Jardin des Tuilleries in Paris.

sarahjayne, Thanks. So get experimenting.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Love the Ferris wheel. Thanks for the reminder that it's good to do things differently sometimes. I need that courage for my WIP.

Julie Dao said...

These pictures are amazing! Especially the Eiffel Tower. When I went with my family a few years ago, we made a point to go out at night so we see the Tower glowing with light. France is exquisite. Thank you so much for sharing these photos :)

beth said...

LOVE your pictures!!! You seriously need to be a pro photographer....

PJ Hoover said...

Oooh, I'm totally inspired. I love the blur!

lotusgirl said...

Karen, have fun getting creative and trying new things.

Julie, I have a particular love for France since I lived there. Not to mention that I studied the language. I thought the tower all lit up was so beautiful and the twinkle lights were an added bonus.

Beth, Wow. a pro. You are too kind. I do love taking pictures, but I'm no pro. Those guys are insane good.

PJ, Blur it baby. Give it a whirl.

Eternally Distracted said...

I always thought my camera was way too rubbish to take out in the dark... but tonight I'm off out to get some blurry shots ;0)

KLo said...

It's funny, I've always thought that taking pictures at night was too much trouble and just a waste of time. Your point about one in ten pictures being good really resonated with me, and you're right, it does connect directly to writing. If you write a lot (even informal journaling) then take the time to sift through for the nuggets of gold, you'll more than likely find some amazing stuff : )

lotusgirl said...

ED, Let me know how your night shots work out.

KLo, yep. Not every raw shot is going to be a winner. We just have to keep working at it.

Barrie said...

The best thing that ever happened to be with a camera was getting a sports setting. I take 10 or so shots rapidly in a row and, wow, one of them will be good.! :)

~Jamie said...

oh WOW these are great!

Jessie Oliveros said...

i love that last one!

Susan R. Mills said...

How cool is that! Great pics.

Tess said...

Your title is cracking me up

hehehehehehehehe

little pleasures for my simple mind, I guess. But, still...funny.

And, beautiful pics. Do your talents ever end??

lotusgirl said...

Barrie, Yeah sports shots are definitely that way.

Jamie, Jessie, and Susan, Thanks.

Tess, I'm so glad you like my title. I was cracking myself up with it.

Damyanti said...

I have a series of blurred pictures my husband took in Shanghai. I have framed them up, they are so cool...

I can think of my character waving the camera in the dark now, awesome!

Lee Ee Leen said...

interesting parallel in the last line of the post. Normally writing is likened to stabbing in the dark while wearing a blindfold.
great pictures!

日月神教-向左使 said...
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