After taking a photograph of the Manchester Wheel at night last month it wasn’t something that was on my list to photograph when I was out taking photographs with Cat and Kov but after some inspiration on Flickr I wanted to return andexperiment with some very long shutter speeds. The above photograph was an exposure of 94 seconds at an aperture of f/22. The wheel was obviously moving during this exposure, hence the blurring of the wheel itself. I am a little disappointed in the lack of detail in the light areas of the building but as far as I know it is almost impossible not to over exposure in certain areas on the capture like this one.
This was a long 25 second capture of St. Peter’s Square taken about at half six in the evening. The building in the background is Manchester’s Central Library and the streaky lines of light are caused by a Metrolink Tram. I have taken pictures from this spot before, but never at night with the support of my tripod (a necessity for night time photography).
Setting up my camera I watched the sequence of the traffic lights and how long the lights took to change from the car to tram traffic. As soon as the lights went red for the cars, I had worked out that if I used a 2 second self timer (on the camera), the camera would then take the above image with a 25 second exposure, capturing the tram as it passed all the way across my image, as you can see above this worked how I wanted it.
Next time I am in this location my aim is to try slow sync and rear sync flash techniques. Here the camera would give a nice long 20-30 second exposure and then fire the flash just before closing the shutter. If I got the timing perfect the image above would look similar but you would be able to make out a ghostly image of the front of the tram, fingers crossed.
I thought as a nice contrast to the above photograph (taken after the Nikon Expo on Wednesday), you would enjoy seeing a similar capture taken at the being of the year in the daylight. I find it amazing how a city centre takes on a whole new look, feel and identity at night.
It has been easily five years or more since I last held a sparkler in my hand. Last Saturday I had a couple of packs of them with me and so tried experimenting with long exposures and painting with light experiments. The above photograph is a self portrait. It is very blurred, but that is due to waving the sparkler around to make the pattern. The images were captured with the camera on the tripod and with a remote shutter release. In this particular shot I tried really hard to keep still, I think it is almost impossible to take an image like this and make the face sharp. The exposure was five seconds on this picture. If you do have a digital camera and have sparklers this type of picture is very easily achieved, even on basic compact cameras. Simply make sure that the camera is supported, on a tripod or table etc. Make sure that you have the flash turned off (in auto or programme modes the shutter speed will then compensate for this). Another setting is to use the self timer to reduce camera shake. Light a sparkler, press the shutter and start drawing crazy shapes in front of the lens. You can even try writing your name (backwards of course).
So I was out playing American Pool with a friend and decided I would try to get a photo of the balls moving around the table. I wanted a dark image but showing movement. I had fun trying to get the right settings and shutter speed. Obviously I didn’t use flash or a tripod but I am still happy with the final result, maybe a little too dark.