Thursday, October 17, 2013

Taking Artistic Photographs (of Lights)

A couple of weeks ago, The Torch filmed an exclusive promo video at the Dekalb County Fair.

You can watch the video here.

I brought my camera along and decided to try out some techniques I had recently discovered. I am very happy with the way these photos turned out. The lights from the rides created interesting shapes and subjects.

When I started to photographed this ride (I can't remember it's name, it just spun around, and it was not the Ferris Wheel), I decided that it would look best a little blurry.

  • My lense was set to Manual Focus
    • From there I messed around with it to get the not so focused look that created the out of focus "circle lights".
  • The ISO was up very high.
    • It was up to about 1600
    • When photographing night images, you want your ISO to be the highest number it can be, without making the photo look grainy.
  • My aperture was 5.6
    • Normally I shoot everything with a low depth of feel. I like the blurry background look and having one thing in focus. 
    • This wouldn't have made much of a difference in this photo because everything is going to be blurry anyways, but it effected the shutter speed.
  • The shutter speed for this photo was around 1/60.
    • 1/60 is the slowest your shutter speed can be without the photo getting blurry from the camera being hand held
    • If you go any slower, you may need a tripod to steady the camera.

This photo is a little different than the last. Instead of making the entire photo blurry, I decided to just have the movement blurred.

  • The camera's lense was on Auto focus.
    • You could have it on Manual, you would just have to focus in on your subject.
  • Since it was still a night photograph, the ISO was still high.
    • Probably still on 1600
  • My aperture was still set on 11
    • By changing this to a higher number, you make the aperture smaller (confusing, I know). Just know that higher=smaller and lower=bigger, when you're dealing with aperture.
    • When you have a smaller aperture, the camera lets less light in. This may sound strange when you're dealing with night photos because you would think you would want more light, but when you're capturing movement, you want to get light through your shutter speed and not by aperture.
  • The shutter speed was very slow
    • The slower the shutter speed, the more light the camera detects.
    • For this photo, I wanted the movement of the ride captured. See how the lights are blurring together in a circular motion.
    • To do this, your shutter speed needs to be very slow.
    • Here it was at 1/30
    • Normally you would need a tripod for a shutter speed that slow. I just happened to get lucky and this photo turned out like I wanted.

I hope I didn't confuse anyone. Maybe now you guys can go out and take some artistic shots of your own. 

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