Monday, 31 August 2015

Long Exposure on the phone?

Since I have two young children it is not always feasible to take my camera equipment with me everywhere we go, and also spend large amounts of time taking a few images, not due to the boys becoming bored, but it is not fair on them to have to spend time out of our day out (usually the zoo) waiting for me. The solution - find an app that lets me do long exposures, one quick hunt around the Internet and I had a whole list of ones to look at. I decided on the one to download and got it set up with little effort.

The test was the next day at the zoo, with 4 adults and 4 children aged from 5 to 1, and on a very busy day to the zoo, so the challenge was set.

I am pretty impressed with the functionality of this app, it has captured the motion of the water well, I like that you are able to alter the shutter time and also how much blur is wanted. The only downside is that anything over 1 second is really hard to keep steady, when you have a 2 year old swinging on your arm like a monkey! And I don't want to get a tripod for my phone.

Capturing Motion...

Since studying A Level Art (way back when I was in Sixth Form) I got the chance to see a Howard Hodgkin exhibition, I loved the use of colour in his paintings as they are so vibrant and full of motion. I had to get my Dad to come and help me collect a marque from a friend (eldest's birthday party is outside so need shelter!), so I decided to let my dad drive and I would try to capture motion while we were driving back.

I was lucky as it was a glorious day (as my Dad would put it!), this also helped with the picking up of the marque as I would not want to do that in the rain. The other bonus is that we were able to drive through a number of different areas from the motorway to country lanes giving a variety of colours and textures to capture.

I had some great fun taking these images, moving car and holding camera steady is always a challenge, making sure camera does not fall out of window, trying not to be sick watching the world go by that quickly.

I love the colours that have been captured and the different scenes, I have not idea what made the shiny trails on the first 2 images, I can only think a stationary car that we drove past, or something that had the sun shining off it. I feel that it really has captured some qualities of Howard Hodgkins's work.

Happy Accident Photo that lead to Light Painting...

From the photograph where I had captured a couple walking down the hill with a torch by accident I decided to look at light painting in more detail. It seemed to be fairly easy to get an image to capture light (considering I had done it by accident) I roped my husband into help me do some quick tests.

Just a bit of fun but they came out much better than I thought, as we only went out with the camera and used the torch on my phone. We decided that we needed to think of ways to make the photos more interesting by trying to add colour, or get something drawn, will revisit this again.

I am looking forward to when the nights get a litter darker so I can get the boys to help me, I think they will really enjoy running around with little torches and seeing the results.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Second Round of Pinhole Cameras....

After coming back from holiday we went and picked up the set of cameras put up at my parent's house, these were the second test set to see what would happen over a longer exposure.These cameras were positioned at the front and back of the house at different elevations to see if that would impact on the light exposure.

I am a little disappointed with this image as this camera was at the highest elevation, but it has not produced any light trails in the sky. I don't know if this has anything to do with the direction it was facing or the cloud coverage during the time it was up.

I like the start of the light trail that this photo has captured, I wish that I had now left it up longer, but I might go and replace it and leave it up for 6 months to see if the trails will develop further. I have edited this image and used a purple hue as it picked up the light trails and the detail of the image better.

I have now got 4 cameras still up (fingers crossed they are still there!), and I plan to make some more and get them up over the next few weeks. I think that leaving them for 6 months would make a big difference and also make sure they are facing south and not shaded.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Holiday Snaps

Being away from the comfort of my own home to try out some night time shoots I realised that I need to plan them out a little better as it is boring! and cold! Anyway, I dealt with it as best I cold with the clothing and equipment that I had in order to get some star trails while we were away.

Doing this, especially at a location where it is pretty much pitch black makes trying to focus the camera to capture anything much harder so sadly some shots are a little blurry as I had no idea if I had focused on anything. This reminds me to take a high powered torch so I can create a focus point for the camera.

Photos from the first day at the little beach, the aim was to try and get the motion of the water in a long exposure. This had to be balanced with how bright it was outside so the exposure was very short indeed (one to five seconds in some cases). I love how they have come out though and can't wait to play with them in the editing software to see how I can manipulate them.

Night time shoot, and this is where the problems start as trying to focus the camera was difficult, however, the results were great. The castle looks fantastic in the photograph and the star trails looked super, just wish I could have stayed out longer but I was far too cold.

Happy Accident, I changed position to try and get the stars above the hill, however, as I started the exposure a couple were walking down the hill and their torch was picked up by the camera. I think this is great, I really like it when I end up with "accidents" in my photos. It makes me want to have a go at doing some light painting with the boys when the nights start getting darker earlier.

I have no idea how I didn't manage to get the camera focused correctly at this point. But I do like the detail in the star trails that I managed to capture, along with the washing line as well.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Long Exposure Photography...water....stars and what is next?

I was feeling pretty good after the first few attempts at taking some images using long exposure and as we were taking a trip to Anglesey I took my camera as I would have some opportunity to take some photos.

What I did discover after setting up my camera was making sure it was steady, in focus and on the right settings. As much as I really enjoy taking photos of nature, I dislike the fact that nature moves constantly and gives some parts of my photos a blurry look. here are some of the results from the weekend away.

I was really pleased with how these turned out, in fact I was stunned as this was the first time out and about taking the photos of water. I then went and tested this same method out at the zoo to see if I could get some still water movement captured.

These photos of the small waterfall turned out better than I expected, I did have to spend time manipulating plants out of the way and also securing the camera into the ground.

The fountain at the zoo also provide to have some interesting water features once captured. I just thought it was pretty much still water, apart from the waterfall as the pond looked so calm. The long exposure shows that although it looks calm and unmoving that there is constant motion.

After the experiments with water I wanted to try out the star trails that I had read about, this took much more planning as we are not blessed with the clearest of skies at the best of times, and catching a night where there are no clouds and it is not windy or raining or really cold is pretty much remote. I have been lucky this past week that there have been a few clear nights to allow me to try out capturing the star trails. After some trial and error with setting and trying to reduce the amount of light getting in, and staying awake long enough for it to go dark is another big factor I forgot to mention, I did manage to capture a few decent shots.

I will need to work out a better power supply so I can have the camera running for longer to see if I can catch a whole rotation of the stars. We are off on holiday so I have packed up the camera and fingers crossed I will be able to get some excellent shots while away.

Final note.......AS Photography results are in and I got an A!