Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hei-a-ho! Hei-a-ho! Hei-a-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho!


PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: (On Lens Choice, part 4, conclusion) Starting hand-held allowed me to explore possibilities. In addition to finding the best angles and positions, I also determined exposure settings.

What shutter speed would produce the kind of motion blur I wanted? The blacksmith's moving limbs probably shouldn't look like dismemberments. Experimentation suggested shutter speeds between 1/30 and 1/125 might work; 1/60 probably was ideal.

While I focused on the blacksmith, the beauty and importance of the shop grew on me; I realized I needed to keep the background also in focus. How much depth of field would the light permit? Probably not enough.

The solution of last resort is to bump the ISO. I knew that in processing I would be pulling detail from dark corners, and that would make the graininess worse, so I set the limit at ISO 800, two additional stops of light traded for grittiness that would fit the subject, I hoped.

With 2 more stops I was still shooting at f7.1 and 1/20th. Even with VR, that's not reliable hand-held shooting, especially when zoomed out. Once angles were decided I returned to shooting from my tripod but with the ball head free to swivel.

The work of blacksmiths does not usually produce sparks, but when asked, Will obliged. I found coordinating the shower of sparks to the wink of the shutter to be ticklish. The best shower happened on Will's first stroke; because it was the first stroke, it was the hardest to synchronize. The shutter must open as the sparks diverge and stay open long enough for them to cross a significant part of the image. Too short an exposure and the ember won't have a trail; as the exposure gets longer, the ember trail fades. I used the same exposure here as previously. Successes were few, rejects many.

6 comments:

Trotter said...

Hi Ted! Love this one!! Actually, love them all...

I’ll be out next week, but Blogtrotter Two has something new for you... Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend and week ahead!!

Ted Roth said...

Thank you. Does this week's gap mean more trotting?

Dick said...

The result is very good, actually I've never seen it as good like this.

Ted Roth said...

Thank you for that wonderful comment, Dick.

Trotter said...

Connecting in JFK isn't a piece of cake... ;)

PS: What about Amsterdam Noord?

Ted Roth said...

We are barely cellular in our Connecticut woods. We never expect to connect.