Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Photo: Carnie

Carnies are a hoot...

...and this one was no exception. I shot this image at the beginning of the 2007-2008 academic year for Student Union Activities.

This subject must have fumed three cigarettes top to bottom in the expanse of time it took me to get the lighting just right on this photo.

To get this photo, I set the camera to M (which stands for Manual mode). then adjusted the shutter speed to bulb. giving me complete control over the length of time the shutter is held open by pressing and holding the shutter release button.

Bulb exposures are usually blurry. To avoid this, find stationary subjects (this guy trying to light his cigarette) and try to juxtapose them against moving ones (the Ferris Wheel).

To reduce the movement YOU make while holding the camera, stand or squat with planted feet, and the elbows inward pressing against the rib-cage. This will steady your hold and reduce the amount of shakiness. If you can set the camera on a flat surface, then use the Timed Shutter Release (or the countdown button) on your camera to avoid even more camera movement.

Digital SLRs usually have exposures anywhere from 100-1600. Using a higher number expsoure usually allows for a more well-lit photo in darker settings (e.g. dinner party, indoor stadium) while the smaller numbers are used in more well-lit environments (e.g. outdoors, high-flourescent studio).

Because I knew a lot of light would be entering the camera, I set the exposure to 200. (You may have noticed Film Exposure Speeds or Disposable Cameras marked with 200- or 400- or 800-speed. These exposures should be used for outdoor activities, well-lit indoor activities, and low-light activities respectively.

I have to admit, the ride itself was lackluster, but watching the Carnie light and smoke a cigarette in under thirty seconds was quite priceless. So, the next time your thrill-ride doesn't go as planned, just stop by your carbon emitting amusement on the way out and bum straight on 'till morning.

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