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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Car Show !

Today evening, I came across a local Car show just by chance. Lucky I had G5 with me. So I tried some photography in low light of the evening.



F2.0, 1/15 sec, ISO 50


The first one came out nice. I did not have a tripod with me. In aperture priority, I opened full aperture F2.0 for maximum light. I did not move ISO from 50. And just tried this shot 1/15 sec to see if I could handle it. Lucky, it came out nice.

I did not want to take chances again so settled the camera on a Fire Plug and shot this second one.




F2.8, 1/8 sec, ISO 50


The fire plug was a bit far, so I had to zoom in. But zoom reduces the limit on Maximum Aperture, so now I was limited at F2.8 instead of F2.0. To compensate for that I could have upped the ISO, but that invites the noise. Instead, with the stability of fire post, longer shutter time was not an issue, so I kept it in Aperture priority and shot is at 1/8 sec. Not bad ! :-)

For the rest of the pictures, I had no choice but to increase the ISO because people were all over and I could not waste time looking for a support or waiting for it to get clear. The Higher ISO brought in a lot of noise. I got rid of a lot of noise using free version of Neat Image. I have not dug deeper into its features but it works like a charm on the higher ISO noise. I still prefer to avoid the noise in the exposure.

Even at ISO 400 and F2.0, the shutter speed was slow at 1/30 or 1/40. This limited the number of pictures that came out unshaken :-( Even some of these you see below were shaken but don't look that blurred here due to loss of resolution.

Check "Lessons Learned" at the bottom.


F2.2, 1/40 sec, ISO 400



F2.0, 1/30 sec, ISO 400



F3.0, 1/30 sec, ISO 400



F2.0, 1/40 sec, ISO 400



F4.0 , 1/6 sec, ISO 200


Lessons Learned
  • Once again, I wish I had a tripod or monopod with me. It wouldn't hurt to keep an extra cheap tripod in the trunk of the car (I'm still amateur you see...)
  • In some of the shots I tried to stabilize the camera by pulling the camera away from me with the strap tightened around my neck. This did help in some cases but not always.
  • Couple of times I tried to stabilize the camera by pulling the camera away from me but towards the ground to get an angle closer to horizontal. This required the LCD to be flipped on the side and face upwards toward me. It was so inconvenient with the strap coming in the way, reminding me once again how much I dislike sideway flipout of G5. (See "What I like/don't like about Canon G5")

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30 Comments:

Blogger Francisco said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences and the black and white photography more recently. I like your BW's!

If you want to see some alternative ideas on a car show check out my log and the gallery on shutterpoint - the link is on the blog - franciscophoto.blogspot.com.

9/20/2004 12:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Ashley Beck said...

I recently discovered your blog and really enjoy it. I am a fairly new photographer, trying hard to learn everything about taking digital pictures. I was wondering if you could help me better understand shutter speed. You sound very knowledgeable on photography and I would love to hear any advice you could give. Thank you!

6/02/2005 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger saanga said...

Hello Ashley,

Thanks for the comments.

As a beginner here are a few things you should know about shutter speed.

Shutter speed is amount of time for which your camera keeps it's "eye" open to capture a photo. Unlike your eye, if anything moves during this period, that object will show up blurry in the picture (this is called motion blurr). On the other hand if the whole camera moves, the entire picture will look blurred. Way to avoid this is to know what is the slowest shutter speed for which you can hold the camera steady. Only way to find out is keep taking pictures at various shutter speeds. Also this speed will be different for different situations.. i.e. taking a picture sitting on a park bench, you can take it at as low as 1/30 second. But from the window of a moving car.. you might be lucky if you get a decent shot even at 1/100 second.

To choose a shutter speed, and let camera decide rest of the parameters (aperture), you should use the Shutter Priority mode on your camera if you have it (marked usually by a Tv symbol for time value).

At the extreme, you can freeze a water drop in air at very high shutter speeds like 1/1000 seconds or even more, but this would require a lot of light because the "eye" is open for a very short time and all the light needed to capture a good picture (well-exposed) must be captured in this short time. Using flash helps.

On the other extreme are pictures of fireworks, where you want to capture the shell rising in sky and then exploding and making sparkles all around, all in one picture. This will require extremely slow shutter speeds like 15 seconds etc.

Play with Shutter Priority mode, find your comfort level with various shutter speeds and try to understand how shutter speed and aperture setting work together to create a well exposed picture.

The best advise I can give is keep clicking.

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1/09/2008 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Ponjican said...

Interesting article. I photograph cars very often for my auto detailing blog (DetailingGurus.Blogspot.com). I usually use a tripod and like to shoot in horizontal light except when I am purposely trying to focus on paint defects... then I shoot in direct sun.

Check out the pictures in my blog:
http://detailinggurus.blogspot.com/

1/17/2008 05:09:00 PM  
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