Thursday, February 24, 2011

Zooming out with a slow flash

Some days ago I tried this technique with some unsuspecting subjects at home... Gear: Nikon D700, AF-S 24-70 f2.8 lens, and a Nikon SB-600 flash set to bounce light from the ceiling.

Basically, it just takes setting the flash at Slow, and the ISO at 400 OR 640 (anything below 800, but then it also depends on the environmental light). With the camera in P exposure mode, I simply turn the zoom ring while the shutter curtains are open (which can be about 1 second). Here are the effects...

Edmund, the ghostly kid, prances about while I photograph him with a slow flash while zooming out a little. The effect is weird...

Here we go again... his head is blurred in the edges, as if he were a child in a Fringe episode.

This is the best of them; his head seems to blend with the book behind. He must have moved at the same time I shot, and if we add the slow zoom out, the effect is quite scary.

Why did I get into this? Because one evening, Mimi was keeping me company and it occurred to me that it would be a good moment to use her as an experimental subject. Which I did...

Unlike other warnings we find elsewhere... go ahead, try this at home. In fact, I'd like to do this at a wedding, just for the heck of it.

Of course, my other photos of Mimi on top of the chair may come up here later... just to show what happens when you point the flash head to the ceiling, or to the wall behind you.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

More results of the DX-ing crop

Here we have some unexpected guests, who came to sample the berries of our trees in the middle of the big February 2011 blizzard. The first two shots were done by "cropping" the image with the DX-sized sensor, with an AF 80-200 f2.8 zoom lens (this time, at f4.5 or f5.6). As a result, we have the viewing field of a 300mm lens at the long end of the zoom. Neat...

February 1st, 2011. In the middle of a brutal blizzard, these two guys (a couple maybe, but they have both the same plumage) parked on one of the trees close to the house. One of them was dangerously perched on the branches, picking out berries. The other remained on the trunk, fluffing his feathers and trying to get something out of the bark.

February 2, 2011. They're back! They survived! Here's one of them, hanging out on a branch, apparently after cleaning it from berries.

On February 3, 2011, I saw them again. This time I forgot to switch the image view from FX to DX, so you're looking at an image shot at 200mm. Not too bad... but could be better.

So, those were the news. Later on... more news!