capturing motion--a light question

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by jocose, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. jocose

    jocose TPF Noob!

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    Last night I had a brilliant idea of a picture. Not that I have a style yet, but I'm generally more attracted to the real world, but last night I had an idea to get a shot of my clock, and leave the shutter open to get a blurred sweep of the second hand.

    Now, I have no fancy setup at home, nor do I have any special lighting. As such, the pics I took looked terrible. What I really want is to have about a 3-5 second exposure so you can really see the hand sweep. The problem is that even set at f8, I was still getting too much light into the camera for the slow shutter speed. When I finally got the lighting low enough that the camera was happy, it was just too dark and you couldn't see anything.

    So, (finally) here's my question: where should I set my lamp so that I don't get bad shadows, and so that I can have a slow enough shutter speed to get the effect I want?
     
  2. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    Maybe try putting one piece of paper infront of the light. If its still too bright, put another, etc... until you get the right amount of light
     
  3. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    It's a good idea, but you're going to find it quite tricky as clocks are bigger than camera lenses, so unless the light source is perfectly even, you're going to get an annoying shadow cast.

    I'd suggest using Darin's idea, but positioning two lights at 45deg to your subject. Perhaps a light tent made from a white duvet cover or sheet would do it? Keep trying, it's a really good idea!

    Rob
     
  4. Meysha

    Meysha still being picky Vicky

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    Awesome idea.

    Have you thought about how the outer end of the needle is going to be lighter than the inner part of the arm. Just something to think about while you're setting up.
     
  5. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    f/8 is certainly not the furthest you can stop down. Stop down to f/22, and just back the lights up further from the subject. Have the rest of the room dark, so there's no ambient light.
     
  6. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    I tried the exact some thing a while back using my watch.
    I went for 4secs and natural daylight. I decided that any artificial lights would cause shadows and since i was close to my subject i REALLY didn't want shadows
    My shot
     
  7. jocose

    jocose TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone for the ideas. I've got lots to do tonight and tomorrow :)


    Meysha, I'm not sure I understand what the outcome will be of your warning, and how can I prevent it?

    Matt, my camera only goes to f8. I have the Canon S2, and there is only so much I can do with it (see my other thread about thinking about going DSLR :wink: )

    darich, do you still have the pics? I would love to see them!
     
  8. mentos_007

    mentos_007 The Freshmaker!

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    Meysha was talking about physics :) Coz the outer part of the needle, so the very top of it, has to move the longer way than its inner part. So it goes a bit faster. Easy to conglude that it will not reflect as much light as the inner part. That's why it will be lighter, or in other words, it will be more blurred than the inner part.

    I don't know if that makes any sense in Eng. but I tried my best :p
     
  9. jocose

    jocose TPF Noob!

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    Mentos,

    Crystal clear :) Yea, me and physics don't do so well. The only thing I remember about highschool physics class was the teacher starting everything off with "Imagine a billiards table..."
     
  10. BadRotation

    BadRotation TPF Noob!

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    Holy crap!!!

    I was thinking of doing the EXACT same shot last night. That is weird. :lol:


    What was stopping me, is I had no analog wall clocks around here.
     
  11. jocose

    jocose TPF Noob!

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    Well, it makes me feel good that I have good idea :)

    I'm gonna try the suggestions posted here tonight...if I really do it, I'll try to post the results.

    Anyone else who has done this/wants to do it, should also post their pics!
     
  12. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    Jocose
    Here is the shot of the watch i took

    [​IMG]

    it was taken with a 3mp Nikon Coolpix 885 in December 2003.
    Unforunately I dont have the technical details for the shot other than the exposure was 4seconds.
     

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