Workaround for "the walking flash"?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by W.Smith, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

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    Where did the "T" setting go?

    With mechanical cameras you had a range of shutter speeds to choose from, like from 1/1,000th sec to 1 second, plus "B" (for "Bulb") and "T" (for "Time").
    "B" and "T" to be used with a cable shutter release.
    "B" means the shutter opens when you press the shutter button, and closes when you release it.
    "T" meant the shutter opens at first shutter cable press-and-release, and closes when pressed and released a second time.
    I.o.w. "B" was/is used for looong shutter times, "T" was used for very, very long shutter times.

    With the "T" setting you could for instance illuminate a whole church in the dead of night, with just one flashgun: set the cam on tripod, looking down the center aisle, smallish aperture (e.g. f/8.0) and low ISO (100), open the shutter ("T"), walk around the church with your flashgun and fire it pointing 45 degrees upward to the walls/sides at evenly spaced distances. When you finished that round you went back to the camera to press the shutter cable release a second time to close the shutter.
    The resulting image would show a pretty evenly lit church interior. But without you visible in it, because 1) you were never lit directly, and b) you never stayed in one spot long enough to register on the film or sensor.

    This technique was affectionately called "the walking flash".
    Edit: a.k.a. "painting with light".

    No current consumer cameras, however, (afaik) have the "T" setting anymore. Meaning that "the walking flash" as a technique is not an option anymore.

    Or does anyone know a feasible workaround?
     
  2. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The 'workaround is something you do not do, rather than something you do do:

    Don't be in a hurry to throw away your old film camera.
     
  3. j_mcquillen

    j_mcquillen TPF Noob!

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    If you have a camera that will take a traditional cable release, you can do the same technique using the 'B' (Bulb) setting.

    Most cable releases have a screw-down collar near to the part you press - when this is unscrewed, the cable release will stay locked down after the first press (ie keeping the shutter open) until you press the collar to release it.
     
  4. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Modern SLRs and/or DSLRs have locking remote switches. I can put my 20D in bulb mode, press the shutter release, and lock it down. When I want to close the shutter, I press again to releaes the lock.
     
  5. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    Likewise with the Nikon D50. With the remote shutter release it acts just as you decribed the T Setting. So you can go ahead and pitch that film camera now... jk.

    Interesting technique. What type of lighting would you use?

     
  6. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    With digital you can use any type of lighting you want, as fixing the white balance is easy. A speedlight flash, fired by hand, a flashlight, painting the light, whatever.
     
  7. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

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    What you and rmh say sounds like "T" to me. But how do you avoid camera shake when pressing the shutter release, both times? Or does one have to revert to one of those lo-tec velcro strap-on 'cable releases'?
     
  8. spiky_simon

    spiky_simon TPF Noob!

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    Matt's talking about a remote release, which is an electrical switch that you plug into the camera body witha a cord - like [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00009R6VZ/ref=pd_cp_p_title/102-5829229-5791360"]this.[/ame] You don't get camera shake as you don't touch the body. Not sure what you mean by "lo-tec velcro strap on cable release"?
     
  9. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

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  10. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    For what it's worth I got one of them (was hoping to avoid paying for a dedicated electronic release for my Minolta) and it works fine on cameras like the Ricoh shown on that website (i.e. ones with fairly straight surfaces without protrusions) but it's very fiddly using it with SLRs due to the handgrip and the positioning of the shutter release button. IMO it's better to go for the dedicated electronic release cable, even if it's a cheap third-party one rather than the company's own (I don't imagine the electronics are all that complicated so there's probably not a lot that can go wrong).
     
  11. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    well, actually i wouldnt worry about camera shake from tripping the shutter release or what not. Generally when you lock the shutter down your gona be doing a pretty long exposure, IE walking around a church, or doing start trails. in a situtation when your shutter time is anywhere from 10 minutes to 5 hours the 1/2 second of vibration you get from setting and releasing a locking mechanism is not going to effect the result. Mostly because if you need a 10 minute exposure time, not enough light will get in to even show up. Same principle by where you can walk infront of the camera and shoot a flash off and now show up in the final picture.
     
  12. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    That's true, but if you're using a camera that has a B but no T setting, you'd have to continue holding the shutter release button for the whole 10 minutes... which apart from being uncomfortable would mean you'd be unable to walk around with your flash or other light. So a cable or remote release or (either manual or electronic) is still necessary, although not for the reason of camera shake.
     

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