Jul 5, 2012

Photo of the Year (Long Exposure Photography)

Ever been in a bus/train/taxi and noticed a spot where you imagined yourself standing with your tripod shooting the photograph of the year? Exactly what drove me to a pretty far location away from where I lived, only to capture what I thought was the photo of the year. At some point while going there I said to myself "Hold on, I'm REALLY far now and I can't guarantee I'll manage my way back at midnight". So it was either to lead myself to that spot whatever might happen later, or I go back home. Just as my closest friend taught me, I found myself there at last, in the depths of the highway night, nothing to be seen, no fresh air to enjoy, nothing but the sizzling sounds of cars driving by on the highway at top speed.

At some particular recent time in the past I used to disgrace my camera, hated its guts for its LOW performance in one of the occasions at the time. This got me frustrated pretty bad and got me looking for other alternatives, even though my budget is tight. Just as every couple finally bring back the sweet memories and condole each other, I and my camera were OK just before I let my tripod out of its bag. She's sweet just like forever.

This was one of the recently many occasions where I didn't have to take test shots, settings were being cooked in my mind all the way there. All was missing was the tripod setup and we're done.

f/6.3, ISO100, 5"
The bridge was where I needed to be, the one overlooking the mall, the highway (both lanes) and a nearby amusement park. The scene was utterly fascinating for a photographer that I immediately went praying to be able to get the same view I'm enjoying on my lens. The bridge's construction, its steel-plate floor, prevented me from having a moment of silence between me and my camera since people come and go constantly, thus vibrating the ground. Therefore it was a necessity to press that shutter, step back and force everyone passing-by to freeze in their place for 10 seconds or so. And voila! I got my first perfect long exposure. Here are a few more.

f/4.5, ISO100, 10"

f/6.3, ISO100, 7"

f/4.5, ISO100, 3"

Later that moment, I had this crying urge to step outside into that amusement park while there were people coming and leaving, before it had closed for the day. The management was kind enough to allow me to take photos with no identification whatsoever. The sudden transition between long exposure mode to quick action is overwhelming to be frank, to the point that sometimes I confused both styles, which involved - of course - cursing a lot due to the amount of missed shots. In the end, no photographer could ever get enough of such an amusing trip. Will do it again, that's for sure!

f/4, ISO500, 1/13

f/4, ISO500, 1/2

f/7.1, ISO100, 8"

f/4.5, ISO500, 1/15

f/3.2, ISO1600, 1/250

f/5, ISO3200, 1/800

f/6.3, ISO100, 13"