October 27, 2009

Oct 27: Night Bike

I'm working on another concept: nighttime adventure photos.
Here's an example of how it works:

Take your SLR, crank up the ISO to 3200, open up to f/4, pop the on-camera flash, and time it just right and you'll get an image like this:

Yuck, that's terrible. Blurry, noisy, boring....
Let's try again, changing a few camera settings and finding a better angle. You might get something like this:

Still not good. It just looks like a point and shoot that I used to capture a decent moment. Still boring.
Let's bring out some gear now. I'll use a battery pack and two lights.
Now, I can set the camera to ISO 200, f/8, hit the strobes at the right time and then let the background fill in during a 30s exposure.

This is much better, but it's still not right. The lights didn't balance well enough with the surroundings. The rider is ghosted, and the hill is too dark. And the moment seems missed, as the rider is past the camera.
Let's try again, changing to a 5.6 and decreasing the strobe power.
Then I'll add some star trails from ~700 images taken in Moab, spiraled using a technique I developed in PhotoShop.

There are still some issues to fix with this image, but it gets me closer to the target.

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