52Frames – 2020-16 – Fast Shutter Speed

Well, I think this one may hold the record for “number of shots taken for a single image” – I currently have more than 300 pictures on my drive for this theme (with a LOT of them actually not showing anything).

The 52Frames theme this week was Fast Shutter Speed, with an extra credit for Drip Water Photography. I kind of always wanted to experiment with drops and liquids and so on, so it was actually the right opportunity for that. I first vaguely looked on the Internet to try and get an idea of how to achieve that, enough to get me started, experiment, experiment again, experiment again, and eventually make images I liked ๐Ÿ™‚

The very beginning of the experiments looked like this:

I hadn’t colored water yet, and I was trying to setup focus in a reasonable way, by using a small red thing (technically the plastic brush for the garlic press :P) where I would expect water to drop when I’d drop it. I had set up a couple of lights too, because for sure I needed MOAR LIGHT to be able to increase the shutter speed at a level I wanted.

The final setup ended up with the water plate set on a higher plane (actually, the yellow kitchen trolley behind me, minus the yellow cover), the same set of lamps, and a bit of ink in the water to get a more colorful shot.

What ended up working, generally speaking:

  • After a few experiments at both slower and more rapid shutter speeds, this one was taken at 1/500s – anything from 1/250 to 1/2000 seemed to work okay to get at least SOME images.
  • This means: Light. More light. Even more light. Seriously: never enough light. The reason for me to move the plate higher up was to get more of these precious photons, considering the fairly high tripods that my LED panels were mounted onto (I could have played it differently, but in the end that worked out as I wanted).
  • Pushing the aperture as much as possible DOES help making sure that more things are in focus – this one was taken at f/10 (on a 50mm with a full-frame camera). Even if that meant underexposing a fair amount, I think that eventually paid off.
  • ISO 100 was a must, because that was the only way I didn’t get a picture that was essentially noise – especially since I did tend to underexpose (mostly by lack of available light and trying to cheat on focus more than creative choice)
  • I removed the remote quite quickly because I got lazy when it came to check exactly I could get repeating shots with that thing – I ended up setting up delay + burst of 10 pictures directly on the camera, and timing the water drops in the time where the camera was bursting, and hope for the best
  • Experimenting with different ways of dropping water (from more or less high, more or less quickly) was actually pretty fun. I think this one was shot with drops coming from fairly high above, fairly quickly: the water is fairly disturbed.
  • I only played with a little plastic bottle that had a drip opening – I’d like to play with different sizes of drops, I think.
  • Better having a fairly low angle on the water surface – that might require handling the background, but the results are in my opinion just more interesting.

So, yeah, that’s how I spent most of my Easter Monday. And it was a ton of fun, and I think I’ll re-experiment with that sort of things later, because I’m very far from having any kind of mastery on the process, and it’s a nice, fairly low-tech thing to experiment with (with the exception of the lights, I’ll admit).

52Frames – 2020-13 – A Line from a Song

The theme for 52Frames this week was A Line from a Song. They put together a generator to provide some ideas – and there was an additional constraint for the extra credit of “using the very first quote the generator provides you”.

Aaaaand the very first quote that the generator provided me was “All in all itโ€™s just another brick in the wall” – Pink Floyd, obviously. I’ll take that as a sign of destiny – I instantly knew what I wanted to do with that one, and I looked into more quotes from that generator, and they seemed far more difficult to me ๐Ÿ˜‰

So today I gathered my LEGO bricks, my lights and my camera, and I made an image to submit for the challenge ๐Ÿ™‚ My first idea was to have a colored brick in the middle of a white wall – turns out, I… don’t think I have any colored 2×1 brick in the house. (Maybe in the TARDIS?). So I looked into what I had, and I had transparent bricks. Except that I remembered transparent bricks having the same structure as the non-transparent ones, with a tube for the stud assembly (like that), and mine… did not (like that). That made me think that it wouldn’t be necessarily visible that there WAS a brick there – which kind of defeated the purpose.

But I also had in my collection a pile of three transparent plates – which would actually give me both the transparency and the texture I was looking for. I assembled a wall with a few brick, put my transparent plates in lieu of a regular brick, and tadaa! The shot was surprisingly hard to get right – for my first attempts, I was only lighting the wall from behind, without supporting the light on the wall itself, which made exposure a profound pain to handle correctly. Plus, my LEGO bricks were all dusty, and it REALLY SHOWED on macro shots.

I finally got a shot I could work with – took a fair amount of editing still before I got the shot I had in mind. For the record, that’s the initial shot I was working with:

I’m quite happy with how this turned out. It initially felt like a low-effort kind of project, and I was half-expecting to send this with a “eeeh, not the most creative thing ever but I submitted”, but it took more time than I thought, it felt good building the image, and that’s actually the most fun I’ve had in photography for a few weeks ๐Ÿ™‚

52Frames – 2020-12 – Books

The 52Frames theme this week was Books. I got rid of most of my book collection a few years ago – but I still have a few bookshelves here and there. A large part of what I have left are cookbooks (the whole left bookshelf, andspilling a bit on the second one); and then there’s a number of things that I prefer reading on paper (comics… and yeah, cookbooks), a few “hard-to-find”, and some that I kept for sentimental value. There’s still a few bookshelves around the apartment – tech and math books are not here, RPG books are next to the board games shelf ๐Ÿ™‚

The picture itself is quite unremarkable. I wanted to get a reasonably clean, geometric shot – which I tried to get as much as I could in camera, but which got mostly achieved by postprocessing to fix lense deformation and perspective issues. I kept the framing a bit larger than I initially thought I would – the framing felt better with the line of the couch and the line of the ceiling.

Plus, the couch and the shelf of chocolate give a bit of story-telling, which I like ๐Ÿ™‚

52frames – 2020-10 – Abandoned

And that’s 10 in a row on 52frames – yay me ๐Ÿ˜‰ The theme for this week was “Abandoned“. I had a backup shot of an umbrella that had escaped its owner on the bank of the river, but I like this one much better. We haven’t seen the owner of the accordion in the few minutes that we stayed around it – I’d assume it’s only been abandoned for a few minutes, but I still like that image a lot ๐Ÿ™‚

I tend to push saturation on my images; on this one I actually decreased it, because it helped getting the feeling I wanted for the image. And, for a few more pictures of this afternoon, including this one: Photowalk – Mars 2020.

52Frames – 2020-09 – Extreme Contrast

The theme for 52Frames this week was Extreme Contrast. I went for a walk this morning, and first saw a nice reflection of the sun between branches in a puddle. I looked above, and was greeted by these beautiful tree silhouettes, and the sun peeking through both the clouds and the trees. I only had my phone with me, but I think it still did a good job of capturing that moment ๐Ÿ™‚

52frames – 2020-08 – Pairs

This week the theme for 52Frames was Pairs. I submitted late last week, so I submitted early this week!

I didn’t have too many ideas – until I realized I could plan my lunch to get a pair of eggs in there (and that’s exactly what I did when I finalized the menus for this week :P). Sometimes photography creeps in other places of my life! ๐Ÿ™‚

52Frames – 2020-07 – Intentional color palette

I try to submit my 52frames entries earlier in the week, but it didn’t work out this week – I still submitted on time (which makes this week my 7th week in a row, yay me!).

This week’s theme is “Intentional color palette“, with an extra credit for “Flatlay” – that I claimed as well. I’ll admit it was a “lazy shot” – you want color, get some dice on a plate, light’em somehow, click picture, done. Probably to “compensate” the laziness of the shot, I ended up going for slightly more “creative” edits than I usually do – I even added grain and vignetting, what has this world come to!