Sometimes as a photographer, you will find that new techniques are just an accident away. By that, I mean that any accidental change to a plethora of variables could result in a wonderful mistake. They always say to learn from your mistakes. That statement couldn’t apply more to this situation.
Today I was taking some random shots in my apartment, playing with aperture, when I stumbled across something I find to be really cool. A long exposure, paired with few abrupt movements to my camera from left to right, resulted in a clear ghost image of my subject on either side of it, rather than the blurry mess I was expecting to see. Here’s the break-down:
The set-up: My camera, my tripod, and ambient light coming through open curtains. I placed my camera on my tripod, and set it to be at about eye level with the items on my coffee table.
Subject: A bullet casing on my coffee table, among other random items in the middle ground and background (ashtray, lighter, guitar, couch).
The accident-turned new technique: quick, abrupt movements from left to right to my tripod while the camera takes a shot with an extremely long exposure (ranging from about 4-15 seconds).
The process: I took the first shot in aperture priority at f/22 with an ISO of 100, made the accidental movements to my tripod, and noticed the neat affect it created. However, the white balance was all wrong. I reset the white balance, and took another photo while I repeated the same movement with my tripod. This time, my aperture was set to f/36. The white balance was correct, and the image I got was even cooler than the first! I wanted to keep playing with this technique, while gradually decreasing my f-stops. I tried again at f/14 and f/5.6. See the photos included at the top of this post!
I’m really excited that I came across this new technique, as I will most likely be applying it to a few shots in my upcoming photo shoot this weekend! For more information about that, be sure to check out last weeks blog: Queens of the Stone Age: A Portrait Series.