Beyond the Basics Overview of Tafe Southport course Night 3

Night 3 was out and about doing Night Photography. 

Tonight was all about movement or the lack of it. The control and use of Shutter Speed. It was about how to get the shutter speed you want to achieve the desired result.

For example if you want movement in your shot such as in car light trails, then you want a slow shutter speed (relatively easy in the dark). If you want stillness then you might need a faster shutter speed (if achievable) or you might want the entire scene to be completely still as in a building or a parked car.

No matter what, a tripod is going to be a major help. A tripod that didn’t cost 99c, one that is sturdy and yer, probably heavy. The point of a tripod is that it will not move. Try using a 3 legged feather and see if your photos will be still. I had my trusty Manfrotto 055 legs and a couple of different heads.  I saw a lot of very average tripods last night. Wobbly legs. Floppy heads. Loose plates. None of which helped in fact, the opposite. 

I had decided to think ahead about the type of shot I wished to take. I wanted a human subject that was still but with movement in the shots. To achieve this, I grabbed my trustee (maybe not trusting) model (me) and set about getting the camera settings right. I picked f22 aperture (Canon 6d) on AV. This forced the camera to use a slow shutter speed, (which turned out to be 30 seconds) hence my control of Shutter Speed was controlled, albeit in a backward way.

Then I simply played with the ISO to force the camera to change the Shutter Speed, but as usual I settle on 100. The only issue really was keeping myself still whilst I was in the frame, even though I moved into and out of the frame whilst the shutter was open.  I used a simple LED to paint myself in for about 10 seconds in the middle of the 30 second exposure.


Car Lights & Ghosting

Car Lights & Ghosting


Then we headed off the the Gold Coast Arts Centre. I had never been there before, but now I know where all the amazing Gold Coast skyline shots come from ( ok most ). Same settings pretty much.

Gold Coast Arts Centre View of Surfers Paradise Skyline

Gold Coast Arts Centre View of Surfers Paradise Skyline

There are clearly many other options and all I can suggest is that you get out and try some. Whinge at yourself for a while and then have a “hey-presto” moment.

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