Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Time Photography

In this post I have included a selection of photographs that I produced for a photography project titled: `The Time Project`. The aim of this project was to experiment with time through the medium of photography; I did this by using fast and slow shutter speeds, and also by creating sequenced photographs. This project was great fun and has enabled me to produce some really interesting images. I hope you enjoy them! 

Click on the images to enlarge them.

BMX Jump
This photograph was taken at my local skate park, where I asked one of the BMX riders if he could do the jump you can see in the image above. I set my camera up on a tripod and selected `Manual` mode, before selecting a shutter speed of 1/250 of a second. The use of `Manual` mode is very important if you want to produce images like this one, as you need to ensure that each photograph has been taken using exactly the same settings. If you use `Auto` mode on your camera, with each photograph you take, your camera could be taking them with different exposure times, therefore, each image may appear with a different level of brightness. The use of `Manual` mode, also meant that I used `Manual focus`, and so I asked my subject to do a test run so I could focus him into the shot. When he was ready, I held my finger on the shutter release button, which then took continuous photographs at a rate of three frames per second. Now that I had got my images, I went into Photoshop and started to edit them to together. You can find tutorials on how to produce sequenced photographs like this on YouTube, just type in: `How to make a sequence in Photoshop`. 

Golden Syrup
This photograph depicts golden syrup that I drizzled into an egg cup using a spoon. I took this image using a fast shutter speed to capture the syrup as it fell from the spoon and landed in the egg cup, so that the syrup appeared sharp and in focus. I used a very simple set-up for this photograph; I took this image in my kitchen, using my 70mm-300mm telephoto lens. The lighting set-up consisted of two desk lamps to light the egg cup with the syrup in, and another desk lamp to light the backdrop of the photograph, which was just a piece of white paper. I used `Manual` mode when taking this photograph as I needed to adjust the aperture according to the shutter speed, to get the perfect exposure level for the image. I needed a really large aperture setting, and therefore a small f stop setting, in order to allow as much light as possible into the lens, as I was using a fast shutter speed. It is important to note that I had my camera set up on a tripod and used the timer on my camera to take ten consecutive photographs at a rate of three frames per second. After selecting the best photograph and a little editing in Photoshop, the image was complete.

Milk Splash
I took this photograph using exactly the same setup as my image titled: `Golden Syrup`. I was inspired to take this photograph after studying Harold Edgerton, who wanting to produce and photograph a perfect coronet from a single drop of milk falling into a liquid. His final image titled: `Milk Drop Coronet` is extremely impressive, especially considering that it was taken in 1957. My photograph depicts milk being poured into a glass containing milk that has had red food colouring added to it. I added red food colouring to the milk as I wanted to create a more vibrant and abstract photograph. The red colour also allows for the white milk being poured into the glass, to be seen more clearly. I really like how the milk that is being poured appears so straight and cylindrical, almost like a straw. As it can't be easily identified as milk at first, it adds an element of mystery to the photograph, as the viewer is left wondering what is being poured into the red liquid. 

Eerie Seascape
This seascape is an example of an image that has been produced using a slow shutter speed. I set my camera to `Manual` mode and used a shutter speed of two seconds, along with the smallest aperture size/largest f stop setting I could get, to allow me to get the perfect exposure level for this photograph. Once my camera was ready, I set it up on a tripod and got the shot level so that the horizon was perfectly flat. It is so important to use a tripod when taking images with a shutter speed slower then 1/60 of a second, as the subjects you want to stay still in your image, will blur due to camera shake. The aim of this photograph was to capture the groyne in focus, whilst the slow shutter speed would capture the movement of the water, as it moved in-between the groyne pillars. The effect that occurs is rather magical, as the water appears misty and `milky`. This is because of the motion blur created from the waters movement when the shutter was open. The groyne appears sharp and in focus as it is not moving, but the water is, thus creating the misty effect. I edited the image into grey-scale and darkened some areas of the photograph so that the misty texture was more prominent, creating a rather eerie seascape image. 

Top Tip:
`I know it looks complicated and difficult to understand, but try and get to grips with your cameras `Manual` mode if you have a Digital SLR. Using the `Manual` mode enables you to take photographs exactly how you want to take them, unlike the pre-set modes on your camera, that will adjust the individual settings like shutter speed and aperture for you. 
All it takes is a bit of experimenting and you’ll be using `Manual` mode like a pro! If you do get stuck, don’t worry, just look in photography magazines or on the internet for the answers you need. ` 


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