I simply love In Dino from Life in a Metro. I could be drunk on this song. It has beautiful lyrics, tune and arrangements too. The best part is that I have my past associated with it. It takes me back to the days when I was a dreamy guy going to or coming from his photography class, in a packed local train.
It all started with the latest eveready ultima advertisement. Long exposures, Animations through lighting streaks etc. etc. I also had good discussion on it, on one of my orkut community. So I was inspired to perspire (literally!) to try my hand on some long exposure photography.
While returning home from my gym, stopped by a stationary store, bought those china-made torchlight pens and a couple of black card-paper. I thought of rolling that black paper in cone like formation to further sharpen the light source. Also rolled a white paper inside black paper so the intensity doesn’t reduce! Now was a time for some petty but headache giving problems. To make lighting streaks either the camera or the light source should move. Yesterday, I had created some very much acceptable lighting streaks with my CPU’s green and red light, by moving my camera. (I didn’t find the process worthy enough to write a blogpost!)
So flatly was not interested in again doing that. I better go to sleep than randomly moving my camera with it’s shutter open every night. I will get bored soon and why to be up all night, doing boring stuff! And it is already past midnight. So the remaining option is of moving the light source.
If I move the light source, who will click?
If I use timer, how it is going to focus in all darkness?
If I prefocus it at the light source somehow, how can I move it randomly?Yeah, prefocusing at around desired distance was an option but my small little kit lens does not have a distance scale…
Hello, I know that I have written nothing yet in relation with the name of this post. But this was the process of how did I do, what did I do. (?) Here, Minimum focusing distance of 0.25m/0.8ft came to rescue me. If I have not told earlier, I have Canon 400D and EFS 18-55 F3.5-5.6 IS lens. From here a simple procedure followed. I paid some attention to details 😉 but you need not if you follow my procedure!
- Put your camera on tripod or any other firm place, where it has no chance for moving unnecessarily. (I put mine on a stool! and kept soft cotton cloth under the lens for support. )
- Stand around 1 feet away from camera, properly posing yourself/your face. Press the shutter half way down. (My hand could easily reach there, with those torchlight pens acting as extensions!) Or better use a remote control!
- Once you have your camera focused, switch it MF and hit the lights off.
- I should have told this before. As I am posing in front of camera, I cant really use the bulb mode. So the standard setting used was 30 seconds exposure at F 11.
- Now before stretching your hand to click the shutter, see if your posing just where you focused. Adjust those lights as you want. Look for some catchlight in eyes. (Special tip: You can actually see your face illuminated in the lens!)
- Once done all this, take a deep breath, press the shutter (finally!). Breathe out, be still and switch on torchlights, as per determined before.
I have used two torchlight pens and was around a feet away in total darkness. Actual exposure around 15-20 seconds served the purpose. Then I switched off torchlights. And I think, even in total darkness, being steady in front of camera is necessary and so I did. No matter how much precautions you take, how much you try to be steady, the motion blur does get introduced in the image. May be thats why I called them ghost self portraits after I saw the first result! After four photos, total timing of that scorching torchlight into my eyes was around 1.5-2 minutes and so an eyesore. You should have seen me then; I was crying with only one eye!
Enough! I uploaded those photos on my PC. Did basic editing of some curves and contrast. And yeah to save my lazy soul from white balancing difficulties, turned them to B&W! Except the last one, which I did a bit pop art style… with too much colours and saturation not to worry about white balancing again!!
And sat down write up this blogpost immediately…
“Photography is the process of recording pictures by means of capturing light on a light-sensitive medium, such as a film or electronic sensor. Light patterns reflected or emitted from objects expose a sensitive silver halide based chemical or electronic medium during a timed exposure, usually through a photographic lens in a device known as a camera that also stores the resulting information chemically or electronically.”, says Wikipedia.
Hummmph, what a great jargon is over there. It is enough to change such a lively and practical form of photography into a scorching theoretical and bookish subject. But this is just for a reference purpose. A real photographer never cares about how it is depicted in the definition or anything. Still, his work always reflects how correct this definition is. Photography may not about having a great camera, super-zoom lenses, costliest accessories and heavy lighting equipments. But when you are a professional or struggling to be one, these all things matter as good as your creative eye. One may not doubt about your ability to use up-market equipments but you should always work with them. Being artistic or technically sound is just one other thing in professional globe!
I am getting to know all these things simply because I am going through them. Struggle is not a harassing thing but it is surely equally tiring. But why have I started writing about the bad side first? It has also got a good side. And it relates to satisfaction and overall good feeling when you derive joy from what you do. You ought to derive joy because every bit of sweat you excrete does pay back to you from one day or the other. I have deliberately used the phrase ‘from one day or the other’ because the period before this, is called struggle.
You are just out of college, you know what you do and do it in the best possible way. But all these things are done in college/ institute/ amateur environment. This now starts making difference. Equations change when being professional. How are my equations changing? The answer totally depends on me. How and what things I want to work out. Such struggle makes me crave for more and more work. Still, if I don’t have any; I daydream about what I want to do some day. I know its bad and it takes me away form the reality but at the same time it gives a new energy to fight against all those hitches, glitches and bottlenecks of my career…