Thursday, January 06, 2011

Fear ...

Fear has always been a strange emotion for me. How much ever I convince myself that my fear related to few things are completely irrational, I am still left weak kneed :-(

I don't know how many times I've ranted that I want to hold a snake in my hand and take pics of it. I was almost convinced that if I see a non-venomous snake I wouldn't hesitate a second to catch it. I was very confident that I am not afraid of non-venomous snakes.


During recent trip to back home, I ran into a chance of seeing a rat snake very close by. You see, I should have jumped on to the opportunity, run behind the snake and catch it. At least that was what I should have done.


So, first thing I did is to run, get my camera and take a pic.

From Blah

Then I ran towards the snake with all the intention of catching it. Just when I was this close to the snake, I froze. My mind was blank. I hesitated. Just for few seconds, I think I had no thoughts in my mind. Just staring at the snake.

That's all the time need for the super fast rat snake to run away.

So much for my courage and confidence :-(

According to my Mom, this fella is a frequent visitor for our garden.

So, as they (who ?) say, there is always next time :-)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Some Random Macro Shots

So, I bought the new macro lens (Canon 100mm f2.8), hence I had to shoot some tiny stuff.

Yet to get used to the lens, initial reaction : 'Not really impressed'.

Few shots:

This one - me likey !

Spiky Monster !

I like this one too !

umm ...

I so want to try a reverse mount of lens to shoot some super macro pics. Just need to put some effort. Also need a nice flash.


long exposure star trails photography

I've always been fascinated by the night sky, stars, space and celestial objects. And I love photography. So I had to try my hands again on long exposure sky photography this time :-)

Idea is to have very very slow shutter speed ie keep the shutter of camera open for a long time. During which, earth rotates (or stars "move"); hence the stars and other bright objects in the sky make bright lines in the pic rather than shiny dots.

Can you believe this was shot pitch dark night ?

Exposure: 6019.0 sec

How ever the dark the sky looks, there is always light, from near by street lamp, distant house, street lights and thousand other things that emit light. Hence it is good to try long exposure shots of night sky in remote places where light pollution is minimal.

On December and January night sky, the most famous and noticeable constellation is the Orion Constellation. That's what I tried capturing during all my efforts this time.
From StarTrails

Exposure : 310.0 sec

As you can see above, instead of black background I have somewhat of a reddish color, purely because of all my neighbors not switching off their house lights :-)

Wide angle is the best option to cover as much area as possible. Also you would need tripod to mount the camera.

In Shutter priority mode, camera usually allows only 30 seconds of exposure. So switch to manual mode, keep decreasing the shutter speed and you would hit some thing called bulb-mode.

I have recently bought the remote trigger for my camera and it made my job of clicking photo easy. Either remote or some other method for keeping the shutter release button pressed.

Another thing to note, its almost guaranteed that auto-focus will not work with faint brightness of stars, hence you would have to switch to manual focus.

Here is an example of my myopic eye-sight fooling me :-(

From StarTrails

Exposure : 68.0 sec

Exposure time of more than few hours is very common. But usually pictures will be shot with shorter duration and then will be stacked to reduce the light noise.

One more problem I faced: since the lens is pointing towards sky, there will be mist / moisture that gets collected on the lens. It slowly blurs the pic. I have not found any solution for this yet. methinks I can wipe the moisture off in the middle of long exposure. Not sure though.

Here is an example : Star trails are looking like they are comets !!

From StarTrails

Exposure : 1863.0 sec

Its not the first time I tried the star trail photography, and its always fun.

This pic I took in early 2009 :

The Hunter and the Dog ...

For a change this time I went to sea shore one night, hoping to see less light. But there wasn't much difference in light pollution though :-(

Here is a better shot I have :
From StarTrails

Exposure: 1800.0 sec

One thing that you definitely need is patience, loads of patience :-)

Now, go on, shoot some stars :P

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Fun with water balloons and camera ...

You all might have seen those wonderful pictures of water balloon bursting, no ?

Ever wonder how tough actually it is to take a picture of it?

I tried my hands on that, and boy o boy, isn't that difficult !

Things needed:
  • Water :-)
  • Balloons, lots of them
  • Some thing to tie the balloon
  • A needle
  • And lots of bright light on Balloon
  • And of course a super fast lens.

So, I set out on a bright afternoon, with intent of shooting an awesome pic of water balloon bursting.

Here is my set up :

First few attempts went down the drain :(

Then few came pretty close, but no luck :-(

Almost there :

Oh my, so close yet so far !!

Finally one pic I am proud of (sorta ...) --

Yay !! You can even see the bit of balloon flying off !

Little technical stuff:

I couldn't use remote to click the pic. There is a delay of 2 seconds between me clicking the remote and shutter actually firing, it's ridiculously tough to sync shutter and balloon bursting.

Also, I didn't want some one else to burst the balloon. Hey I want all the credit, alright ?

So, I used the delayed self timer to click and sync the balloon bursting. I totally burst some 9-10 balloons to get the pic somewhat okay.
  • Camera used: Canon EOS 450 D
  • Lens : Canon 50 mm f1.8 (Fastest lens I have)
  • Shutter speed: 1/1000 of sec
  • I shot in Shutter priority mode.

That's all folks !

:-) let me know what you think !