Tuesday, December 25, 2007

White Christmas!

Just what I wanted (but didn't really want to drive home in)!

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If you'd like to use images in this blog post, please e-mail paul(at)paulmphotography.com

Saturday, December 01, 2007

This shouldn't be possible...

December Snowstorm #2 (Sepia)

Click on the picture to pull it up in Flickr. Then click on "All Sizes" to see it as large as I can display it on Flickr.

This is a 1/5th-second exposure, hand-held, in Shutter priority mode, with the flash set to TTL (normal synch, not rear-curtain). With the 55-200 VR lens giving me the advantage of a few extra stops of sharpness, and with the wind being mostly calm to hold the tree steady, there's enough sharpness there to make things interesting. Certainly the flash exposure would be much quicker than 1/5th of a second, but the available light was reasonably dark even though I was standing under the streetlight.

The layers of the falling snow is what I wanted to capture here, juxtaposed with the lighted and snow-filled needles of the pine tree. The 1/5th-second exposure, combined with the flash did some very interesting things to the falling snow. Notice there's several flakes that are reasonably stopped within the scene. Then there are streams of other flakes, lit by the street lamp, blurred by the long exposure at 1/5th second. Finally, there are a couple of "blobs" that are sorta in-between -- outside the field of focus to be sharp, yet not quite blurred enough to be seen as a streak in the scene.

I'm happy to have captured the various directions that the snow was falling, and the snow on the pine branches. At 1/5th of a second, I'm not sure a non-VR lens would've captured this the same way. Yeah, there would be some sharpness in the branches thanks to the shortness of the flash exposure, but there'd be more blurriness, too, since the natural movement of the camera/lens at that focal length would've been amplified. I may still crop this scene a little bit (the shallow DOF forcing the bottom branches nearest me out of focus is sorta distracting -- and not part of the scene like I might've explored with the Group F/1 style), but overall I'm pleased with this result.

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If you'd like to use images in this blog post, please e-mail paul(at)paulmphotography.com