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Friday, December 30, 2011

Trailing light night photography

Last night I suggested to hubby we should go out and shoot some night photography. Our original intention was to head to downtown San Jose to take pictures at Christmas in the Park, an annual event full of decorations along Market Street in front of the Fairmont Hotel and the Tech Museum.

F stop 2.5 - Exposure Time 1/5

Once we arrived downtown I realized a much more interesting opportunity would be taking pictures of the carnival rides across the street along Park Ave.

F stop 4.5 - Exposure Time 0.4

I wanted to take photos where the lens was left open for a longer than standard amount of time to create light trails while using a tripod.

F stop 2.5 - Exposure Time 1/4

My ISO was set to 100 then I just played with my aperture and shutter speeds to create different amounts of trailing light and color. I used my pancake lens which, sadly, wasn't wide enough to get a full frame shot of the entire ride once it was in motion.

F stop 3.5 - Exposure Time 0.4

I felt a little motion sick just watching people ride the rides. No way could I do it. Well I could but I'd be crawling off and would have to lay down on the ground for about a half hour after. LOL

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At one point I checked in with hubby. He had set his shutter slower than mine, so I left mine open longer and slowed things down to get this photo that looked like his. We got home and he showed me how after that he sped his up and took pictures that looked like mine. I love how the clown's face is peeking out LOL

F stop 3.5 - Exposure Time 0.4

The weird thing is that it was foggy last night in San Jose. Like really misty. So misty it almost felt like it was raining. It made our expedition not as much fun but I felt like it was still a successful outing.

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Before we left we went to shoot a few more rides. This one was called "Foot Loose." When I was a kid I think they called this kind of ride "The Hammer" or something like that.

F stop 8 - Exposure Time 1

There are two cab areas where people sit. I wanted to photograph both at the same time but here's where you can tell I don't have a wide angle lens. And I didn't want to stand in the street to perfectly frame the whole ride because I would have been hit by a car.

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Slowly they begin swinging back and forth like pendulums until they gain enough speed that they spin in complete circles.

F stop 8 - Exposure Time 1

I didn't change my settings at all this time. The ride moved so quickly it created all of the streaming light I wanted with my first attempt.

F stop 8 - Exposure Time 1

Ah, this was what I was after! Circles of light. What I didn't anticipate was how the people standing beneath it would be so sharp. I guess because they were all watching the ride too they didn't move at all which made for cooler pictures for me :)

F stop 8 - Exposure Time 1

I think hubby and I will be doing things like this more often. In so many ways we're so opposite that sometimes people ask me why we're a couple :) As I munched on a soft pretzel (I couldn't resist the corner vendor) I thought how cool it is that we now have photography in common as our first mutual hobby.

Oh and even though we walked past it we didn't take any photos at all of Christmas in the Park. We'll do that next year when the weather is better. You still have two days left to see it though. It's open every day from 9:00 AM. through midnight, until Sunday, January 1, 2012.

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