Digital Camera Fun

I love my digital camera, a Canon EOS 20D, because with it my photographs are already in digital form, so they are easy to crop and save for the web. Another thing I love about my digital camera is that I'm able to play around and experiment with it without wasting expensive film. If a digital photo isn't any good, which happens frequently when I'm photographing often uncooperative wild creatures or flowers bobbing in the breeze, I'll just delete the bad photo and take another.

Last night, while riding home from a wildflower-hunting trip, on a whim I decided to see what an f/22 picture out the front window of a moving car at sunset would look like (I was not driving the car by the way), and this is what I got.

Blurred photo taken from a moving car

The result is this strange and blurry picture that looks as if some vandal scribbled with yellow and red on an impressionist painting.

There's a whole photographic genre of blurred car and city lights, and some nice examples are these ones taken from moving vehicles by Rick Doble, or this ghostly photo of a speeding London bus taken by Ibán Yarza.

Of course, the classic photograph of blurred light trails is that of Pablo Picasso drawing a centaur with a flashlight by photographer Gjon Mili. For more information on how Picasso's light drawing was done, check out this post on Katie's Papa blog.

I decided to try a little light drawing myself, and with my dad behind the camera, I made this light scribble above a ceramic globe fountain last night.

Light drawing over a ceramic globe

It was very dark outside and the camera (on a tripod) was set at f/11. My dad shined a powerful flashlight on the globe fountain. He clicked the camera shutter and a short moment later he turned off the flashlight illuminating the globe. I then quickly moved in with a penlight facing the camera and moved it around in a squiggly pattern until the camera's shutter finally clicked shut. There isn't enough light to see my arm or hand moving around, so the light scribbles seem to magically appear out of thin air.

Unfortunately, we couldn't turn on the fountain because then many of the yard lights would come on as well. Oh well, maybe we can figure out how to do it later.

We then switched places and I took this photo of his more exuberant light scribbling.

Light drawing over a ceramic globe

Digital cameras are fun!