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Old Aug 1, 2011, 1:44 PM   #1
spy
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Held a night photography workshop last night from 10pm - 2am out at the McDougall Memorial United Church in Morely, 45 min west of Calgary. I met the group of students in Cochrane at the local watering hole (a.k.a. Tim Horton's) then took the eager bunch out to the location.

One of the first things I cover when we all manage to grab our gear and set up is to discuss all the ways one can do to help your camera obtain a focus lock on your subject. I like to get my students involved in thinking how this can be done when it is so dark out and the question, for the most part, stumps everyone.

One thing that can work is to use a flash light. This can work if you have a powerful enough one to light up the subject but lets say you don't. You're looking at the subject that may be a couple hundred feet away, maybe even 600 feet away and you didn't bring the 10 million candle power spot lamp, in stead you have your trusty handy flashlight that holds 3 'c' size batteries and your lucky if you can light something up that's 30 feet away.

Your other option is to run your flashlight down to the subject, put it on the ground facing back at the camera, run back to the camera, get your focus lock, run back to the flash light, pick it up and run back to the camera to take the picture. Maybe you didn't like the photo so you move in a little closer or to the right a bit and you have to get another focus lock. That's a lot of running in one night ....maybe your not to keen on all that running....

The other option is to pick up a powerful laser. This tool is used by me in all my night photography photo opps. I have used lasers now for at least 5 years with no incidents. Nobody's complained, nor has anyone lost an eye. I practice safe use of it and preach it when I show my students how the process works. I bought mine here and is with me for every night shoot.
http://wickedlasers.com/

Kevin
www.poetryofmotion.com
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 5:56 PM   #2
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Great advice Kevin. This shot is sooooo spooky
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 7:43 PM   #3
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What a great idea!
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 11:01 PM   #4
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Very interesting. This is why people come to forums, new ideas. What power laser did you get?
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 11:24 PM   #5
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Wow, i never thought of that...will finally put to use that green laser i purchased at the PX in Fort Leonard Wood...just wonder if that batteries still have a charge after two years
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Old Aug 2, 2011, 12:00 AM   #6
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SnapCrazy, I purchased the 60mW a couple years ago for $200. They've changed up their website and prices have come down a lot since. Before this one, I had the 10mW and found it lacked the power I needed for those distant subjects. The 60mW is plenty powerful for what I need.

I first thought of it in my back yard a number of years ago when I was using my external flash at night and the flash would emit an infra red beam to enable the camera to focus. It was then I wondered if a red laser would have the same effect so I went to the Dollar Store and picked up a key chain red laser for a buck, you know the ones with the little watch batteries....tried it out on a subject in my basement with the lights out and it worked!! The rest is history :^)
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Old Aug 7, 2011, 9:42 AM   #7
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Another GREAT shot! Thanks for the tip Kevin!
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Old Aug 11, 2011, 5:09 PM   #8
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Excellent Kevin, would this be it?
http://wickedlasers.com/lasers/E2_Series-104-63.html
and would the 25mW be fine or should I buy the 75mW?
Thanks
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Old Aug 11, 2011, 9:18 PM   #9
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Hercules, yes the E2 Evolution series is the one I have but I bought mine about 2 years ago when they had the 60mW laser. They've since changed up the website and it looks as though they also did away with the 60mW and replaced it with the 75mW.

Question for you is 'do you want to settle for "fine" or have a laser that will blow your socks off? If you got the 25mW laser, I know from all the use I've had with the tiny key chain red laser to the 10mW then to the 60mW that it won't take you long to see the limits of the 25mW. You will find that the more you get out there at night to develop your night photography skills, you will wish you hadn't settled for "fine". There's nothing worse than being held back from learning because your equipment wasn't there for you or you demanded more than what it could do.

I have no need for a laser more powerful than my 60mW as I have obtained a focus lock on every subject I wanted to photograph. My furthest subject was over 300ft away. I guess the day it breaks, I will morn for a short while then will quickly replace it with the 75mW...maybe the 100mW.

There is another purpose for this laser and that is it will work very well as an emergency beam if your trying to get someone's attention. I often head out into the mountains at night by myself and though I am careful and responsible with telling people where I plan to go, I might go elsewhere and if something ever happened and would need assistance the beam can be seen for miles and can be used to signal for help.

One other point to consider is to find out if your local laws permit them. I'm fine where I live but I know some States in the USA do not allow them. Maybe Greece has some info for you.

Hope that helps, let us know what you decide.

Kevin
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 5:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spy View Post
Hercules, yes the E2 Evolution series is the one I have but I bought mine about 2 years ago when they had the 60mW laser. They've since changed up the website and it looks as though they also did away with the 60mW and replaced it with the 75mW.

Question for you is 'do you want to settle for "fine" or have a laser that will blow your socks off? If you got the 25mW laser, I know from all the use I've had with the tiny key chain red laser to the 10mW then to the 60mW that it won't take you long to see the limits of the 25mW. You will find that the more you get out there at night to develop your night photography skills, you will wish you hadn't settled for "fine". There's nothing worse than being held back from learning because your equipment wasn't there for you or you demanded more than what it could do.

I have no need for a laser more powerful than my 60mW as I have obtained a focus lock on every subject I wanted to photograph. My furthest subject was over 300ft away. I guess the day it breaks, I will morn for a short while then will quickly replace it with the 75mW...maybe the 100mW.

There is another purpose for this laser and that is it will work very well as an emergency beam if your trying to get someone's attention. I often head out into the mountains at night by myself and though I am careful and responsible with telling people where I plan to go, I might go elsewhere and if something ever happened and would need assistance the beam can be seen for miles and can be used to signal for help.

One other point to consider is to find out if your local laws permit them. I'm fine where I live but I know some States in the USA do not allow them. Maybe Greece has some info for you.

Hope that helps, let us know what you decide.

Kevin
Thanks Spy great info,, yes I will order the 75mW today and here in Greece it is legal
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