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Old Mar 10, 2008, 4:46 AM   #1
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I have tried to do a little bulb work, like with people waving thier hand slowly but it never comes out, i just get half a missing arm and no blurred hand? or am i completely missing the point of bulb photography. basically i am hoping to do som traffic shots and of course the spiraling stars around the north star. any suggestions?
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Old Mar 10, 2008, 7:11 AM   #2
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Dr.Theo wrote:
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I have tried to do a little bulb work, like with people waving thier hand slowly but it never comes out, i just get half a missing arm and no blurred hand?
You're using too long a shutter speed, or your flash bulbs last too long (1/50 to as long as 1/10 of a second)and your subjects need to slow their waving. (Bulbs? Really?)

Dr.Theo wrote:
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basically i am hoping to do som traffic shots and of course the spiraling stars around the north star. any suggestions?


You're trying to photograph something you can't see. The only way you'll get the results you are looking for isby experimenting.
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Old Mar 10, 2008, 8:45 AM   #3
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It would be helpful if you posted some examples with exif attached, or with shot settings posted. For moving vehicles, speed, angle, and distance all have an effect. Here's one I did last fall - never got the "look" I wanted, but notice the car closest to me, (traveling at an angle), is very blurred, but the cars that are farther away, (and going almost directly away from me), are not. Exif should be attached.
Ron

Exif not attached, so shot settings are: .6 sec, F11, and iso 100


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Old Mar 10, 2008, 9:38 AM   #4
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As TCav said: experiment, think about it, experiment, think, ... repeat.

For very long exposures, noise will become an issue. To deal with that take a look at Max Lyons' stacked images - http://www.tawbaware.com/imgstack.htm
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Old Mar 11, 2008, 12:51 AM   #5
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What sort of bulbs are you trying to photograph? Incandescents need short exposures, but garden bulbs can be shot with a lot of different combinations and come out well (unless they are planted, then you need x-ray filters, and a good source of x-rays)

Long exposure shots take a bit of experimenting to get the effect you want, as the others have mentioned. For catching a hand waving, or someone doing a dance or martial arts move, look into front-curtain or rear-curtain flash sync - your camera manual should explain how to do it with your model camera. Can get some nice effects this way, if you are patient. (my curse-I'm not)

Star trails (as with other bulb exposures) require a very steady tripod, and a remote shutter release. Bulb exposures with a hand-held camera will almost always come out badly.

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Old Mar 11, 2008, 8:55 AM   #6
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Dang, people ... you guys MUST have your tongues in cheek ... or have you forgotten so soon since film days what "bulb photography" is?:?

(FWIW, the term comes from old-time cameras which used an air-bulb and air-hose to trip the shutter. Keep the bulb squeezed and you keep the shutter open for long exposures.)

Dr. Theo, like has been said above, it will take some experimentation to get exposures correct to achieve the results you want, and you MUST use a remote shutter release as tripping and closing with the camera's shutter release will result in vibration. And like with any long exposures, you must have your camera tripod mounted.

For star trails, it will depend on how much light pollution there is and how dark the skies are (mooon or moonless). I've used ISO 800 at f/4 for 10 minutes and achieved very good results. You might start with that and go from there. The main problem with hour-long exposures will be battery charge. I've made moonlight look like daylight with 45 minute exposures and had nice star-trails, also. Google Star Trail Photography to find a lotmore information on the Internet.
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Old Mar 11, 2008, 12:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
The main problem with hour-long exposures will be battery charge.
As Bill said, you also have to worry about noise. Long exposures cause the sensor to heat up more, which results in noise, even at lower iso's. Most cameras have noise compensation for longer exposures, but that typically will sacrifice detail. Film had issues as well, namely reciprocity failure.

The battery charge issue can be alleviated by simply using an AC adapter or using a battery grip that increases battery capacity.
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