Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Fireworks 2018

Nikon 810, 28mm (28-105), 2 sec., f/4.5, ISO 100

This year I thought I’d try something new for Fourth of July photos. A Petapixel article described a technique that produced puffy, flower-like images. My results differed, but I’m nonetheless pleased with what I got.

The trick was to set the shutter for long exposure (I went with a second or two), start with the lens completely out of focus and then snap to clear focus while the shutter was still open. The result is an image that’s partially in focus and partially out. It ended up creating an illusion of depth of field, which altered the perceived size of the subject (kinda like the tilt shift technique).

Our eyes work in ways quite similar to our camera lenses. So we're used to a more or less infinite depth of field for subjects at a distance but a narrower field for things that are close to our faces. That's why the part-in-part-out focus of the fireworks photo creates the illusion that it's a smaller object closer up.

Nikon 810, 28mm (28-105), 2 sec., f/4.5, ISO 100

I also brought the wrong tripod (going with the heavy one for stability but forgetting that it can be kind of a pain to point up at any angle greater than 60 degrees or so). So several of my sky burst photos were hand held, producing another interesting effect even when I wasn’t changing the focus mid-shot.

Nikon 810, 28mm (28-105), 2 sec., f/4.5, ISO 100

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