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bill storage

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Image Comments posted by bill storage



    This was shot in an Appalachian cave, several hours travel from the surface,

    using a Canon S40 digital camera with a Canon underwater housing. I taped black

    electrical tape over the camera's flash and set it for manual exposure at f/2.8

    and 1/20 sec. Tape over the camera's flash is needed to avoid its reflecting on water droplets in the cave air, which would completely fog and blur the image. The camera's flash, having its visible output blocked by the tape,

    still triggered two slave units. The near slave, in my free hand, fired an M2B

    flashbulb, while the person in the photo held an M3 flashbulb in a polished

    reflector at arms length in front of her. The 1/20 sec exposure is short enough

    for everyone to hold still but long enough to catch most of the flashbulb output

    with the delay caused by the slave units. Use of chemical flashbulbs with

    digital cameras makes for an interesting combination of high and low tech, with

    a corresponding number of obstacles. For example, most digital cameras, even in

    manual exposure mode, fire several small flashes before their main output. This

    is incompatible with flash slaves. Many others, while having manual focus

    capability, are very difficult to focus manually at large aperture. Battery life

    is very poor at cave temperature - about 49 degrees F - and very few slave units can trigger a bulb gun. Caves do not like electricity. Connections that work fine on the surface short out underground. Slaves don't fire when you want them to, but fire when a cavers headlamp beam accidentally strikes them. Accidental detonation of large bulbs can be dangerous.


    Here are some other

    cave photos.

  1. Hi folks. I posted this image many years ago, and I recall scanning the slide with a mid-90s vintage scanner. I don't know if that affected the sharpness, or if the original was as fuzzy as this version.

    1/15 second is consistent with similar images I've shot more recently with digital cameras that eliminate the possibility of record keeping errors. When I first started playing with this sort of thing I was recording exposure data diligently in attempt to waste less film, so I suspect the listed exposure time is correct. These two digital images (links:1 ,2 ) show 1/15 in the EXIF header.

    I have always been interested in this sort of slightly confusing image. I think I got the idea for this shot from the 1975 album cover (Peter Schmidt paintingshown here) of  Brian Eno's Morning Star album. A Japanese painter (can't recall the name), very popular in commercial galleries in the 80s, also painted a lot of similar images. I was trying my hand at a  Japanese-influenced placement of the shapes, hence the goofy positioning of the rock. I was never really sure if it worked either, so I'm glad to see it getting some review here.

  2. I can attest to that shot's authenticity, since I was standing next to her when she got it. She nearly broke my eardrum screaming when she saw that come up on the LCD. The see-flash/click approach actually seems to work pretty well. I got a few decent shots that night, but nothing like that mega-bolt!

    Dahlia detail

    This is a straight scan of Provia - not digitally reworked. Lighting is just a sunny day with reflector and diffuser at the Golden Gate Park Dahlia Garden. The genius of this shot is that of the people who develop and grow these flowers - in this case Erik and Gerda Juul of San Francisco. I believe this variety is known as Juuls Lotus. If you're interested in the extreme range of varieties of dahlias, I have a few hundred more shots of them at http://bstorage.com/wksphoto/dahlia/index.htm

    Baker Beach

    This shot is very nicely composed. Being familiar with the various lighting conditions at Baker Beach, I find the colors here to be very unnatural. When the water becomes that gold, shadows are much longer and the sky looks very different to my eye. Of course, color is subjective, and the artist has the final word.


    Thanks for the comments and appreciation. I hand-hold the vast majority of these shots. The wind blows at least gently all the time in Golden Gate Park. You have to chase the flowers and shoot them when they stop for a breath. They somehow seem to require a postion that a tripod won't allow anyway. I like the blur of nearly wide open, and the IS lenses help a lot. The 300 IS also has a very close min. focusing distance. I sometimes use black collapsible backdrops - especially if there is a big ugly sign behind. The agapanthus was shot indoors on a tripod at about 1:1.

    Don't overlook the cheapo 50 mm 1.8 with extension tubes for this sort of thing. Most of the shots on this page use that lens:http://bstorage.com/wksphoto/Dahlia99/Dahlia99.htm
  3. Thanks for all the thoughtful comments and kind words. This shot was taken while the sky still had a bit of color in it. Daylight film, and I didn't use any filters. I shot hand-held (balanced on rail), wide open with the lens tilted so that the plane of focus was parallel with the pier, and shifted to reduce the effect of looking down. I focused on the line of lights reflected in the water. Another reason the reflected lights are sharp and the lights themselves are blurred is that the fog was much thinner near the water than at the level of the lights. I tried a variety of crops, and this one felt more like what I felt at the scene. Despite San Francisco's reputation, this condition is not very common - I haven't seen it since the El Nino year.

    Minor point of interest: After seeing the comments and disagreements on cropping - particularly the right - edge, I noticed that different monitors render shots like this (no black or white point) very differently. Many monitor/graphics card combinations result in compressed gammas that change the mood a bit. If the leftmost two or three blocks of the gamma chart are all black, you are seeing something different than what others might be seeing:gamma chart.
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