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Author Topic: Phantastic Photograms!  (Read 3194 times)
5tephe
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« on: June 13, 2008, 08:03:33 am »

No really: Phantasms appear:

Not Fog...



People...
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Schizmo
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2008, 08:05:46 am »

Long exposure is quite possibly one of the coolest manual effects in photography. Smiley
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Em
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2008, 08:12:36 am »

Long exposure is quite possibly one of the coolest manual effects in photography. Smiley
Seconded.
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2008, 09:01:12 am »

What a great photo and such a simple technique Smiley
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Byron Cogsmith
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2008, 09:47:52 am »


 What a fantastic photo, although I kind of expect ghost pirates to appear from it...............
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2008, 09:49:21 am »

Looking at it again I've noticed the light on the hand-rails.
Lovely.
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ShredsnPatches
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2008, 10:42:36 am »

That's a wonderful photo!
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markf
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2008, 12:11:22 pm »

Was a pinhole camera used?  markf
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Demetrius Forward
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2008, 08:19:55 am »

I'd love to know how you made this. I've always fancied long-exposure shots but never actually tracked down a page on how to do it.
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2008, 08:33:57 am »

I'd love to know how you made this. I've always fancied long-exposure shots but never actually tracked down a page on how to do it.
It depends on your camera Mr Forward.
Some can control the time of exposure, others will only keep the apeture open for a second or so.
I'd have a mosey through your manual.
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Demetrius Forward
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2008, 06:33:47 pm »

Hm, well at the moment I have only the camera built into my phone. It's definately a competant camera, 5 megapixels, manual focus and ISO, Macro, Automatic red-eye removal and all those other bells and whistles but it has no option for prolonged exposure. I'm not even sure it would be possible with a digital camera?

Could you please suggest models of cameras that do have the option of prolonged exposure? Thanks.
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PhilippaSpade
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2008, 07:20:35 pm »

Oh, it is definitely possible with any decent digital camera. (The possibility of manually changing aperture and exposure time is one of my personal prerequisites for calling a camera "decent", in fact Wink)

Without wanting to sound unfriendly: I'd really recommend a bit of research on your own  - or asking the nice people at your local electronics store.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2008, 10:18:09 pm »

My word... I didn't realise these were people!

I must try this with my own camera.   
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2008, 10:49:38 pm »

Hm, well at the moment I have only the camera built into my phone. It's definately a competant camera, 5 megapixels, manual focus and ISO, Macro, Automatic red-eye removal and all those other bells and whistles but it has no option for prolonged exposure. I'm not even sure it would be possible with a digital camera?

Could you please suggest models of cameras that do have the option of prolonged exposure? Thanks.
Is your phone able to make any phonecalls by chance? Wink

As to your phone/camera without looking at it, the most simple way I can think to get extended exposure would be through a nightime setting. Most digital cameras have one and some will prolong the time the apeture is open while your finger is down, mine does anyway and it's a Fuji something or rather digital SLR. I'm more of a tinkerer when it comes to cameras, I need to be able to touch them and roll them through my hands a few times so my advice is limited here.
I suggest you just play around with your camera, you might also pick up some new settings you hadn't found before.
Or as Miss Spade suggests, research your own or visit an electronics store, although I'm hesitant as to whether people in electronic stores will be experts of any sort.
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PhilippaSpade
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« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2008, 09:29:19 am »

Or as Miss Spade suggests, research your own or visit an electronics store, although I'm hesitant as to whether people in electronic stores will be experts of any sort.

They possibly are not, but - at least in the shops around here - they seem to know the specs of the things they sell. An even better idea. if you can find one, would be a small shop managed by a photographer. I've got one or two in town here, so maybe you're lucky, too.
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Em
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« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2008, 09:38:53 am »

Then you are very lucky Miss Spade. Smiley
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markf
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« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2008, 01:19:37 pm »

Generic info on aperature/shutter speed/'film' speed would be greatly appreciated.  markf
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Demetrius Forward
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« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2008, 07:20:35 pm »

Hm, well there is a big store dedicated to the selling of cameras in town, I shall go down there some time this week and take a look! I shall ask the nice people there about exposure time on my phone's camera, too. Also, I didn't think digital cameras had apertures?

Incase it helps, my phone is an LG Viewty. Terrible name, but a great phone!
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PhilippaSpade
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« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2008, 08:11:02 pm »

Hm, well there is a big store dedicated to the selling of cameras in town, I shall go down there some time this week and take a look! I shall ask the nice people there about exposure time on my phone's camera, too. Also, I didn't think digital cameras had apertures?

Incase it helps, my phone is an LG Viewty. Terrible name, but a great phone!

The only real difference between digital and analogue cameras is the light-sensitive material: digital has a photosensitive chip, analogue has film Wink
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Luella Dobson
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« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2008, 08:32:31 pm »

That. is. unspeakably. amazing.

beautiful. holy-- I'm speechless.

thanks for sharing that!!
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neon_suntan
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« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2008, 10:01:40 pm »

I shall ask... about exposure time on my phone's camera, too. Also, I didn't think digital cameras had apertures?

Incase it helps, my phone is an LG Viewty. Terrible name, but a great phone!

It's highly unlikely that any Camera-phone will be able to produce  the sort of image that prompted this discussion... sadly 'phone settings are designed for 'snap-shot' photography even the very good quality 5MP Sony K850i and one or two other new phones.

There are ARE however some interesting effects that can be produced using  mobile phone though they tend to resemble modern art. Often by adding the night-time [night-shot on some 'phones] and combining it with the solarize function and a strong light source, quirks in the visual processing of the image can be used to make interestig patterns. I'll post an image when I get a moment, if it isn't too off topic  Roll Eyes
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Em
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« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2008, 10:42:07 pm »

There are ARE however some interesting effects that can be produced using  mobile phone though they tend to resemble modern art. Often by adding the night-time [night-shot on some 'phones] and combining it with the solarize function and a strong light source, quirks in the visual processing of the image can be used to make interestig patterns. I'll post an image when I get a moment, if it isn't too off topic  Roll Eyes

Night time photography is a whole lot of fun. I vote you post an image anyway.
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Journeyman
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« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2008, 03:20:05 pm »

"Generic info on aperture/shutter speed/'film' speed would be greatly appreciated. "

You got it.  DANGER: The post below will take the better part of a week to read Tongue

Aperture: The nice, easy definition of aperture is "how wide does your camera open."  So, You've got a lens, and inside the lens there's this neat series of overlapping fins arranged so that their edges form a circular opening.  Those fins can be moved to make the circle bigger or smaller.  The larger the Aperture, the more light gets through the lens. Some pics showing what I mean below:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Every lens has certain maximum apertures that it can achieve because the diameter of the lens is fixed, and more importantly, because the barrel of the lens gets in the way.  Basically, a long barrel on your lens results in a narrow angle of light that can get in, so lenses that have long focal ranges (hehe! buzzwords!) tend to have poor maximum apertures...And, we have to ask, what does that mean?  I made a picture, let's have a look:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
If I have a wide-angle lens, that means light focuses very close to the lens (pic on left).  If I have a Zoom lens, light focuses farther from the lens.  So...if I have a lens with adjustable zoom (meaning it can go from wider angles to narrower angles aka "zoom in", like most camera phones and such), I have to accommodate both situations.  Notice the unlabeled ring in the picture above representing the aperture--think about what would happen if the aperture was just as far open at high zoom as it was at wide-angle (as I've left it in that image).  What would happen is the aperture would let in light from too close to the edges of the longer barrel and you'd see a black circle around your photo (see the faint blue lines on the zoom lens above, indicating the basic idea of the aperature letting in too much light).  So, the aperture has to be limited to prevent that (even still, most cameras with zoom lenses experience at least a small amount of "vignetting," or darkened corners and edges, at high zoom levels, and it's because of this issue.  Oh, and Every camera has this neat thing called a crop factor, too.  The image sensor, or the film, is square...but the lens is round.  So, not only do you have to avoid letting in shadows from the barrel, you can't egt too close to the edges, either.  Much fun!

Ok...more than you wanted to know on aperture (there's plenty more out there tho!)...But none of this may seem useful so far, right?  The aperture determines how much light hits the camera, but that's just one part of the equation!

Shutter speed: How long light enters the camera.  When you take a photo, the "sensing material" (something photosensitive like film, a digital image sensor, etc) is exposed to some amount of light, and has a reaction (hence the term photosensitive).  Film is created in such a way that the reaction produces predictable color patterns depending on the wavelengths of light and their brightness.  Digital cameras work a little differently, reading reaction data electronically from the sensors.  Either way, a reaction occurs and the result is translated into an image.  We've talked about how the aperture determines the amount of light getting through to the camera's sensor...but that doesn't give us enough control. 

By continuously exposing the sensing material to light, the effects are intensified and amplified.  Think of it this way: when light hits film, it basically burns the film.  Strong, bright light burns more than dim light, and prolonged light tends to burn more than brief exposure.  So generally, a quick burst of light has a slight burning effect on the film, which varies a bit depending on the intensity of the light.  If you continue to shine light at the film, though, it will begin to burn in more strongly.  And in the film world, burning an image into film yields a brighter image.  So, the longer you hold the shutter of the camera open, the longer the available light has to make an impact on the final photo.

Hmm...So why is all that important?  Let's say you photograph in dim lighting.  It doesn't matter whether the aperture is wide open or not--there's not much light bouncing off the objects in your photo.  Having the aperture open as far as it will go ensures that the maximum amount of available light gets into the camera, but without much available light, we're out of luck.  So, we lengthen our exposure time...which means we decrease our shutter speed.  That is to say, we cause the camera shutter (which blocks out all light until we are ready to make a photo) to open and shut more slowly, which allows light to affect the image sensor for a longer time, thus amplifying the effect that light has.  You have heard people in this topic mention using slow shutter speeds for the ghostly images and you have also heard people suggest using a "night-mode" if the camera does not let you manually set shutter speed.  Does the connection make more sense now?  A camera with a built-in "night shooting" mode automatically slows down the shutter for you because night-time has less light available.  Clever, eh?  Wink

Of course, all of this stuff I've said about shutter speed and exposure time assumes one thing that is not the case in the photos shown in this topic.  Generally, in Photography we need our subjects to be very still, particularly in low light.  Think about what happens if they are not:  The shutter remains open for a while, and light bouncing off of my subjects is continuously entering the lens, hitting the sensor, and creating an impression of the scene at a particular moment in time.  These impressions are overlaid continuously (or in very rapid succession in digital) to build the overall image.  But...what if the subjects keep moving around?  Since there is not a single moment in time that creates a strong enough impression and the subject is in different places from moment to moment, there's no single image of the subject in one place at one time.  The most common effect is blurriness--poorly defined edges.  IF the subject had remained motionless, each impression on the sensor over time would have "burned" into the exact same places and strengthened the image to create a nice sharp photo.  But with the subject fidgeting, they spread themselves out over the sensing surface over the length of the exposure time and have no clearly defined edges.  The extreme case, then, would be deliberate experimenting with exposure time, as in these images.  Normally, a shutter is open for a very short time--1/4000 of a second is not uncommon in strong daylight, 1/250 is pretty common in shadow.  1/8th to 1/2 second in low light.  For complete night, like fireworks, celestial bodies, and the like, you might see numbers bordering on a second or two...for stars, at least a minute.  It all depends on how much light is coming from what you're trying to capture. 

But as you can see in the photos mentioned in the topic, the photographer has taken advantage of the fact that his subjects aren't staying still at all to create a unique effect.  He has lengthened the exposure time (decreased the shutter speed), but not to capture more light from a stationary subject.  he's done this technique in order to capture the not-fully-defined imprints of people.  Since nobody is standing still, everyone gets partially "overwritten" every moment by somebody else.

Phew!  Still with me?  Cheesy  I hope so--we're waxing on long here, but we're actually not done yet...Unfortunately, we still might not have enough info to reconstruct the photo shown here.

We need film speed! (Thanks for bringing it up).  What is it?  It's a measure of how sensitive film is to light.  That's it.  And it's super-important.
Let's consider what I talked about earlier: I said that exposing film to light of different intensities caused it to burn more or less quickly.  I also mentioned that prolonged exposure caused more intense burning...So what should jump out here is "yes, but how quickly is 'quickly'?  How much more intense is 'more intense'?  We answer that question with film speed.  It's just a standardized measure of how fast film reacts to light--higher numbers mean higher sensitivity.  As you can imagine, more sensitive film requires less time to burn in a reasonable-looking exposure, less sensitive film requires more time.  In the old days, your film speed was determined by the little number on the box:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
See the number 400 on the right side of that box (on the top flap and on the body below it)? That's ISO 400 film--developed by Kodak, it revolutionized photography in its day...  Typically, we shoot outdoors at ISO 100 or 200.  What the numbers mean precisely is less important that the general sense: 100 is less sensitive than 200, 200 is less sensitive than 400, etc.  Sensitive film helps us take photos in lower light levels with less blurriness because, as I mentioned above, we need less exposure time, so our subject has less chance to fidget and ruin our photo (Also, even if there is blurriness, the blurs are shorter and sharper because we capture the photo over a shorter period of time).  So, fast film is nice.  But, in those olden days, the only way to change film speed was to wind up your roll and put in a new one with a different number on the box.  You can imagine the nightmare of Wedding photography: dim, low lighting in a church, crazy-bright mid-morning outdoor sunshine for the recessional...then off to the medium-lit reception hall (often bouncing between indoors and outdoors) to photograph into the night.......  Lots of rolls of film....  In the digital world, though, we can set how sensitive the image sensor should be (within certain limits that depend on the quality of the workmanship in the electronic component).  No need to change rolls.

So...how does that relate to the topic at hand (ie, creating phantasmic imagery).
Well, let's say that ISO 200, aperture @ F8 (typical setting, trust me, you don't want me to wanted down that explanation right now Wink), shutter at 1/1000 would get us a nice crisp shot of that stairwell.  Now, our intrepid photographer decides to make a gigantic change to the shutter speed--let's say 15 seconds instead of 1/1000 of one second.  What happens?  The photo is completely white, that's what happens. Smiley  Using the same amount of light as before but exposing it over a duration like that would completely overexpose the image.  What to do?  We can close down the aperture, certainly--that gives us less light.  But it affects the depth of field of our image...Basically, in addition to determining how much light reaches your sensor, the aperture size also determines how much of the photo is in focus.  Ever see a photo where something in front is really, really sharp, but the whole background is blurry?  That's a shallow depth of field in effect.  It's a bit of a minor point in the photos discussed here, because the depth of field is not very shallow (shallow dof generally needs wide apertures), but there is definitely a limit to how much we want to close the aperture (and how much we are able to) and there's also a limit to how much blur the photographer wants to introduce, and there's probably some limits to how long the photographer wants to capture for (he would presumably want to avoid capturing too many people going by, which would overly cloud up the image).  So, film speed helps to fine-tune the effect.  It lets the photographer adjust the way his film (or electronic equivalent) reacts.

So......that explains that...maybe...yes?  Nice and brief Cheesy
Of course, I hate to say it, but it looks to me as though there's actually a bit more to those photos than that, unless the photographer had some very fortuitous conditions to work with (which may be the case--shooting on stairwells could do the trick).  Ordinarily, I's say that a photo like this would also involve techniques of multiple exposures and time-lapse, in addition to the drag-shutter.  But...enough explaining for now.  If anybody sees anything incorrect posted above, please do correct me; if anyone wants anything clarified that I've left in mud, say the word! Smiley
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Demetrius Forward
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« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2008, 03:26:08 pm »

I'm afraid that's too long for anyone but the most intrepid forum-explorer to read, could you maybe give a smaller, condensed explaination? Not that I'm downsizing your no doubt wonderous explanation, but I really lack the attention span to read all that, as is the nature of the mad scientist Tongue
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neon_suntan
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« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2008, 03:27:12 pm »

There are ARE however some interesting effects that can be produced using  mobile phone though they tend to resemble modern art. Often by adding the night-time [night-shot on some 'phones] and combining it with the solarize function and a strong light source, quirks in the visual processing of the image can be used to make interestig patterns. I'll post an image when I get a moment, if it isn't too off topic  Roll Eyes


Night time photography is a whole lot of fun. I vote you post an image anyway.


Okay here's a very quick pic I did last night only using the 'phone's onboard features. I've added no other effects.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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