Thursday, June 04, 2009

Thematic Photographic 52: "Dusk" v.2.0

"In the Beginning"
Rochester, NY - August, 2005 (Click to embiggen)

Thematic Photographic hosted by Carmi - Button Image by SmarmoofusHosted by Written Inc.

One stop on the oft-mentioned Great College Road Trip of 2005 was Rochester, NY. Among other things, Rochester is the birthplace of Eastman Kodak and as luck would have it, our hotel room faced the Kodak building. This shot was my first attempt at a technique I'd heard of that didn't quite work out as planned.

The idea is sort of the film equivalent of today's HDR processing, only without the benefit of being able to layer the images in post process. Briefly, the idea is to shoot a double exposure with the first shot taken before sunset to capture the detail in the subject and the second shot taken after dark to get the lights in and/or around it. What went wrong here I can only deduce. First of all, at the time I had only a cheap, lightweight tripod which wasn't really designed to support a midrange SLR (and is even less well suited to a DSLR in the same class since the digital is considerably heavier). I suspect that despite my best efforts, the tripod moved a bit between the two shots (which were taken nearly an hour apart). But when using a long-ish lens any tiny movement at the body end of the lens is amplified at the glass end of the lens (which is why the reciprocal rule is used to determine minimum handheld shutter speeds). It's also entirely possible that the overall image -- despite compensation for the second exposure -- is slightly overexposed, which would account for the "halo" around the sign atop the building. Overall though, it's not a displeasing image, and a useful study in a technique not used very often even before, and impossible to use with a digital camera (since a digital can't take a multiple exposure). It's a novelty if nothing else.Violence UnSilenced

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NV said...

Wow! This is a place -- and an occasional view -- that I'm quite familiar with. Used to amuse me when I could see it from my hotel room while I was there on business.

Vita Stunder said...

This one is really cool!
I'm thinking of a movie when I see it.

I haven't tried HDR yet, but I will some day soon when I got the patience :)

Carmi said...

I can't stop thinking about the delicious irony of the subject, and how the company's fortunes have literally melted in the years since you captured this.

We kinda DID lose on-camera double-exposure, but I suppose software gives it back to us in a way. Still, it doesn't seem as McGyver-esque these days.