5-second exposure of the light-polluted cloudy March skies over the Institute. 2005:03:12 22:56:17
As a break from the normal gravitas and pretension of this blog, this post consists entirely of me playing with my camera on what might be otherwise described as uneventful evenings.
Naturally this sort of thing attracts some strange looks, what with me being myself, shuffling around with a camera and mini-tripod in the middle of the night. After a while a guard trotted over and briefly inquired as to my relationship with the Institute. Least inquisitive guard on campus, though. This was the first one in the entire time I've been here to just take me at my word that I'm a student. Generally they want some photo ID with that.
This photo is the product of funky clouds and a decently stable pocket tripod.
A bat in mid-flight. I haven't yet bothered to work out just what species this is likely to be. 2005:03:10 00:13:15
On the other end of the spectrum, it takes some practice and fancy footwork to photograph a bat in mid-flight. Especially when one considers that oft-cursed feature of digital cameras, the infernal focusing delay between pushing the button and actually taking the picture. On most cameras the delay is a couple of seconds, but one can typically do the hold-the-button-halfway routine to get it set for a snapshot. The trick here is to focus on something about as distant and dark as a bat, and then wait with the camera so primed for the next one to fly by.
This resulted in only thirty or forty pictures of trees and black sky. But also two or three rather photogenic flying rodents.
Another bat sporting severe red-eye. They were definitely diving for insects, so it's not a fruit bat. Beyond that, search me. 2005:03:10 00:36:59
Another neat trick is to set the camera for a long exposure where the flash still goes off. Handy for getting a bright picture of something in the foreground, while still capturing a dim background. Standardly you'd be shooting something like city lights in the background, so the exposure isn't too long. But if you're doing clouds like here, your subject had better stay pretty still for several seconds.
Combine this with a delayed shot, and one can do a charmingly apocalyptic self portrait.
Self portrait with olive trees and clouds. This is a five-second exposure with a relatively luminous background, so I had to actually hold a pose for five seconds. I almost succeeded, but there's some drift evident around my elbow. 2005:03:12 23:21:27