PetaPixel

Spider Webs and Galaxies

This is another post geared towards ideas and experimentation, rather than practicality and general photography.

Here are two (kind of abstract) photographs I took recently. The first one is of some webs that I came across:

webs

Canon 40D + 16-35mm f/2.8 at 35mm. f/10, 1/50s, and ISO 200.

The second photo was of the night sky packed with stars:

galaxies

Canon 40D + 16-35mm f/2.8 at 26mm. f/2.8, 1/800s, and ISO 200.

Actually, neither of the photos were of what I claimed they were.

Can you guess what I shot to make these two photographs?

They were actually both taken in my backyard. My sprinklers were going off and I was curious about what the scene would look like photographed.

In fact, both photos are nearly identical in location and framing. What was different was shutter speed. Notice how the water drops in the first photograph appear as lines. The relatively slow shutter speed (1/50th of a second) is what did that. The faster shutter speed (1/800ths of a second) in the second one rendered the drops almost as points.

Here are the original, uncropped photos. You can hover your mouse over them to see what they looked like straight out of the camera, prior to post-processing:

webs2

galaxies2

For photos like these, the sprinklers should be between you and the sun. If the sun is behind you, then you probably won’t catch the water drops very well on camera. It also helps around if there’s a shadow or dark background behind the sprinklers.

Try experimenting with abstract photographs of ordinary things, using camera settings to give the photos different looks and textures. If you come up with some interesting ideas or find interesting results on your hands, please do share them with us!


 
  • tf5_bassist

    lol… As soon as I saw the first shot, I called it as a sprinkler.

    But then again, I have this shot I took a few years ago:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tf5_bassist/206197

    Which interestingly enough has both the “webs” and the “stars” from one source. :D

    Awesome post, hope someone gets some fun ideas from it!

  • http://www.petapixel.com Michael Zhang

    Haha. Shucks! Couldn't trick you.

    Nice shot, btw. I like how it catches the water as both lines and points.

  • tf5_bassist

    Hehe, thanks. I dunno how that happened, guess I just got lucky. :D

  • tf5_bassist

    lol… As soon as I saw the first shot, I called it as a sprinkler.

    But then again, I have this shot I took a few years ago:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tf5_bassist/206197

    Which interestingly enough has both the “webs” and the “stars” from one source. :D

    Awesome post, hope someone gets some fun ideas from it!

  • http://www.petapixel.com Michael Zhang

    Haha. Shucks! Couldn't trick you.

    Nice shot, btw. I like how it catches the water as both lines and points.

  • tf5_bassist

    Hehe, thanks. I dunno how that happened, guess I just got lucky. :D

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  • http://twitter.com/zak Zak Henry

    The shutter speed dragged the lines out, but your flash froze the drops in place