Vertical Shutter Slit Photography

I’ve been reading Derek Miller’s blog for a while now and I love his Camera Works series.  Most of the stuff he posts in the series I already have a pretty good handle on but he does an excellent job describing (and simplifying) exactly how Cameras (and photography) work. Back in September he posted an article about Shutters, Flashes and Sync Speed.  Although I have a general knowledge of how all 3 work Derek provided a great in-depth write-up.  I have no idea how I missed it before but I read it today and it’s fantastic!

One key idea I’ve never really understood is how camera’s overcome their technical (mechanical) limitation on shutter speed.  Derek provides exactly the write-up I needed.  Essentially they don’t, they just use 2 shutters at the same time (both moving in the same direction) to allow a ‘slit’ of light through rather than expose the entire frame/sensor at a time.

If a subject is moving fast enough and the slit is moving slow enough, this can result in some interesting photographs, like this famous 1913 Photograph by Jacques-Henri Lartigue.


As Derek writes, this is an exaggerated effect and will most likely never be so dramatic with today’s cameras DSLRs without something moving at extreme super-sonic speeds.

Please visit Derek’s site for the full write-up.

EDIT: Derek was kind enough to stop by and suggest that this discussion really only applies to DSLRs (or Film Cameras ::Gasp::) since they’re the only ones with mechanical shutters.  Most (if not all) point & shoot cameras (including your cell-phone cameras) simply turn the sensor on and off.  Some of these electronic means of exposing the sensor even go slow enough to produce the same effect.  See the background of the following photo shot with my iPhone:

Warped iPhone photo

Each one of those slanted boxes should be a perfect rectangle.

We've come a long way (Photographically)

View from a window at Le Gras – 1826

We’ve come a long way in the world of photography. The photo above is the first known permanent photograph.

The photo was captured by a camera obscura focused onto a sheet of 20 × 25 cm oil-treated bitumen. Due to the 8-hour exposure, the buildings are illuminated by the sun from both right and left.

An 8-hour exposure! Now we take photos with an exposure time of under 1/60th of a second or faster and we can see the results immediately.

My friend Ryan shared an excellent website about photos that changed the world.  I’d say the first ever permanent photograph qualifies.

Studio Fan Mail

If you want an autographed photo of a celebrity just use Studio Fan Mail. The Signatures you get aren’t really authentic. Studio Fan Mail is just a company hired by celebrities to handle all their fan mail and send autopen signatures when requested.

About 2 years ago I got a random e-mail from the ‘Jessica Biel Fan Club’ saying if I wanted an autograph to just reply with my address. Since there wasn’t much to risk I figured what the heck. The signature below is the result, and was my introduction to Studio Fan Mail. As it turns out if you want a signature all you need to do is email the celebrity at <celebrity name> and put your address. There is a whole list of available celebrities here.

If anyone wants my hard copy just let me know. This digital archive is good enough for me.

The 2 Billionth Flickr Photo

It’s interesting to see the 1st or a significant nth item posted to any service. So often though they turn out like the first youtube video. A waste of space. It’s nice to see when a milestone is actually something worthwhile. That’s the case with the 2 billionth flickr photo. It was posted a while ago I just haven’t had the chance to post it yet. Here it is:

Originally uploaded by yukesmooks Just in case you were wondering how to find the Nth Flickr photo simply use the following:

Simply replace the X’s with the photo number you want to take a look at.

Two Souls Join as One

Corey and Maggie Winters

This weekend Rachel and I attended Cory and Maggie’s wedding. Their ceremony was beautifully done, outside overlooking some fantastic scenery including some Great Blue Heron’s spreading their wings to soar above the trees in perfect wedding-time bliss!

The Joined Vase

Cory and Maggie added some splash of uniqueness (as most weddings tend to do) and one of our favorite moments was the combining of the sand vases into one. This was symbolism at its best and the ability to keep the result was the icing on the cake (or perhaps the sand in the vase?).

I was overly impressed with the vision of photographers on scene and their ability to setup poses. I’m sure they got some fantastic shots but I snapped some of my own which I thought I’d share so take a peek. The entire album is also available, some photos of which are interesting some of which are horribly bad but that’s because it was a learning experience. Overall the wedding was absolutely beautiful.
Corey and Maggie
Best wishes and all the best to Cory and Maggie Winters.