Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pop Art

This is basically stop motion photography, though the quick and dirty version. Anyone with a flash, a camera, and a knife can get these sorts of shots (oh and i suppose a balloon and running water...and cat like reflexes or a sound trigger).

The idea here is not, as most would assume, fast shutter speed. Infact I will venture so far as to say shutter speed hardly matters at all. What matters here is the duration of your flash. Basically how long is it giving off light? Most are somewhere around 1/1000th of a second, though some go as long as 1/300th of a second (which wont work here) to 1/3200th of a second.
Why does this work? Because no matter how long you expose the image for (assuming the room is dark) the camera is only taking in light for the instant that the flash has fired, therefore the only real data it can record, is in that 1/1000th of a second.
The images you see here are of what was happening in the instant of flash fire, despite the fact that the shutter was open for much longer.

What would happen if you got all crazy excited and thought "fuck yeah, I'm going to use fast flash AND high shutter speed" ?
Terrible ugly things, thats what. A camera will only sync with a flash at certain speeds, usually between 200 and 250. If you set it higher and attempt to use the flash you will see a large black bar (or wholly black image) where the camera and the flash were out of sync.

Moral of the story, use your flash, be it on camera or off. We dont need crazy shutter speeds, just a flash with a short duration.

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