Monday, 17 April 2006

Stable and Straight

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Coming home last night, I was walking on along Kew Bridge and the view downriver was beautiful. I had my camera with me so decided to take a picture. Being at night, it was going to be a long exposure, especially considering I wanted most of it sharp so needed a narrow aperture.

The main issue in such conditions is to make sure the camera is stable and doesn’t move. For this a tripod, or any other device on which the camera can stand is essential. In my case, I had a mini tripod that I could prop on the bridge’s wall. Then, a cable release is also essential. It doesn’t matter how careful you are, pressing the shutter button on the camera body itself will make it move, ever so slightly, and it will show.

This being landscape photography, an important point to bear in mind is that the horizon should be horizontal. Usually, you should be able to trust your eyes but it is sometimes difficult to evaluate, especially if the scene is unbalanced on one side or if your main subject is curved like this river scene. To cater for this, I always have a cheap but invaluable piece of equipment: a small spirit level that fits in the camera’s accessory hotshoe.

After five minutes of setting up my stuff, I was ready to take the shot and here’s what came out.

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