The Penalty Box

Five minutes for attempted world domination

Fun with bulb shots

December 31, 2011 at 12:14 AM | categories: Five Hole Photo | View Comments

This was taken in August 2011 during the annual Celebration of Light fireworks show. I decided to experiment with some long exposures on this night to see what kind of light magic I could get with the fireworks. I managed to forget my remote that night, so most of the night was spent with my hand on the shutter button and the camera in bulb mode. Standard practice is to use a remote of some sort while mounting the camera on a tripod to reduce camera movement. I remembered my tripod, but forgot the remote. Most of the pictures turned out pretty well because my exposures generally went over 3 seconds. I'd suggest bringing a remote if you want to do this type of shooting if only for the reason that you can sit down while shooting.

I also dialed down the ISO you don't need to crank that ISO while letting in that much light. Still, because that much light goes in, you can notice a bit of grain. Such is the case with long exposures. However, if your picture is interesting enough, I maintain that grain shouldn't matter as much.

A few other tips:

  • Use live view if on a DSLR (and if it supports it). Much easier to line up your shots. Don't forget to watch the show outside of the viewfinder/LCD though. Don't be that goober that watches the whole thing on an LCD instead of the sky.
  • If you don't have bulb mode on your camera, set your shutter speed for at least 3 seconds. Longer for the long streaks of light.
  • Bring a flashlight or one of those headlamps. You'll be fumbling in the dark otherwise.
  • Don't forget to bring a fully charged battery. You'll be shooting a lot.
  • Bring an extra memory card, in case you forgot to empty the one in your camera. Yes you should have more than one.


f/10, 5 second shutter, ISO 100

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Working dog

December 24, 2011 at 02:50 PM | categories: Five Hole Photo | View Comments

Ever met someone who likes to dress up his/her pet? You know, those people that can be a bit of an oddball, like your local crazy cat lady. Every once in a while though, you get someone who does something hilarious. I was wandering around Granville Island for Canada Day in 2010 and came across a guy who had a large crowd around him. Why? He put his dog into a freaking Mountie costume. Either the dog was incredibly patient or just accepted whatever his owner would dress him up in so that he could get attention. In contrast, I'm pretty sure every cat I've seen in a costume has glared at everyone.

Mountie dog!

f/4, 1/400 second shutter, ISO 400

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Hello world! Reboot edition

December 17, 2011 at 04:09 PM | categories: Site | View Comments

I got tired of the Wordpress install I was using before as my blog. I'm fairly disinterested in the sysadmin aspect of things, so the install itself was years old and hadn't been upgraded. Surprisingly, it took until sometime last year for it to get compromised, and even then it was merely spam in the RSS feed.

I decided to take the thing offline so I could concentrate on a rebuild. It wasn't too high on my priority list due to other things on my plate, plus I wanted to do some research on other blogging platforms. I finally settled on Blogofile. It's a Python-based blogging platform that allows some customization. What I like about it is that it builds into static HTML pages, meaning simplicity and speed.

Hope this works out for me. I'm going to try to put some more content on here, probably in the form of a photo of the week thing or something similar. Onwards!

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