Ben's Photo Blog

Photos from my various adventures

Archive for May, 2009

Nighttime Exposures

Posted by Ben on May 30, 2009



I decided to experiment a little more with the new Canon camera, mainly with the manual shutter speed controls.  My dad suggested using the flashlight and we got some pretty cool shots.  Both of these were taken using a shutter speed of 10 seconds.  Thankfully I found a tripod to use to eliminate most of the camera shake.  The first is my dad running back and forth moving the light up and down.  The second is me standing still trying to make a spiral shape.  Not much else to say aside from it was a lot darker outside than the pictures seem to suggest.  I look forward to playing around some more with this camera 🙂


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The Setting Sun

Posted by Ben on May 29, 2009


In response to the last post, here’s a picture of the setting sun.  This shot was taken from a spot on campus known affectionately as “The Fire Escape of Tortured Souls” (Thank you Steph and Mike).  Anyway, this is looking out towards the west over the duck pond, though you can’t really tell.

The dramatic sunset colors come mostly from underexposing the shot (-2EV for those that are curious).  I do this a lot with my sunset pictures to capture a darker color and to really focus on the sun.  You can see that you only get the silhouette of the trees in the foreground, which I think adds nicely to the picture.  I love the way the few clouds around the sun are illuminated and the ones slightly farther away are lit up enough to stand out against the darker background.  I also really like how the color of the sky changes as you move away from the sun.  The lens flare from the sun here is a little unfortunate, while it does look neat, it does break up the tree line which except at that point is a solid black.


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The Rising Sun

Posted by Ben on May 26, 2009


Not much of a story behind this one…This picture was taken last summer while my family was on vacation down at Shell Island (near Wilmington).  I don’t have many sunrise pictures, mostly because I’m rarely awake in time to get them.  There are a bunch of things that I like about this picture though.  One is definitely the variety of color in the sky.  There’s a nice bright orange and yellow right around the sun that fades to a much paler shade above and into almost a purple along the horizon to both sides.  It’s kinda neat how the bright colors exist in almost a shell around the sun.  The illumination of the cloud right above the sun is nice, but I really like the smaller clouds in the distance, but between the sun and the camera that seem to be sticking out of the sun itself.  The reflection of the sun in the shallow water and damp sand really adds to the shot, and I like that there’s a wave breaking up the reflection rather than having a long continuous one.  Overall, I think it’s cool to see the sun at such a low position on the horizon, something normally obstructed by buildings or trees.

Sorry for the somewhat rambling post tonight, I’m a little short on time…


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Posted by Ben on May 24, 2009


As promised, here is another picture from my bike ride that morning.  Now according to the timestamp on my computer, these pictures were taken about 8:25 in the morning, so it was right as the sun was starting to come up.  After my brief stop at the bridge, I kept riding on the path between Hethwood and the creek.  When I got to the gazebo at the end of the path, I stopped for some water and to take some more pictures.  While I was doing this, a heron flew by and landed in the creek a couple hundred feet away.  Being the wild, adventurous person I am…I jumped the fence and chased after it.

I only had time for one shot before it flew away, so I’m glad it turned out alright.  While I wish that I had zoomed in a little more, I kinda like the addition of the morning sun lighting up the landscape in the background.  Probably one of the coolest things about the scene, and I wish it was a little more evident in the picture, was the mist rising off of the water in the creek.  It felt like looking into a cloud and seeing the heron just sitting there inside of it.  You can also barely make out the frost on the ground on the other side of the creek that’s still in the shade.  It would have also been neat to have gotten a shot of it taking off afterward, but I wasn’t quick enough to get that.


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Posted by Ben on May 23, 2009


This picture was taken near the end of October out near Hethwood.  I was out for an early morning bike ride and stopped on the little bridge over the creek to take a picture.  I set my camera down on the railing, facing back towards campus and took a few shots of the creek.  Kinda playing around, I thought I’d back the camera up to get some of the railing in the shot as well, and this is how it turned out.

The first thing about this picture that catches my eye is definitely the color on the railing.  Now, being Blacksburg, it’s perfectly normal to have frost as early as October.  It’s really neat though to be able to see how it clings to all of the little wood chips sticking out of the railing, and to have the sun illuminating them.  I took a couple of pictures including the railing in the lower portion of the image, but this is the only one where the autofocus on the camera decided to pick the foreground rather than the landscape in the distance.  This brings the crystalline shards into pretty clear focus and you can see just how many of them there are.  It also serves to blur the landscape, which is also really cool.

I’ve got another pretty cool shot from the same morning which I’ll try to post tomorrow.


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