High Speed Photography – How It’s Done

Today, a few classmates and I experimented with high speed photography during May Term in our “In the Blink of an Eye” photography course. We used two DLSR cameras so we could capture images at different angles. The DSLRS used were a Nikon D3300 and a Canon 80d which were both mounted on tripods. In high speed photography, having a still camera is crucial for a good picture.

The settings used on the cameras were a shutter speed set at BULB and an aperture of 5.6. We then mounted an Altura Flash to a Vanguard Monopod. We had the flash and the cameras pointed at a table with a black cloth covering it. Also, we had a black velvet backdrop that was clamped to the wall behind the table. Attached to the table was a sensor which then had a wire that ran to the flash. The role of the sensor was that when a loud noise was heard it would trigger the flash to go off. We placed various fruits on the table and one of us stood behind with a hammer. We created a system to have efficient shooting of the fruit. First, someone would turn off the light switch when both the people operating the cameras were ready. Once the light had been turned off, the shutters of the two cameras would be released by the people operating them. Once this was done, the cameramen would then tell the person behind the table to strike the fruit. The loud noise of the hammer would trigger the sensor making one single flash. After the flash was made, the cameramen then closed the shutter. The lights could then have been turned off after that. The reason why it was crucial to have a dark room was because when the cameras were set to bulb, no light was getting in when the shutter was opened. When the sensor was triggered it allowed light to enter the camera at the exact same moment as when the hammer made contact with the fruit. This made it so the only image registered by the camera was that event. This process led to some very interesting pictures and I am excited to do this tomorrow again.unnamed-1.jpgunnamed.jpg

May Term – Ornithology and Photography

Today was the first day of May Term for us at Allendale Columbia. May Term is a time toward the end of the school year where we can choose coursework from a variety of different things and specialize to our interests.  After seeing an offering for ornithology and photography, I was excited to sign up.

We spent a majority of the first morning with a refresher on how to use a camera for those who didn’t have experience from Mrs. Wun, the Upper School art and photography teacher.  We also had a visit from former Allendale Columbia Biology teacher, Mr. Paul Amber, who was kind enough to give us a tour of campus and the nature trail while helping to identify birds.  Mrs. Lisi, who is one of the instructors, also had a former student who is an ornithologist in Maryland who Skyped with our class. It’s great having my photography teacher Mrs. Wun and science teacher Mrs. Lisi team up in this course, which brings two of my favorite things together; wildlife and photography.

I’m very excited about tomorrow as we head to the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge. Hopefully, I’ll be able to see a bald eagle and get a good photo.