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08-02-2013, 06:00 PM   #1
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Can anyone explain this?

I'm completely new to photography and have no idea why this happened.. i know it has to do with the slow shutter speed.. but can anyone explain why? shot with the k-5, 18-135mm wr, at iso 320, f5.6, and .6 of a second. @18mm. excuse the horrid picture
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08-02-2013, 07:23 PM   #2
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Your shutter speed - 0.6 second - is too slow. You moved during the exposure.
Half a second seems like no time at all - but it's a lot longer than you think. The rule of thumb is never shoot slower than 1/(focal length) - or about 1/20 second for an 18 mm lens. Some people can hold longer than others, and as I've aged, I've gotten shakier - but the rule of thumb is good to remember.
Camera stabilization helps about a factor of two, I gather (I don't use it myself).
A tripod and a cable release is the best solution, in my opinion.
By the way, it looks like you rotated more than moved laterally. Kind of a neat effect, actually.

Last edited by jford; 08-02-2013 at 07:25 PM. Reason: more to say
08-02-2013, 07:26 PM   #3
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No explanation but it think it is a very interesting effect.
08-02-2013, 07:26 PM   #4
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Welcome to the Forum!

Do all of your pictures come out this way? Or is it just this one? Shooting in RAW or JPG? After you have taken the image, does it look like this on the rear screen?

If this was taken up in Sedona, AZ - I would say that you have stumbled across the Vortax that everyone is looking for up there!



08-02-2013, 07:28 PM   #5
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Was this cropped? I'd think camera rotation would normally make the center of the image the orbit point, not somewhere off to one side.

Regardless, its a really cool effect as said above.
08-02-2013, 07:43 PM   #6
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It's a very interesting result and I agree with the other posters re. camera movement during exposure.

I was just studying the light swirls at the top and in the middle and I think there was a CCW rotation in the vertical plane with a tiny amount of rotation/tilt in the horizontal plane too. There may even be a bit of fore/aft movement involved too.
08-02-2013, 08:17 PM - 1 Like   #7
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slow shutter speed and spinning camera. I do this sometimes in combination with flash to get effects like this:
08-02-2013, 08:49 PM   #8
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Rotational movement of the camera during a more than 1/2 second exposure as others have noted. It can be a very nice effect if done intentionally. JFORD already noted the rule of thumb for shutter speed versus focal length but I would like to add that the rule of thumb only works within a range of focal lengths and at the extreme other factors start to become important.

So for example I can confidently hold a camera still @ 1/50 of a second which works fine up to about a 50mm focal length, but I cannot hold the camera still @ 1/20 second no matter what the focal length. Everyone has a different ability here and I'm no where close to good so you might do better especially with proper stance, grip and breath control. I just wanted to point out that on the wide end the focal length rule starts to get a little iffy.

08-03-2013, 02:47 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Welcome to the Forum!

Do all of your pictures come out this way? Or is it just this one? Shooting in RAW or JPG? After you have taken the image, does it look like this on the rear screen?

If this was taken up in Sedona, AZ - I would say that you have stumbled across the Vortax that everyone is looking for up there!

this was done just in this one picture among about a hundred and shot in RAW. haha if only! sadly i'm all the way up in massachusetts right now
08-03-2013, 02:49 AM   #10
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This wasn't cropped, only resize to fit. Thanks for the replies all! that rule of thumb was especially useful
08-03-2013, 04:58 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by de1937 Quote
Can anyone explain this?
Velocity increases with distance from axis of rotation?
08-03-2013, 05:54 AM   #12
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Rotation, yes. Any chance the lens focal length was also being changed? Easy to do depending on how the camera was being held.
08-03-2013, 06:43 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Rotation, yes. Any chance the lens focal length was also being changed? Easy to do depending on how the camera was being held.
Yes, I think both rotating the camera and zooming the lens, maybe by holding the zoom ring fixed while rotating the camera.
08-03-2013, 07:09 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
Yes, I think both rotating the camera and zooming the lens, maybe by holding the zoom ring fixed while rotating the camera.
Shooting with a camera is a lot like shooting with a gun. You want a slow controlled trigger or shutter release. If you jab at the trigger or shutter, the mechanism WILL move in response to the quick movement. And with a long shutter speed you are continuing to press down on the top corner of the camera.

I watch my wife do this frequently and I point it out to her when she blames her point & shoot camera. Her index finger is poised slightly above the shutter, she jabs on the button and barely allows the camera's auto-focus to work before releasing the shutter - and the camera moves during the exposure. Her full daylight shots are often okay because the shutter speed is high enough to compensate, but many of her lower light shots are not. It's a shame because her sense of composition is frequently better than mine.

For some people, it helps to stand in front of a large mirror so they can see themselves and practice their camera holding techniques. To the greatest extent possible, you want to use your own body to brace against to minimize camera movement while still being able to access the camera's controls.

Check out this guide:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/long-exposure-handhelds/introduction.html

Last edited by JimJohnson; 08-03-2013 at 07:13 AM. Reason: added link
08-03-2013, 11:29 AM   #15
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Interesting read there thanks Jim
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