Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ten Tips on capturing a optical illusions.

I haven't been a very good "Blogger" in the last two months and I apologize.  Please forgive me.   I'm going to try and write an entry at least twice a month for now.

As all of my readers know, or will know in a few seconds, I always carry a camera with me.  I was going to use that as my tip (again) but you all know that, so no need to bring it up.

The image above was taken by the salt flat turn off near Wendover,UT.

  1. Make sure you have a really good spot, move if you need to, where you can see the illusion with your eyes, if you can see it you should be able to photograph it.  
    1. get as close as possible while getting the full optical illusion effect.
  2. Try to get something in the photograph to define what you are looking at. This image is a mountain floating in front of the mountains in the far background and between the sky and salt flats (no questions).
    1. If you are trying to capture the "water in the road" illusion make sure we know it's a road, not just a weird shiny blob of stuff.
  3. Use the longest lens you have, most optical illusions are really far away from your camera so try to reach out as far as you can, this was shot at 205mm on a Canon 40D (1.6 crop put the length at around 328mm).
  4. Crop the image.  If I didn't crop this image it would be a lot of blue and a lot of salt and not as interesting as what I was seeing.
  5. I don't normally add the vignetting in my photos (I think it's a cheap overused trick by photographers, I think it distracts from the image and doesn't make it look more "professional") but the image and hood added a little corner vignetting so I added it back in.
  6. Try to keep the white balance as true as possible. The brown stuff in front of the "island" is actually salt and looks very white in some places this particular place it looks brown when you are standing out there.
  7. longer exposure will help you get the detail you want, I took this photo while holding my camera, if I had a tripod (Bad Me, must put one in all my vehicles) it would have allowed me to get more detail and make it even more dramatic.
  8. Experiment with your camera and settings, if you take ten of the same image you will have ten duplicates that need to be sorted through, change the ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture.  
  9. Change your lens and go really wide to get some extra creativity.
  10. Have fun, if you get frustrated, you are probably doing it wrong.
This post is brought to you by a Bee Gees song Islands in the Stream (link). 

Tip: Today's tip is one that I'm not really that good at doing my self.  Clean your sensor when you need to.  The image above had a lot of spots that needed to be removed before I uploaded it.  It took me a little while to remove all the tiny spots.

try one of these to help remove those nasty little spots.

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