Amazing! The latest New York taxis “hover” with anti-gravity engines, eliminating the need for wheels, saving the metropolis billions per annum in road maintenance costs and eliminating gas emissions. The absence of friction allows a huge increase in speed and thus a much-reduced number of vehicles, given the rapid turnaround times. This assists in traffic management by reducing the numbers which need to be controlled in nanosecond GPS and radar transmission bursts into the Cloud. A giant win-win situation, perhaps mitigated by the critical need for passengers to don anti-ageing suits, in order to avoid a small, but eventually fatal side effect of the space-time singularity drive.
On the other hand, this may just be a visual, non-Photoshopped joke, created by a combination of imagination, timing, luck and camera settings.
While I admire much of the incredibly inventive and artistic work that image manipulation artists achieve, I am not a fan of image alteration in my own work. I almost always “develop” to achieve the nearest equivalent to the original scene. I am especially careful to aim for an exact the colour rendition of the image.
Since I am not a photojournalist, I do allow myself to delete intrusive elements or defects, from dust on the sensor to the occasional construction crane or television antenna, but I never add, move or make a collage of separately photographed image components.
I like to play with the effect of settings and camera manipulation changes on the scene in front of me. Being a thoroughly urban person, I am constantly surrounded by the hum and hurry of millions of tons of gas-guzzling steel and aluminium racing past me. The frequency of taxi traffic on a well-lit main artery in New York gave me the opportunity to experiment repetitively with the shutter speed and conceive of a visually disturbing result.
To be honest, this took practice, given that I use camera bodies which are not optimized for journalistic, sport or animal photography. More to the point, given that my technique required using a slow exposure, I could not rely on success by taking “bursts” of images, since the vehicle would be moving out of shot by the time of the second exposure.
I did use “burst” photography, but it was more important to experiment by timing the exposure release at a fraction of a second before the target vehicle sped past. Equally, I had a peripheral vision eye open to spot waiting pedestrians, who were to be used to provide nearby speed contrast in conjunction with the distant effect of buildings in the background. I tried the method out repetitively until I could more or less guarantee obtaining the shot that I wanted and, finally, brought all of the timing elements together when a suitable pedestrian was kind enough to appear.
Apart from timing and framing the capture, how do you obtain a clear image of all the participants in the image? Get lucky because he is patient. That’s it.
The key issue here was very simple. Do not pan, but frame the camera to capture the background in focus and “still”. Experiment with the speed settings until the ideal speed to achieve just enough blur, given the relatively constant speed of the taxis flying past. Then, set the camera to shutter priority, such that the foundation of each photograph would depend on that fixed speed of the shutter. Clearly the bright lighting conditions were critical the clarity of the overall image, given the narrow, depth-producing aperture and slow shutter speed.
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: VR 70-200mm zoom f/2.8G
Focal Length: 120mm
Focus Mode: AF-C
Autofocus Area Mode: Single
Shutter Speed: 1/6s
Exposure Mode: Shutter Priority
Exposure Compensation : -0.7
ISO Sensitivity: 200
I like both the joke and the future idea (apart from the fatal side effects, of course). What about you?
Copyright Paul Grayson 2014
Keywords: AMDG, Hover Car, New, Nikon, Nikon 70-200mm VR zoom, Nikon Capture NX2, Paul Grayson, Photeinos, York, φωτεινος
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