Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 68,693   Posts: 1,482,432   Online: 868
      
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Århus, Denmark
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    86

    How do you photograph without light?

    This weekend I had a really fun night out with the guys and as always I brought a camera with me. We somehow wound up in a bar that was a bit more grimy than usual, and a whole lot darker. I love taking pictures of people smoking and drinking, talking and laughing, playing dice and becoming best friends forever when the sun begins to rise, but in this particular bar there was simply not enough light to photograph!!! With my much beloved Olympus XA, at f/2.8 (that's the most it opens) with ISO 800 film (also the top limit) I was getting exposure times of two to four seconds!!!

    What would you do in that situation?

    I've in the past had great results with an SLR, a f/1.4 lens, and ISO 3200 film, but this was much too conspicous (and also too costly/fragile to carry while getting drunk). Flash could work for the first shot but then the mood would be ruined.

    Any ideas for techniques or equipment to magically allow me to take pictures without light?

    Emil

  2. #2
    rhmimac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    226
    Images
    11
    Get the XA on a tripod and leave it for there for 4 sec's! See what's been setting still and what's been moving aft...
    The stills you'll recognise, the movers you won't.
    If the XA has 2nd curtain flash option, switch it on and maybe the movers will have a face too. :-)

    rhmimac

  3. #3
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Monroe, WA, USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,801
    Images
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by rhmimac View Post
    Get the XA on a tripod and leave it for there for 4 sec's! See what's been setting still and what's been moving aft...
    The stills you'll recognise, the movers you won't.
    Excellent advice.

    I also have an XA. Instead of a tripod I have in the past carried with me a small shot bag (a small, circular leather bag filled with lead shot - used as a weight to hold down paper without leaving marks) for use as a support.

    They're portable, easily formable, won't scratch the camera, and quite stable. And they don't announce "Here's a camera!" like even a small tripod does.

    One can set up the camera, frame, and then just wait for the right moment to inconspicuously reach and trigger the XA's extraordinarily quiet shutter. The vast majority of the time no one realizes you just made a photograph.

    Ken
    "Hate is an adolescent term used to stop discussion with people you disagree with. You can do better than that."
    —'blanksy', December 13, 2013

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,077
    Images
    21
    There's always the trick of an earlier era: use IR film and put an IR filter on the flash. I have no idea whether the XA's exposure system would cope with it, but it seems worth a try...

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  5. #5
    mhcfires's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    El Cajon, CA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    540
    Many years ago, I used IR film with IR flash bulbs. I think the bulbs were type 5R. You could set one off and no one was the wiser. I used to use this stuff at college parties. Lots of fun, very interesting, I'm not sure what ever happened to those negatives, this was in the early 1960's. I used a cheap little rangefinder camera and a small flash holder. Can't remember what they were. It can be done, it is a very interesting effect. Not sure that the IR bulbs are made anymore.
    Michael Cienfuegos


    If you don't want to stand behind our troops, please feel free to stand in front of them.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Aurora, IL
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    1,837
    You could possibly photograph in low light. But if there is no light then there is no photograph. The word photo in photograph implies there must be light.

  7. #7
    IloveTLRs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    988
    Images
    2
    Are you dead set with the XA? How about a Canonet? They're not that much bigger, have f1.7 lenses and can go above ISO 800.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    588
    I don't think the meter on a Canonet goes higher than 800. Does the XA have a manual override so that the OP could push the film a couple of stops.
    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

    Canon A-1, Canon AE-1, Canon Canonet GIII 17, Argus 21, Rolleicord Va, Mamiya RB67, Voigtländer Bessa

    http://darkroom317.deviantart.com/

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Århus, Denmark
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    86
    Quote Originally Posted by IloveTLRs View Post
    Are you dead set with the XA? How about a Canonet? They're not that much bigger, have f1.7 lenses and can go above ISO 800.
    I'll take any excuse to get another camera! I don't really need the meter in these situations, but the XA has no option for manual control. Have you used one of these Canonets in low light situations?

    About the IR-idea - I have heard of people using an IR filter on the flash, but never actually seen any images. If anyone has first hand experience with this, with films available today, what kind of results do you get? a while back I tried with some Efke IR film and an IR filter on the lens and 2 flashes (no filter) as an experiment and got nothing on the negatives.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,077
    Images
    21
    I've seen photos by Weegee using what he called "Invisible Light"---I've been told this referred to IR or near-IR, so that the flash could be used without disturbing or alerting the subjects. They have what I'd call a "slight IR" look---a tendency to light skin tones and deep black eyesockets.

    I don't know what the film would have been---when was HIE introduced---but in googling to see if I could find out, I turned up this: http://tinyurl.com/28rhh27 (expands to a long URL at books.google.com). It's a 1956 article in _Popular Mechanics_ in which Weegee reveals some of his "tricks", including the "invisible light" IR flash (shown mounted on a Nikon rangefinder rather than his famous Speed Graphic, which I guess makes sense if you're trying not to alert your subjects).

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin