Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Lens Whacking

 Guest Post By: Teo Morabito

This photo was purely created with some lens whacking!

Lens Whacking
Photo By Teo Morabito

The picture was taken at "Morabito Art Villa"

The technique involves the lens to be detached from the camera and it is moved independently so as to shift the plane of focus as required. It acts more or less like a tilt shift lens, but you also get light leaks through the gap between the lens and the camera body. These types of shots are best attempted during new moon night – meaning that the moon is nowhere to be seen.

To create this shot I used two tripods and rubber bands to help control the repetitive movements and also keep the focus at the centre. I used a first tripod to secure the camera in place so that it remains fixed in position for the rest of the night and another tripod tight to the 14-24 2.8G Nikkor lens so it won’t move too much when whacking it. This helped me control a repetitive movement and keep the centre point focused and the outer stars out of focus. The lens was rotated in circular motions, It was made sure that when being rotated, at least one point of the lens mount was touching the camera; this kept the centre area in the focus plane. Also the white balance of the camera was shifted to warm so any light leaking into the camera will actually have a very warm tone to it.
An ipad loaded with the star walk app was used to monitor the location of the stars and to predict how they would evolve during the night.

It took me approximately 100 shots to get the motion correctly and about 200 shots repeating it to capture the star trails :)

It's a lot of work to get it right and about 1/5th of the shots were scraped in post and only the best shots were used for the final output.
Post production was done using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom as few things like people walking on the beach with lights and other stuff need to be corrected.

And to conclude - The lines on the right side are planes landing on the airport.

Exif Data

As it is a stack image, meaning it was creating by stacking 200-300 photos together with the software StarStaX on mac, most of the exif is gone :/ it was taken with the Nikon D800, Aperture f9 with 30s exposures.

Related Reading