Saturday, September 29, 2007
Holy Painting with Light Batman!
A few years back I met Adam West. If you don't know who Adam West is, then the title of this post won't make any sense. He charged me $25 to autograph a Batman PEZ dispenser and his manager made me take off my PEZ convention T-shirt before I had a photo taken with him. He was concerned I would use the photo to say that Adam endorsed the convention. I hadn't even been to the convention. Someone that did go had sent me a T-shirt and I happened to have it on (yes, if you didn't already know it, I am a PEZ collecting nerd) I had to borrow some ladies college sweatshirt for the pic. Sure was nice of her. There she was in the middle of a Toy show hanging out in a skimpy bra so I could use her sweater for the pic. Ha Ha, just kidding about the bra of course. Sure would have made the story interesting though you have to admit. I digress...That was in my film day's but maybe some day when I ever get caught up I will scan one and upload it here (yeah right..we all know I will never be caught up:)
What happens often when I blog late at night after a glass or two of Cab is I get sidetracked and start writing about obscure moments that initially had a point. I then forget the point and lose complete control of my own blog. Happens to the best of us right?
Ah yes..Batman. Well, Adam West would have been proud of me yesterday. Before the Zoo opened I was given access to the nighttime habitat at the zoo with the hope of capturing some nice photo's of the Bats. If you have ever been there, the lighting is non-existent during the daytime. Because the Bats are nocturnal they simulate nighttime during the day and daytime for the nocturnal animals to sleep during the night. I got there before they turned off the lights completely and grabbed a few photo's. The Bat Keeper was inside the Rodrigues Fruit Bats habitat cleaning and I tapped on the window to ask if I could join her. She said yes! It was so cool. I climbed in the cage and got right under this friendly bat to grab a few shots. The lights were pretty dim at this point so I bumped my ISO to 3200 on my Mark III and did the best I could. I like the result as you can see the bat, but there is a distinct nighttime mood to the photo.
The goal of my shoot was to play around with the bats in the complete darkness. I love to paint with light. What you do is pre-focus your camera (easier said than done in pitch black). Set a long exposure on the camera and literally paint your subject with light using a flashlight with a snoot on the end. With people it's not too tough. You tell them to stay still and for the most part they do and you get some cool, moody shots. With bats it's a little different. You tell them to stay still, then you shine a flashlight in their face and wouldn't you know it, they turn and look to see where the light is coming from which ultimately is not a good thing with your shutter wide open. In other words, the project was easier said than done. I did however manage to get some cool shots. One of my favorites I posted here. Just when I was really getting the hang of it an entire school field trip started to pour in. I still had all my gear sprawled around the habitat so I packed it up as quick as I could in the dark and called it a day. Let me know what you think of the pics here.