Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Lizard Fever

Click to enlarge
Last night's visitor, on the inside of our patio screen-door. I used a flash for the gecko's head, but also kept the shutter open long enough to get the plants and stuff on our patio to register despite the aperture being at it's smallest.
A new personal record of a handheld shutter time of thirteen seconds, 26 if you count the noise-reduction processing.
I might have been cheating by holding the lens squarely against the window, but since I had the flash in my other hand there's got to be some bonus points awarded.

The first shot was just one of many working my way up to this final exposure. I always try a few different things with flash placement and angle and distance (plus camera settings) until I just know I have the photo I'm looking for.
In this case, I tried something new (for me) by putting the flash under the camera, and the angle at which it's hitting the lizard (and the detail and shadows and eye catchlight that resulted) jumped out at me.
With experience I find more and more variables to exploit in different situations.
I remember with fondness and embarrassment the days when the only adjustments I knew how to make were moving the focus brackets and maybe under/overexposing a little, only to be bitten in the ass by using the wrong white balance or iso setting.
And trying to rescue the result in Photoshop.
Thankfully, I almost never posted those photos here.

Yesterday evening my fever finally broke and I started to feel almost human again. I was sicker than I thought, but just kept chugging-on down the tracks until it finally dawned on me to put a thermometer in my mouth and look up the symptoms online. During a full week of feeling like I should start shopping for a suit to be buried in, taking photos didn't get much attention. Thanks to Smuggled Mexican Penicillin I feel like the man I used to be (minus a few pounds) and am starting to get new ideas again.

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