Friday, July 2, 2010

Experimenting with the Bug

Last time I wrote about getting two soft releases for my rangefinder cameras. I have now run some Bug experiments. This means using the Bug soft release on my Epson R-D1 in my everyday photography. I haven't really done any low-light shooting and therefore haven't faced slow shutter speeds. So, the added stability is still a bit of a mystery. The overall feel of the camera and the control of the point of releasing the shutter is improved, though. That alone is worth the price, should I find there is no other benefit in the end. Well, there actually is at least one other benefit. Shooting with gloves was never this easy! It will be a couple of months before I will consider wearing gloves, but I just had to quickly try on a pair when the idea came to me. Wearing gloves in July obviously isn't too comfortable!

I browsed through some of my photographs looking for ones that show the kind of motion blur I'm trying to fight with the Bug. There were some so-so ones. I think I have culled most of those that don't work with a bit of camera shake thrown in. Here's anyway one shot I came across. Not a good example of anything I have discussed so far really, but a nice shot demonstrating another source of shakiness: a moment that is a bit too fast or otherwise takes you by surprise forcing you to trigger the shutter while in motion.

Woman in Hamburg, 2009 - Epson R-D1, 1/100, ISO 400

This shot doesn't appear too soft at this size, but there is some motion blur in it. I was standing there by the Hamburg Philharmonic Hall Pavilion all by myself, facing the other way. As I turned around to look for a shot, this lady who had just appeared from somewhere without me noticing her was stepping to the horn. I barely had time to check my pre-focus for this shot. As she leant in to listen to the sounds from the horn, I quickly brought the camera to my eye and saw the expression I had anticipated. Preferring the moment over the technical merit of the shot, I took it without steadying my camera. She noticed me only the very moment I had my camera to my eye and made the photograph, which shows through as faint surprise mixed with curiousness in her expression.

Shot at 1/100 this photo is far from a slow shutter speed image where the soft release should help the most. Based on my experience over these couple of days, I think it could however help a bit with shots like these as well. Even if only by making one more confident with one's camera.

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