Learn from my mistake

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by kallisti, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. kallisti macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    I was taking a train back from New York to Providence. Thought it would be interesting to take some longish exposure pics from the window. Abstract stuff, but thought it might turn out to be interesting.

    For each of the images below, I held my camera up against the train window. The window itself was filthy, but I wanted to see what I could come up with despite that.

    First image. Yes it's blurry. All of these are going for creative rather than technical. Notice the little black spot in the left off-center.

    More abstract than the first. But notice the same little spot which is now more distinct as well as several other spots.

    Still abstract, though some elements that can be identified. The muddy sweep in the sky to the right is from a long exposure with trees passing by. Still seeing those annoying little black spots all over the image though....

    While I'm careful when changing lenses, this one little experiment went horribly wrong. The images weren't all that interesting and I ended up with numerous little black points all over the place. I initially thought it was gunk on the train window, but it was quickly apparent that the splotches were camera-related and didn't have anything to do with the train window. Swapped out lenses and the black spots were still there.

    Holding my camera up to the train window created serious vibrations that shook the camera. All kinds of nasty stuff broke free and landed on the sensor. Yuck. Cleaning the sensor fixed most of the major ones, though there are still some *very* tiny flaws in the corners that I can't get rid of.

    My advice is to be very careful about holding a digital camera against objects that vibrate. It may seem that they add stability, but the vibrations can loosen things that lodge on the sensor and can't be easily removed. Sometimes hand-holding is better than using a moving support....
  2. cupcakes2000 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010
    The bottom one is great. It looks like a painting.
  3. kallisti thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    Thanks :)
  4. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
  5. kallisti, Jun 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011

    kallisti thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    That one showed off the sensor dust the best. It was also a little different shooting it. I wasn't on full manual for that one, was shooting aperture priority. It turned out to be a very long exposure as I was pointing down at the passing greenery for most of it and the shutter just kept staying open. So I tilted up to get the sky and the shutter finally closed.

    Aside from the sensor dust and the obvious rings from the lens, I ended up with something that reminds me of Japanese watercolors.

    Looking from a train
    Leaves passing by, indistinct
    Alone and as one

    Yucko. Getting off track here. DON'T hold your digital cameras up against vibrating structures. Lots of internal grease, particles, random elements can get shaken loose and screw your sensor :)

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