Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Sharper than a Rat with a Gold Tooth

1/20 sec @f2.8
by Dale Neill

Recipe: Select one ripe Alex, preferably one with a good curvy shape, add a single red bustier, two black stockings and some late afternoon mood light and slow cook for two hours! 

Rule 453A in the Order of Ancient Photographers says you should never use a shutter speed slower than 1/60 sec. Fast forward to the digital era and a new interpretation is look at the focal length eg 400mm and put one over that number for your minimum shutter speed - that is 1/400 sec.

Your personal sharpness depends on how many razor blades you had with breakfast. But your image sharpness depends on a mob of things other than razor blades:

1/6 @ f4
  • focal length
  • shutter speed
  • your breathing
  • your heartbeat
  • how much you talk
  • your age
  • your liquor intake
In this image i shot my friend Alex in her MGB with her beloved cat Bronson after sunset outside Monart Art Gallery on 1/6 sec @ f4, handheld. Yep! 1/6 sec. 
No tripod! 
No monopod! 
Not even a friendly gastropod!

I know ..... you think I cheated by stopping my heart beating. Well not quite. Mind you, Alex is one lady who has stopped the hearts of one or two men. That's why I carry a defibrillator in my Lowepro bag.

So, if you want photographs that are sharper than a rat with a gold tooth here's my secret ingredient - I stopped talking (although most people I know would find that hard to believe) and i did stop breathing. Plus I used a 24 mm lens and that always helps.

Of course, if you really do want a truly boring, scintillatingly sharp photograph head off to the zoo and find yourself an animal with texture standing in direct sunlight and use a speed above 1/1000 sec. I hope I made my point here.

One more thing,  I watched Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke the night before.

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