Playing With Light: Metro Scenes

The Photo 101 weekend edition asked us to play with light. I read the Fundamentals of Light and bought a couple of the suggested apps for iPhones. SlowShutter gives your iPhone camera some level of digital single-lens reflex camera functionality, including manual settings for aperture, shutter speed and light sensitivity. The photographic term “exposure” is the “amount of light captured in a photograph” and you can control it through aperture (the size of the hole of the lens), shutter speed (how long the lens stays open) and light sensitivity. SlowShutter gives you three “capture” modes – motion blur, light trail and low light.

I experimented last night taking a picture in a completely dark room except for a slit in the blinds that showed one lone street lamp. I used the low light capture mode and experimented with “low,” “medium” and “high” exposure boosts and 4 to 8 second shutter speeds. I could not believe any light was captured at all.

Today, I had an appointment in Dupont Circle and I played with the motion blur and light trail modes.

The metro, with all its flashing lights, was a perfect place to experiment with SlowShutter’s light trail mode. I walked slowly toward forward using 4 second shutter speed and 1/4 light sensitivity.
There was so much light going up the Dupont Circle escalators. This shot is just a normal iPhone shot with “noir” filter.
Just a normal iPhone shot with “Noir” filter.
I really wanted to use the motion blur mode. I got my chance when a man brushed past me walking down the escalator into Dupont Circle metro. I always feel a little unsteady on that escalator. The 4 second shutter speed was working for me today and I kept the blur strength at medium. This is the “Noir” filter. It was working great with today’s light.
I used the low light mode and tried to use my body as a tripod. Holding my breath and body still for 4 seconds was harder than I thought it should be.
Light trail mode. The metro car across the platform is arriving.
I cannot believe light trail mode was able to capture passengers standing on the opposite side platform through the windows of the metro car!
My train is arriving. Other passengers on the platform are wondering what I am doing.
This is my metro car! The light trail mode picks up the reflection of the red warning lights lining the edge of the platform against the metro car. Back to work now. Fun is over.

8 thoughts on “Playing With Light: Metro Scenes

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