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Wanna go for a ride? | by Erica_Marshall
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Wanna go for a ride?

This photo made it to Explore #401! Thanks for the comments, invites, and favs!


The theme of the day on Photography_Beginners was ""Movement", so I had an idea... it involved me, my bike, and my camera, so I grabbed it all and a bungie cord and headed out hoping that everything (including me) would come back in one piece and still functional.


What I wanted was more of a view from eye level, but I was loosing light fast and had no time to set it up like I wanted (tripod strapped to my backpack and looking over my shoulder). So, instead I strapped the camera to my chest and tried it that way. It didn't work well because there were so many variables that I really had to keep checking the LCD, and it was a pain taking it off and putting it back on. So I decided to try strapping it to my top tube. I have a gorillapod, but it's useless -it just kept rotating on the tube and falling over, so I had to strap it to the seat tube with bungies in two places as well (which sat it all the way back on the bar and I still couldn't see the LCD).


After adding the bungies it was pretty solid, but I didn't trust it 100%, so I used a carabiner to fasten the camera strap to my belt just in case it fell. The downside of that setup was that it didn't allow much movement between me and the bike -as long as I was on the seat it was fine, but getting off was tough. The camera was right in front of the seat, so I couldn't just hop off the seat forward or I'd be sitting on my camera! And I couldn't hop left or right too far 'cause I was tethered to the camera. ...and I'm so short that I can't just put a foot down when I stop, so I actually pulled a muscle in my foot when I got off the bike extremely "tippy toed". :(


As far as how the shot was done, I pre-set the focal length (or "zoom") before getting on the bike. Then I rode around the block anticipating what the surroundings would like and where the smoothest pavement would be, then hit the shutter button and let it go with the self timer. A remote may have worked better, but I would have had to trigger it with my mouth or try to hide it in my hand -I didn't want to mess with that, so I used the timer.


Focus was interesting as was the shutter speed. I preset the focus, then second-guessed myself and changed it manually while riding and taking pictures, then later I used the AF button because I was second guessing my second guessing (third guessing?). Anyway, I experimented with the focus a lot. I also noticed a third of the way through that my shutter speeds were in the teens, which I figured was WAY too slow to get anything sharp -I was aiming for 1/60th to 1/40th, maybe 1/30? So, I raised my ISO and kept changing the aperture trying to balance the shutter speed (to give the motion blur) with a focal length that may make up for my mis-focusing. In the end, though this shot was taken at 1/13th, so I guess it was a lucky mistake -the rest weren't blurred enough.)


In the end (somehow) I got 2 usable shots. Next time I think I'll put a bit more planning into it and hopefully I'll end up with an even better photo. This was a fun experiment, though -I love how these challenges get me trying different things!



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Taken on August 5, 2008