Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pistol bullet in mid-air

I am totally amazed at this photograph. The bullet is visible in mid-air after being fired from the pistol. I drew an arrow on the image that points at the gold-colored bullet.
I photographed a day-long tactical pistol training course and took over 1000 photos. It was routine to get images with empty brass cartridge cases in the air as they were ejected. No motor drive needed. I would try to time the shutter release as close as I could to the gun being fired. In this photo the bullet has just exited the muzzle, the slide has moved to the rear and the empty case is visible but not yet ejected.
This image was shot at 1/2500 sec. and the bullet has a little motion blur that is visible when the photo is enlarged.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Offshore Powerboat Race

This boat was racing in the Offshore Powerboat Association Racing Series on Lake St. Clair near Mt. Clemens, Michigan on Sunday. I was stationed on a 30' day cruiser idling along the outside perimeter of the course. The lake was choppy and it led to this shot of the race boat getting airborne. It also made photography very difficult as the boat was constantly pitching and rolling. Not only was it hard to hold the camera but I couldn't even keep my balance. I shot this at 1/4000, not as much to stop the boat action but to stop my serious camera movement.
I was able to get several nice shots of the boats crossing directly in front and they were close enough to fill the frame. I like this one, though, because there is so much bright white spray that contrasts with the water and boat. The image portrays more speed and action than the closer shots I got.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Slalom Water Skier

Here is a photograph of a waterskier carving a turn during open water skiing. If he were running a slalom course there would be a buoy in the water for him to turn around. I rode in the boat, kneeling on a seat near the stern.
I will often frame very tightly on the skier because I like close-ups. This is challenging with a medium-long lens because a boat running at 36 mph will have some bounce in the open water. For this shot I backed off a little and placed the skier in the upper right. This makes the rope come from the lower left, making a nice diagonal line that leads directly to the subject. I like this composition. And the skiers like seeing more of their spray than would be visible on a tight shot.
1/2000 at 5.6, ISO 200, lens at 140mm. Taken at 9:30 AM. I prefer a lower sun angle and softer light but we didn't get out early enough.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Horse and rider jumping a fence-3.

This photograph of a horse and rider jumping a fence was recently taken at a horse show at the Kentucky Horse Park. There are several aspects that help make a nice image of a jumper. First, the timing here was at the peak of the action. I certainly don't claim to nail this all the time and I get pretty excited when I do. The front legs of the horse are still tucked fairly tightly and the rear legs are off the ground. Second, the face of the girl is visible and recognizable. Third, I was able to get close to the jump at ground level. The height of the horse and rider is accentuated when the camera is looking slightly upward. I can't always position myself in such a good spot as some of the spectator areas are slightly elevated. I have made some very nice images of the jumpers from other angles but this one is very dramatic.
300mm lens, 1/500 at 5.6. I usually try for a faster shutter speed as the action can be stopped more reliably but this one came out perfectly sharp.