one day at a time

day 328: killing time

killing time Β© Verena Fischer 2012

killing time Β© Verena Fischer 2012


It was already starting to get dark when I decided to go for a walk to take some pictures. I grabbed my Canon and a tripod, and out of the door I was. If you follow my blog regularly you probably know that the tripod is somewhat unusual for me. Normally I just crank up the ISO and take my 50mm f/1.4 lens. This time I wanted to try something different though and took the tripod out for some long exposures. Not sure what prompted this, but I guess it has to do with seeing a few pictures of Joshua Evan Powell’s Sixty Seconds in New York series.

The spot where I took the picture is at the S-Bahn station Gesundbrunnen, which is relatively close to where I live. I took some pictures on the way already, but then managed to find the perfect spot for the picture I had in mind. I continued taking pictures even after this, also of different vistas around the place when some boys asked me to take a picture of them. Of course I had to entirely change the settings for that, but they were patient with me. I’ll probably post the picture as well soon. I should remember to take my moo cards with the address of my blog with me, because I had several moments over the last month where I would have liked to have them on me.

For the long exposure there weren’t many people around so that I had to be careful not to make it too long an exposure if I wanted the shadowy ghosts that make long exposures in the city interesting. I used 10 seconds and in this case combined two pictures. The main basis was the picture with the girl smoking. Amazing how she left her feet in place for 10 seconds and almost only moved her head. In the second one I probably accidentally touched the tripod, since it’s quite unsharp. However, this didn’t matter for the people going down the escalators and they really helped to even out my final picture. After combining the pictures I used Alien Skin Exposure to convert it to black and white with a modified Kodak preset. Most unmodified presets would darken the face of the girl too much, so I had to change the channel it was using. Considering how different all these black and white films react I’m really wondering how you would plan for a picture to look like this in the end. I guess it needs years and years of experience of shooting with film to be able to plan a picture like this.


6 responses

  1. “The shadowy ghosts which make the city interesting” :-). Nicely said, and very well translated into the picture as well. The darkness and shadowy ghosts actually remind me a little bit of Hopper (Nighthawks, in particular). Really like this one!

    July 7, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    • Thank you so much Hanne! The comparison with Hopper made me smile! πŸ™‚

      July 9, 2012 at 11:06 am

  2. Tammy

    Glad you went out…you captured a wonderful image…the shadows and lights are a beautiful contrast! NICE!

    July 9, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    • Thanks Tammy! I’m very happy how this experiment turned out πŸ™‚

      July 10, 2012 at 8:20 am

  3. FANTASTIC results, Ms. F…
    well worth dragging the tripod around! That’s not always a fun thing to do. I know many people say with practice you should be able to hand-hold down to 1/60th or so, but that’s never been the case for me… TOO SHAKY! Unfortunately if I don’t have a tripod with me I almost always wind up looking for a place to set the camera down or something to brace it / myself against.

    July 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    • From my experience I’d say you can push it to 1/6th with an image stabiliser and 1/focal length for lenses without IS. 1/6th is difficult but I’ve managed to get sharp images of stationary subjects with that occasionally. The 1/(focal length*crop) is a good rule of thumb and usually is the safe bet. With my 50mm lens I can make 1/50th even with the 1.6 crop sensor though. I really rarely go out with a tripod, but I guess I might be doing that more often once I get a programmable cable release. There are really some cool things you can do with those πŸ™‚

      July 10, 2012 at 8:45 am

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