Picc0110's Photo Posts - Edinburgh Ferris Wheel

Picc0110 is a twenty-something year old recent University graduate who is doing very little with life at the moment. [His words, not mine...]

To fill some time he recently decided to invest in a Canon DSLR camera (Digital Single Lense Reflex) - and is having lots of fun with it.

Here's his first post on Todoleo Tech Blog about a fantastic picture he took in December 2010.

Edinburgh Ferris Wheel by Picc0110. All Rights Reserved
I took this photograph in December 2010 at the Edinburgh Christmas Fair. I am going to explain some of the simple techniques I used to receive the desired effects.

This is the equipment I used:
  • My camera is my pride and joy - it's an entry level Canon DSLR - EOS 450D
  • The lens I was using is a Canon 17-85mm USM lens - this lens is a middle of the road lens, I am convinced a more basic lens would've received the same desired effects.
  • I made use of a small compact Velbon tripod (CX-mini) I own which is easy to carry about when travelling lightly.
  • No SLR user should be without filters. My camera always has a 'HOYA HD Protector' which doesn't add any effect - it just protect my lens from scratches. For the shots I took above I also used a cheap ND filter - it cost a couple of UK pounds on eBay.

I shall begin by explaining the function of the ND8 filter - this filter is a dark tinted filter which makes the camera sensor see everything appear darker than it actually is to the human eye - similar to how we perceive things when we wear really dark tinted sunglasses. The benefit of having this effect on the camera is that we can keep the shutter of the camera open a lot longer without over-exposing the image - again think of yourself with those sunglasses - you can stare at a bright light longer without getting a headache.

The camera was set on “full manual mode”. This allows me to set my both my aperture and shutter speed. My aparture was turned down to f20.0 to create quite a long depth to the image - I needed the Ferris wheel to be in focus just as much as the foreground in front of it. My shutter speed is the other important part- it was set on 30 seconds - which is the longest it can be set on my camera without using a remote control. 30 second shutter speed simply implies that the lens is capturing the image for 30 seconds from the point I press the shutter release on the camera - this is how you create the light-trail in an image - as the ferris wheel, traffic and pedestrians are moving the camera sensor is recording their movement.

If it wasn't for the tripod allowing my camera to rest steadily there would have been a lot of blurriness. Imagine keeping the camera steady with your bare hands in Scottish weather in December for 30 seconds - simply impossible!

The ND filter allowed me to keep the shutter speed open for longer without blinding the camera with light, by doing so it allowed me to capture the ferris wheel’s rotation. If the shutter speed had been 10 seconds, for example, the ferris wheel would not have rotated as far and in turn would not have created the effect.
Edinburgh Ferris Wheel by Picc0110. All Rights Reserved
I hope the above information has been useful and educational, please do leave constructive comments, let us know what you think - and follow me on Flickr and Twitter.