Pulling Light in a photograph

Pulling light
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Pulling light out of what would otherwise be a stationary light source is one of my all-time favourite photographic techniques and one that I am amazed not to see more of. I read about it in the book that came with my original Sony A7. I still have that camera, and it takes excellent photos.

Before I go further, I will add that the photo shown here is available on my site as a free download. Simply follow this link.

To take a photograph like this, you need a few things:
*A lens with a range something in the 24-70mm range. At some point, the weight of the lens will work against you. The lens also needs to be as smooth as possible. Shake is your enemy here.
*A very sturdy tripod. Repeat; shake is your enemy
*Remote trigger, you will cause shake when you depress the shutter manually.

For the settings, you experiment with something like the following: 2-second shutter, but longer is often good and shorter rarely is in my experience. ISO 100, f9-11, or so.

Now let’s shoot: Having found an attractive light source, like a neon sign or building, you think has enough points of light to pull out into streaks. Set up on your tripod, ensure the camera is very securely mounted and frame up tight on the subject. Once you are happy, fire your exposure and while the exposure is happening, draw the focus out and go wide. This action will bring the light out of windows or any other strong lights forward in a brilliant streak.

HSBC 2009 Celebration of Light Fireworks rework

2009 HSBC Celebration of Lights Fireworks/rework
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I’m going threw all my photos to organize the best that is my library—currently 17,686. Like everyone, there is a mix of gold and fool’s gold with shades in between. The photo shown here is of the 2009 HSBC Celebration of Light, taken using a technique that pulls light streaks out of usually stationary light sources. I’m experimenting here by doing it with a bright, colourful, explosive light source.

I had many photos taken this night using a standard setup, but this one is fun, and I took a few more shots with this method. They will all be available on my site Kian.Photography

Dave, a dear friend, was working at the Coast Plaza Hotel. He managed to invite us to photograph the fireworks show from the rooftop. The view was amazing!

Grillin it

A grill master in the smoke
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Sorry for the silly pun title! This guy was killing it. This was a big house birthday party I attended in Sri Lanka in March 2022. It was not a shot I planned; it just presented itself to me while I walked through this beautiful home.

This photo needed a lot of work. First, I reframed it from a larger image. Thanks to 42 mp, I have lots of room to play there. I then worked on the colour and other light settings to get the vibe I wanted. Finally, I had to recover some facial details that got lost in this challenging shoot. I was not at my best when I captured the photo. I was more than a little into the open bar……..

Drunk and Wet

Drunk & Wet!
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Taking our lovable dog Bowie out for his last pee of the night and grabbing a chance to “medicate,” I came across this rain-soaked table top of cool wine bottles. I took this photo with my new iPhone 14 Pro Max, and the resolution on this is crazy. I can pull just one of those wine bottles, crop in and get a great image. And that should be expected as this is a 48 mp camera taking almost 90 MB images and costing me $2400!!!!

Gastown can be a great place to live if you focus on the positives and make the negatives into positives. I am here, so I will need to learn to live with the abundance of drunken partiers at my doorstep and the endless crowds of wondering in the way tourists on vacation brain. The positives being there are photographic opportunities not available to most photographers on display here all the time. I will do my best to enjoy those moments, like finding a beautiful tabletop of rain-wet wine bottles with attractive labels.

The full-size version of this image

Man running from VPD jumps on to Vancouver Rail Yard Tracks

Crab Park Encampment and Vancouver City
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A man running from VPD jumps onto Vancouver Rail Yard Tracks.

It can be very interesting living above the CP Rail Yard in Vancouver. Today we had a birds-eye view of a man running from the Vancouver Police Department. He was coming from the Crab Park encampment in the Port of Vancouver.

The encampment itself is a symptom of a larger problem and is not as lawless as some would make out. That said, there have been some significant incidences, like stabbings. I wouldn’t call it safe, but that should be said for the residents and not just us in the neighbourhood. Most of those campers are desperate and looking for alternatives. The guy in this video may well be someone the campers needed protecting from, not a representative of the larger community.

I filmed this guy for as long as I could. To get this view, I was leaning awkwardly out of my living room window. As you can see, he travels a reasonable distance down the tracks looking for a way onto the alley that runs behind Water street. As he heads down towards where the Skytrain Waterfront station, I lose focus on him and stop filming, so I don’t know what happened to him after that.

To see higher quality images of life around Gastown, head to my site: HTTP://www.kian.photography

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