Nothing on my mind, 23 September 2009


I’d say that there might actually be things on my mind, only I’m not sure at this point, since I’m almost certain that my brain is already asleep. And no, it’s probably best that you didn’t ask how that works – I’m not entirely sure I understand it, myself. Anyways, as I will shortly follow the lead of my brain and go to sleep, here’s another photo, in lieu of more blathering.


Yup. A night photo. The subjects, in this case, are the construction cranes at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on the Elizabeth River in Portsmouth, Virginia. [1] While cranes of this type are generally temporary, kept in place only while a building is under construction, these are relatively permanent fixtures at the shipyard – these five cranes have been in place for several years (at least). I suspect that the reason is because these truss cranes are cheaper to erect and maintain than custom-built shipyard cranes, [2] though this is merely supposition.

As for the photo itself, since I was shooting on the slowest ISO-equivalent setting on my P80 (in this case, ISO 64), the exposure took 2 or 4 seconds (I forget which, though I think it was 4 seconds). I also shot it on the widest possible aperture (f/4.5), though it had little effect on the resulting photo, as the distance was such that the lens was effectively focusing at infinity. Naturally, the slow shutter speed accounts for the blurry reflections in the water.

On a related note, one major issue I have with the P80 (and with most digital cameras, for that matter) is that the shutter release button does not have a threaded connector for a cable release, and the camera does not support a remote shutter release. [3] This, of course, means that I need to physically push the button myself, which can pose a problem with timed exposures such as this. From my experience with the camera, it seems that the shutter does not actually trip when I push the button, and I suspect that this is an effort to ensure that the camera is stabilized before the shutter activates. Unfortunately, it does not always work out properly, so I sometimes need to shoot the same composition a few times to ensure that the resulting image is not motion-blurred. I bring up this matter here, since the above photo is actually the second or third “duplicate” of this composition I shot; even using my rather sturdy tripod, the photos still ended up blurry. I suppose there are worse things in life.



[1]: Yes, I know…Norfolk Naval Shipyard is actually in Portsmouth. Don’t ask me how that happened. I don’t know.

[2]: To be fair, the shipyard also has some more traditional cranes, too. Elsewhere. These ones are located around the dry-dock facilities.

[3]: Yeah, yeah…sure, I could buy a more versatile digital camera, but a) Er, those are expensive, b) I’m lazy, c) I don’t know that I’ll ever be a “pro” photographer, so I’m not sure I need one, and d) did I mention that such cameras are expensive?


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