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Old 21-10-2007, 00:31   #1 (permalink)
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Black Card?

Here's a technique I'm interested in finding out about:

My latest camera mag has an article about shooting fireworks. One tip says re: exposure: "Use bulb + use a black card to control exposure" but they don't say how! Anyone know what using a black card is all about?
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Old 21-10-2007, 01:12   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

If you googie photographing fireworks and look at Tips '@ Earthbound light you might find the info you want
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Old 21-10-2007, 01:34   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

i think the black card is used to place over the end of the lens during periods of none or low firework activity. so in theory by using bulb exposure your composition will be made up of multiple fireworks. The same technique can be used photography lightrails from car head lights. Never used this technique but remember reading about it in a book about night time photography!

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Old 21-10-2007, 01:50   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Ah yes, thanks stupot, what you say rings a bell, I've read about it briefly before somewhere.

Be interesting to hear if anyone's used this technique.
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Old 21-10-2007, 01:53   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Thanks for your suggestion Foxesbrew. Sometimes I google a query, + sometimes I ask on the forum, depending on whether I think google will throw up 10,000,000 links which are likely to lead me on a wild goose chase, which I thought in this case it would
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Old 21-10-2007, 02:20   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Stu is correct - the idea being you can make multiple exposures on the same shot. You just hold the black card in front of the lens then remove it to get the shot and replace it to wait for the next firework. One thing to bear in mind is that digital cameras, unlike older designs, can have a limit on how long the shutter will remain open on the 'bulb' setting. My film cameras will allow the shutter to be open for as long as you want, and you have to initiate the shutter closing manually.

Someone recently found this when trying to photograph star trails. There was a recent post on here. I think the camera in question was a D80, so it might br the same for your D50.

The manual ought to tell you if there is a limit.

Of course, you can always get the same effect - with more control as to the placement of the fireworks - by combining different shots in Photoshop too.
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Old 21-10-2007, 07:43   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

I've seen this done with a baseball cap.......keep meaning to give it a go.
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Old 21-10-2007, 09:42   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Thanks Graham, I'll check out the manual. I haven't used bulb mode at all yet.

I s'pose it works with anything black P-E.
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Old 21-10-2007, 10:04   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

I tried it a couple of years ago, it gives a good result. Just leave the shutter open & in between each firework put the card over. Just do it for 2 or 3 fireworks at a time though or it can look messy, just play around with that & then do 4 or 5. Good fun.
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Old 21-10-2007, 10:19   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

I'd imagine it's a bit unpredictable as to where each firework, after the 1st one, will appear in the frame, so is it better to go wide-ish angle then crop later?
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Old 21-10-2007, 10:59   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Hi Charlotte

Thats exactly what I'd done on these photos, basically I went wide to get a lot of the sky where I predicted the fireworks to go, (I cropped heavily on these) set the shutter to bulb mode and used my lens cap in between breaks, it is a bit hit and miss sometimes but well worth the effort.





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Old 21-10-2007, 11:19   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Wow! TFS Wayne, those are spectacular examples

Anyone else got some fireworks shots they'd like to share with us, telling how you got them?
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Old 21-10-2007, 20:43   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Impressive shots jobe

Sounds like you have a plan for Nov 5th Charlotte
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Old 21-10-2007, 21:03   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

No plan as such P-E, but you never know
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Old 22-10-2007, 12:29   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Those are great shots Jobe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte View Post
Anyone else got some fireworks shots they'd like to share with us, telling how you got them?
Here are a couple from my gallery…these where single exposure shots of 5 seconds each without the use of a black card. Tripod, mirror lock up and remote shutter release.

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Old 22-10-2007, 12:40   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Those are beautiful Steve. It's interesting to see different techniques, each working well
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Old 22-10-2007, 13:17   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Great shots Steve

You reckon my techniques good or room for improvement........



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Old 22-10-2007, 14:31   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

I don't know mate...it has a certain style all of its own
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Old 22-10-2007, 14:35   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I don't know mate...it has a certain style all of its own
R thanks
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Old 22-10-2007, 14:48   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Technique? I'll show you technique!

Let me set the scene:
£200k in fireworks
Superb position overlooking Cardiff Bay, so reflections in water
Drizzle stops just prior to fireworks
And then.......... wow! Fantastic!

We all agreed (pro 'tog and another 'tog) that my shots were the best........ on the LCD









Got home (all of 200 yds away) and opened up shots. Total disaster! And this is probably the best for lack of wobble!


Moral: check that your tripod doesn't wobble when fully extended (I was using the 2 second timer but pressing the shutter release made the camera wobble for about 5 seconds!). Two days later the remote release arrived in the post! Grrrrrr!
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Old 22-10-2007, 21:35   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

P-E, I think you forgot to remove the black card between shots

Mark, you may as well have shot a black card Seriously tho', that shot would've been good, if only you had done a little preparation + planning (which, in another thread, you claim to have no need for)
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Old 22-10-2007, 21:44   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte View Post
Mark, you may as well have shot a black card Seriously tho', that shot would've been good, if only you had done a little preparation + planning (which, in another thread, you claim to have no need for)
LOL! Not quite the same as a site survey! But you're right - tho' I did check my gear. But because it had stopped drizzling I changed to another tripod and only did one test shot (without winding the central post all the way up!). I know because it was all seared into my brain - helped along by me kicking myself for a fortnight afterwards!
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Old 22-10-2007, 22:01   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte View Post
Snip...Seriously tho', that shot would've been good, if only you had done a little preparation + planning (which, in another thread, you claim to have no need for)
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Old 24-10-2007, 17:04   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Love Steve's shots there, beautiful.

Graham, yes the digital camera will usually have a limit on the B setting but as this is 30 minutes on mine it is very unlikely to ever be a problem Even a black cat in a coal cellar in the dark would be over-exposed at that time <g>

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Old 02-11-2007, 15:50   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Well Ive just noticed a huge sign go up across the road saying fireworks here 5/6th

So I will be having a go at this and making sure my dogs and cats dont have heart attacks
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Old 02-11-2007, 22:55   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Seen that in my mag to Charlotte,maybe the same mag [DC] never tried it myself but maybe give it a try this weekend,hear shooting over water gives good shots?. Nice shots guys.
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Old 05-11-2007, 19:59   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Ok help! lol i tried the bulb thing with the black card thing, 3 second exposure, I used the wrong lense but too late I was out there by the time I realised, Also for some reason when in manual camera wont allow remote shutter? so some wobble due to soft ground on tripod

Any ideas appreciated as theres another tommorow I want another go at.




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Old 05-11-2007, 20:22   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Don't want to repost, so Charlotte, see my Fireworks! thread
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Old 05-11-2007, 21:28   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

Went to look at yours Jack + left a comment in the relevant thread

Summer, apart from the obvious tripod thing, they look a bit overexposed, what aperture did you use? Try the 2nd-largest not the largest aperture, + a slightly shorter shutter speed, maybe 3 sec. It'll be trial + error methinks. On 2nd thoughts, the overexposed look could be attributed to the camera shake And no, I don't think you can use remote with bulb feature ... c'mon Dan, step in here, do your job, work for that smartie Summer, well done for having a go + good luck for 'moro

It's great to see ppl having a go at fireworks, sadly I missed my chance this year, but no doubt the fireworks will continue for another six months 'til they all run out
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Old 05-11-2007, 21:34   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Black Card?

I played about with the aperture but non were much cop will have another go tomorrow and see what happens lol
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