Do not forget to use motion in your pictures. Like this:

So I took that today with one hand – the other was holding a McDonald’s coffee, outside Henry’s School of Imaging in Toronto. I was about to go back in to do course two of the day.

Now, normally I would have gone to “Tv” mode (“S” on Nikon: shutter-speed priority). But with one hand and no time to lose that was impossible. So I rapidly did the following:

  1. Pop up the pop-up Flash.
  2. Zoom out to 16mm.
  3. I looked through the viewfinder at the street as the truck was approaching.
  4. I was in Av (Aperture priority) mode. So without the option of changing that while holding the camera with just one hand, I simply turned the Aperture setting up to to f/22, which I saw was what I needed to get to a shutter speed near 1/15th of a second. (I got to 1/20th: at that time time ran out and I left it there).
  5. Press the shutter!

All took about, oh, two seconds. And I hope you agree that is not a bad fire truck photo.

0 thoughts on “Fire

  1. This is a really interesting effect. Why are parts of the picture in focus – towards the middle of the fire truck and others not? The entire truck is moving at the same speed so I’d have thought it would be uniformly out of focus.

    It must be one of those pesky Laws of Physics things.

    It also looks like it’s knocking those traffic bollards or whatever they are aside. But yes, it’s a great picture. I can almost hear the siren.

  2. Ha ha! Look carefully: I popped up my flash (and all this with one hand – that is what I am most proud of). I knew that the reflective bits of the truck would reflect my 1/1000th of a second flash. Thus freezing those bits.

    And yes – that truck was LOUD.

  3. Plus of course even the notion you DO see is greater toward the edges, and taht IS a laws-of-geometry thing: a wide lens setting exaggerates the size (and hence motion, which is ds/dt) at the edges. Draw it all out and you’ll see how.

  4. Ah yes, and your flash startled the driver so he did knock those bollards over.

    Usually when I photograph a vehicle using flash it over-exposes any reflective markings including the license plate.

    I guess photo opportunities like this are why Canon keep the button placement etc. pretty constant between camera models. Experienced photographers operate their cameras instinctively without looking. Your 7D works so similarly to other cameras in their line that you could think “picture” and not “camera”.

  5. “And I hope you agree that is not a bad fire truck photo.” I agree that it is not a bad photo, however, this is a fire “engine” and not a fire “truck.” Yes, there is a difference. Cool shot and and an excellent tip though.

  6. OK, looking at my post, it appeared to be Net-trollish. I didn’t mean for it to come out that way. My apologies. Not sure about outside of the States but generally speaking, a “truck” has a large aerial ladder (often around 100 feet in length) or a snorkel (articulating platform). Trucks generally don’t carry much or any water and/or hose. Engines, or pumps generally carry between 500 to 800 gallons of water, have a large pump and carry several hundred feet of hose. Of course there are many exceptions and variations to this including some highbreds .

  7. That would be my guess too that this is “Pump 315.” Again generally speaking, Pumps and Engines are usually pretty close to being the same thing. Engines and Trucks generally are not.

    BTW, I just clicked on your image to view it at a larger size (so I could read the number) and it’s even cooler than I first thought. Great image!

  8. This lightning speed of a shot is superb and thanks on the random tip. Great use of the pop up as well. I’ll have to jot this down for future reference!

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