Saturday September 8, 2001

Nothin to say about this. Just a toy in the dirt. But notice the flash falloff following the inverse square law: Light output is inversely proportional to the square of the distance.

The only time I feel compelled to butt in on someone's picture taking and act like a know-it-all is when I see them shooting stuff that I know won't come out. It's kind of sad. They snap away and feel assured that they've freeze-dried the moment for posterity but all they did was waste film. A typical example is a nighttime flash shot of some distant object. I saw this at burning man a lot. Your basic disposable camera flash goes about 10-15 feet. Everything beyond that is enveloped in blackness -- even bright lights don't show up on film. Having the flash turned on actually prevents you from getting the ambient light because the camera tends to let less light in when the flash is used than when it's off. This picture of the toy was taken moments before sunrise and it was almost daylight out, but using a the flash made the background scene appear almost black. If you switch it off, (if you can), your camera will try to slow down and open up to let as much light in as possible. Things will get blurry if you don't steady the camera but at least you will get those nice city lights or that rock concert / baseball game or those lights on Niagara Falls.

voyeurs of the world, give something back!

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