Saturday, June 19, 2010


The great folks at Bogen do make a host of fantastic tripods but they also make a host of attachments that allow the photographer to put a camera just about anywhere he/she can imagine. One of my favorite gadgets of theirs is called the Avenger Pump Suction Cup.

With the aid of the Avenger 'Super' Suction Cup, (and boy do I ever mean 'Super Suction') I was able to mount my camera and fish eye lens on the hood of my friend Phillipe's car intent on firing off a number of exposures as we drove through several long tunnels. And to add a bit of 'horror' to this motion-filled idea, Phillipe and I donned masks, (they were having a Halloween close-out sale at the local variety store). I'm the passenger and Phillipe is driving.

Of course I wanted to record the sense of motion that one experiences when driving through tunnels, which meant I would need a 'slow' shutter speed of at least 1/2 if not a full second. And in order to determine what aperture I would need to use at these speeds I needed to take a meter reading under a lighting condition that would be similar to the light we would find inside the tunnel. Getting that meter reading actually proved rather easy, as I suggested that we first drive through the tunnel, without the camera mounted on the car, but rather with the sunroof open, which then allowed me to shoot down onto the hood of the car and take my meter reading. Once we were inside the tunnel I stood up, and with my 17-55mm lens and camera set to 100 ISO, I simply pointed it at the hood of the car in Aperture Priority and found that when I chose f/8 I had a correct exposure indication of 1/2 second and of course at f/11 the correct exposure was now indicating1 second.

After this first trip through the tunnel, we exited and pulled off to the side of the road. With the bright interior dome light on inside the car, I took another reading of Phillpe's face and discovered that also at f/11, I could get a correct exposure at one second. I had the 'numbers' and now we were all set. I chose to leave the camera in Aperture Priority Mode, rather than manual, knowing that if I set the aperture to f/11 the camera would record a correct exposure somewhere in the neighborhood of one second, depending on the varying degrees of brightness as we drove through the tunnel. So, with the camera in Aperture Priority Mode, the fish-eye lens set to f/11 and pointed at 'us', and with my remote triggering device mounted to the camera, we were ready to begin our journey through several long tunnels, but NOT before donning our ghoulish masks. I wanted this to be a 'ghoulish dream' kind of photo. As we drove through the tunnels, I would simply fire the camera from inside the car with the remote sending unit. After making several trips through the tunnels, we pulled over and I began a quick review of the images and it was clear that I had my shot.

I wanted to add that Phillipe's car is actually light blue and once inside the tunnel, it recorded an odd bronze cast that no amount of PhotoShop could repair. But it was also while trying to recover the light blue color in PhotoShop, that I came upon this 'wild' purple color and the more I viewed it the more I liked it so a purple car it is! This color was the result of 'playing' with both the Color Balance and Hue/Satruation controls in PhotoShop.

Here is the set-up with the camera and fish-eye lens suction cupped to the hood of Phillipe's car. Honestly, it was my experience that this Bogen Suction Cup made a bond that was as strong as steel! You will also need a Bogen mounting plate for the camera, which in turn gets attached to the suction cup.

All My Best,
Bryan F Peterson

No comments: