Mamba warning: 28 August

Irish photographer and trainer, Joe Houghton, gave a salutary warning on 28 August about being aware of your surroundings. While taking long exposure photos of a South African waterfall he stepped back to discover a deadly poisonous Black Mamba snake poised above him observing his activities. Fortunately he survived and told the tale at Ilkley Camera Club’s meeting held online via Zoom.

“Long exposure photography works best with impact and the photographer needs to pre-visualise the effect sought”, said Joe. “Think how fast clouds are moving or how long it takes a vehicle with lights on at night to pass across your picture. That helps you assess how long to keep the shutter open for.” Long exposure shots regularly show milky seas on the coastline but to enhance the effect Joe advised, “Expose the shot as the wave starts to recede, because then the movement is not so rapid and you know the full extent of the flow”.

For night shots of traffic, Joe advised Club members to take a view point at about car headlight level but try to get into the shot tall vehicles with lights high up, like buses and lorries. “This produces a greater range of illumination than cars alone”, he said. Joe rounded off the evening with a demonstration in Lightroom of how he combined several light trail images into a single high impact shot.

Over 40 members took part in the link up, enjoying the talk and the opportunities to quiz Joe on his techniques.

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