Friday Update

When I’m not pretending to be a game developer, and not at work, I occasionally go out and take photos. This week I had a chance to take some photos of a friend who (by some rather interesting connections and circumstances) ended up on a bobsled team. I kid you not. So, for two nights this week I was able to take pictures of the bobsleds. The first night I was using my usual setup (Nikon D80 with an 18-70 mm lens), but that proved to be not enough. Things were turning out way too blurry, so for the second night I borrowed a co-worker’s 50 mm f/1.8 lens, and was able to snap some much better photos. Feel free to check them out here.

I just finished reading a post by JTippets of (which can be found here. An interesting read, I thought. (Although, I admit, I first thought he was going to be talking about plumbing, as in game development related stuff going on behind the scenes).



  1. paulecoyote

    I brought my wife a Nikon D80 for her birthday, and we are still trying to get our heads around it, especially low light picture. You’ve taken some good ones I see!

  2. Joel

    Thanks Paul.

    I’ve discovered a few things just playing around on my own that seem to help when taking pictures at night. I don’t really like using the flash at night, but would rather try and use the natural light. Long exposure times work great on still subjects, but requires a tripod (a remote trigger release can help to minimize any vibration when actually taking the picture as well). Another thing that seems to help is using a really low f-stop. When taking the pictures of the bobsleds, I started with my 18-70 mm lens which was only going down to f/4.5 or so. The 50 mm lens I borrowed (and just bought one of my own) goes down to f/1.8, which lets you snap at a shutter speed a good two steps faster. So rather than shooting at 1/30th of a second, I was getting as fast as 1/250th of a second in the same light.

    Other than that, just play around until you figure things out. It’s not like you are going to waste any film developing the pictures. 🙂

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