Night photography: Anchored to the claw

Anchored to the claw -- by Joe Reifer
Anchored to the claw -- by Joe Reifer

This night image from Paul's Junkyard was taken by placing the tripod in front of the driver's seat of the large metal cutting machine seen in this car-crushing video. The high camera position makes the car look as if it's dangling just off the ground. 20-30 mph winds shook the whole machine from side-to-side during the 5 minute exposure. The results resemble trying to shoot a slow exposure from a ship using a tripod -- anything on the ship would be in focus, and everything else would be blurry. In this case, the arm holding the crushed Volvo wagon is reasonably sharp because it's swaying at about the same rate as the camera. Below is a section of sky to show the star trails -- you can see when there were gusts of wind. Sometimes an unconventional camera position can make for interesting results. Many thanks to eyetwist for the fill lighting, as I was doing origami with my legs and tripod in a confined space during the shot.

Anchored to the claw (star trails detail)
Anchored to the claw (star trails detail)
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