Vanishing Act

I am not a morning person. In fact, I am the kind of guy who looks forward to that extra hour of sleep on the weekends and certainly dreads waking up in the wee hours when forced to take a morning flight. This poses a bit of a problem when it comes to photography. Not only do I miss out on the opportunity to take a decent picture at sunrise, but also miss out on the only time of day when one can avoid crowds at a famous tourist attraction.

The former, I can’t really do much about. It is no coincidence that I take most of my pictures at sunset. For the latter however, there is a surprisingly simple solution. The key to this David Blaine-style trick is the camera’s shutter speed. Slow the shutter speed enough (upwards of 15-20 seconds) and anything that is moving within the frame, will not get recorded on the camera’s sensor. It is that easy!

Here is a picture of the famous Louvre Museum in Paris. It was a busy Wednesday afternoon at the museum and swarms of people were wondering around the plaza near the famous glass pyramid entrance. Eager to take a picture, I decided to mount my camera on a tripod and closed my aperture down to F14. This gave me a meter reading of 25 secs – long enough to make everyone not standing still, disappear!

Louvre - 1920c

Shot with my tripod mounted Canon 60D and my Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 DC HSM lens, at ISO 100, F14, at 25 sec.