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Paper lantern in the mix

Impulsive Photography

Paper lantern in the mix

Paper lantern in the mix
Paper lantern in the mix

Paper lantern in a long exposure moved capture.

This picture was shot during my holiday in Vietnam in December 2013. We were in the Moon River Restaurant to have a meal and had our view on the river. At the riverside I already saw some paper lanterns hanging and wanted to get them on a photo. The first hoto’s that I took were total failures because I couldn’t get the paper lanterns nice in frame and the otherside of the river with all it’s lights. I tried several settings, with and without flash but couldn’t get the shot that I wanted because of the lack of a tripod.

And I really wanted to grab that shot because it was such a nice town! If you ever go to Vietnam, stop by in Hoi An! It is a tiny town, where in the city center there are no cars allowed. This gives the town a certain serenity despite of the vast amount of tourist that are coming there. One of the main tourist attractions in Hoi An is the clothing making industry. You can have a suit tailormade for you in a day, which comes in handy when you need a suit during travel 🙂

The restaurants near the waterside are also very nice. A little more expensive due to the touristic area you are in, but the food is very good and the views are fantastic. At night, the life around the rivers is full of energy and festivities and the paper lanterns were -for me- a symbol of that.
Without a tripod, I couldn’t get the background sharp, while using a flash for the foreground. Then I thought… why not then just try a long exposure shot without a tripod but with the flash fired, let’s see what comes out! Again I tried some compositions and exposure times, but indeed, all had moved. Then I thought, if I can’t get the movement out of the photo, let’s just put it in the composition!

So I set the flash on compulsory, put the exposure time to 2.5 seconds (program: exposure priority), set the ISO to 800, just to get some good light capture ability in the shot and the camera had set the F-number on 11. When I made the shot, I moved the camera auite a bit to get the movement in and to capture that lifely atmosphere of the location. And the first shot that I made, was already fantastic!! You can see the lanterns due to the flash that I used, you can see the reflection of the lights in the water of the otherside of the canal and you can see the movement in the photo. In post, I did absolutely nothing. This was how the photo came out of the camera! I am really glad with this photo, because for me it captured the lifely holiday I had in Vietnam, the paper lanterns that give guidance of the life and the darkness for the things we would explore during that trip!

So, the picture was made on the spot, with some fancy settings (long exposure and the use of flash) and without any post processing. That made this shot a great impulsive photo!

Camera settings:

Camera Model Canon EOS 1100D
Lens Model EF50mm f/1.4 USM
Accesoires used Built-in flashe
Exposure 2.5 seconds
F-number 11.0
ISO 800
Focal Length 50 mm

Location