Acer Seed


Acer seed


This is an acer seed that rotates while falling. The photo is a single long exposure (something like 2 or 3 seconds) with the light coming from a flash set to repeat mode.

The process is very simple. Put the camera on tripod, on a dark environment, set a flash left and a reflector right of the camera. Next drop the seed from a certain height and simultaneously start the exposure. The seed will start to rotate, pass in front of the camera and the various bursts of flash will register the movement.

All seems plain simple and easy, but there were some difficulties. First the starting height of the seed. In the first instants of the fall the seed does not rotate, so it plummets to the ground until, at a certain speed, it starts the rotation and slows down vertically. It turns out the best height, to get a stable flight, was about 1.5 meters above the camera. This led to a second difficulty: the seed does not always fall in the same trajectory (far from it!) and is quite challenging to get it to pass in the exact plane of focus (pre-focused, of course), or even inside the camera frame, entirely. How to overcome this problem? Easy, just do it many times. 🙂

Another interesting thing that I completely overlooked is the speed at which the seed moves. I started with 10 flashes per second, and thought this would be plenty enough. How very wrong I was! Only got 2 or 3 images of the seed in a frame. Had to go up to 60 to 80 flashes per second to get the effect I was looking for, with many close together images on one exposure.

Hope you enjoy.




15 thoughts on “Acer Seed

    • Obrigado. A parte complicada é conseguir que a semente passe exactamente no sítio certo e para isso não consegui nada melhor do que tentar muitas vezes. Ainda pensei em fazer batota e furei uma das sementes com um alfinete, passando depois um fio de nylon muito fino pelo buraco. A ideia era esticar o fio verticalmente (com um pequeno peso na extremidade) e deixar que a semente deslizasse pelo fio abaixo numa trajectória bem definida. Não funcionou 😦 Tive que voltar ao “voo livre”.
      Bom fim de semana.

    • Thank you Hanna, you spoil me with your comments, but glad you liked it :). It was really fun to do, despite being a little frustrating to get it right. I’m not sure how many tries I did (a lot of them :)) but got only 4 usable photos.
      Have a nice week-end.

  1. Bem… isto é muita areia para a minha pobre camioneta. É demasiada técnica e demasiadas tentativas frustradas.

    Mas que ficou bem e original, lá isso ficou.

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