Shooting for themed competitions is often an interesting way to get some new ideas and an decent excuse to try (or revisit) different things. This months theme in the club circuit is Motion and the water drop in the last post was a revisit to an old technique after seeing an interesting Strobist article.
This shot was slightly more planned. As soon as I heard the theme was Motion, I started trying to thing of different types of motion – perpetual, gravitational, bowel – and trying to get a shot for each. I quite quickly settle on the idea of a Newton’s Cradle.
After a few trial shots, I quickly decided against an all white background as I preferred the shadows and the grey effect.
A half second exposure caught the motion well.
The real catch here was shooting the thing in motion.
Without getting too scientific, when the cradle is in motion, the outer balls transfer their energy through the middle balls to the other side. The outer balls bounce while the middle balls appear to remain still…
Key word there is “appear”.
In motion, the middle balls vibrated so much they always looked out of focus. It’s a cheap toy, maybe the heavier versions would be less troublesome.
In the end, this is actually a composite of three photographs, the middle balls are from a totally static shot, whilst the outer balls are different shots of the thing in motion.
Cool effect and very good fun to shoot. Sadly the judged was only moved enough to give it fourth…