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Today’s cool camera trick is probably my favorite.  And with July 4 (Independence Day here in the U.S.) just around the corner, I hope you’ll give it a try with leftover sparklers from the festivities. Take a look at the photos below and see what you can come up with on your own… WRITING AND COLORING WITH LIGHT By Bonnie Caton currently in Missoula, MT Here are two camera tricks I just learned that are fun and almost magical. The results can be startling, and you can get as creative with them as you want. The more you mix them up, the better they get. Fun Trick #1: The Shoot & Shake WHAT YOU NEED: *** Your camera *** Anything that gives off light (the more interesting the source, the better). For this trick, all you need to do is set your camera to a long shutter speed (between 0.5 and 5 seconds, depending on the light source and the effect you want). Next, point your camera at something bright like an interesting lamp (in this case, with a ribbed glass cover that ended up making fun patterns). Then, while your shutter is open, grab hold of your camera (tightly!) and shake! Here’s what I got… Note: I processed one with fun colors in Lightroom just to show that you can also process them in fun ways, too. Fun Trick #2: The Light & Write WHAT YOU NEED: *** Your camera *** A light (e.g. flashlight, sparkler) *** A tripod *** Dark (either a dark room or shooting outside at night) Set your camera on a tripod. Set it to ISO 200, put it into Manual mode (M on your dial), and set the aperture (f-stop) between f-8 and f11. Then, set the shutter speed around 10-20 seconds. You’ll get a better feel for how much time you need after you take a few shots. Prefocus your camera about 5-10 feet in front of you, where you plan to stand for the writing. To do this, put something else where you want to stand, press the shutter half way. If it’s dark, ask a friend to stand where you want to stand and shine a flashlight onto him/her, so that you can focus. Then, flip the switch on your lens to Manual focus, so that you don’t have to touch the focus again. (Note: Just don’t forget to flip the switch back to auto focus next time you use your camera.) To do the writing yourself, you can use a remote or set the timer on your camera. Then, get your idea in mind, hit the shutter, run into place, and wait for it to fire. When you hear it go, write stuff in the air… draw… experiment! If you want separation in words or shapes, just cover the flashlight or sparkler with your hand while you move to the next spot. And if you want to include your face or body in the shot, stand really still and turn the flashlight on yourself for the last few seconds. These take lots of tries to get right, but they’re really fun. Take a look… To get a long shutter speed, shoot at dusk or dark. Take my photo with the trees in the background, for example. Notice that even though it was dusk, you still can’t see me in the photo. This is because I was moving. I blurred so much that I’m not even visible. [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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