Thermal Leak Detector Long Exposure Photography

thermal long exposure photograph of a Crock Pot

A little over a year ago, DIYTripods featured a technique for taking heat-sensitive long exposure photos using a modified flashlight. The photographic process behind this is explained there. This gave me an idea that one could use a Black & Decker TLD100 Thermal Leak Detector (Amazon) without modification to do the same thing.

The unit functions pretty simply. You turn it on pointed at whatever you want to appear normal temperature-wise, and it displays green.  Point it at something cooler and it becomes blue; point it at something hotter and it becomes red.  To make an infrared image, photograph your target while slowly sweeping the red-green-blue beam across, and you have a crude infrared photograph. Between 25 and 30 seconds of exposure seems to work well for me.

The one thing that is kind of tricky is that the color transition isn’t instantaneous, but it’s not impossible to work around. In addition to what’s above, I’ve taken some other interesting photos using this technique, as seen after the “read more” link. Continue reading

A DIY Light Bar for Long Exposure Photography

DIY light bar long exposure

I recently saw this DIY light bar on Reddit and it looks really cool for artistically controlling how much light your photographic subject received.  In this case it’s a car (a Tesla or some sort I believe).

The results of using selective lighting can be pretty spectacular as evidenced in the picture after the “read more” link.  What you see is actually a composition of five photos using this light painting technique.  The set of photos that it’s from claims that it will “take some time to perfect the technique.”  If that’s a poorly done photo, then I can only imagine what a “good” photo would look like. Continue reading

A Christmas Tree Long Exposure Zoom Shot

Christmas Tree Long Exposure Zoom

You may have wondered “Christmas Tree Long Exposure Zoom” means, but maybe the photo gave you some clue.  No, I haven’t turned the tree into some Tesla Coil a la Red Alert 2, but simply zoomed in on the tree while taking a long-exposure photo.

christmas tree Zoom

A more impressive example (image)

If I remember my process correctly, for this photo I took a shot with the flash on while zoomed most of the way out.  This “froze” the non-lit portion (for the most part) in this position.  The shutter was then held open while I zoomed in.  This allowed the lights on the tree to appear to be streaking in a more-or-less straight line, while the rest of it was mostly dark.

I originally saw this technique on Reddit shown in the tree to the right.  Admittedly, that tree is more impressive, but our little guy didn’t turn out too badly!  This technique would probably work better with a motorized zoom mechanism to steady one’s hand, and/or a very sturdy tripod to keep everything still.

So merry late Christmas from DIYTripods!  Maybe you can still get a shot like this before the tree is taken down!