hi there! i'm michelle, southern california based photographer and curator of the coco gallery.

welcome to my blog where i share my life, my latest adventures, photo projects, random nuggets and the occasional stray thoughts.

for clients: to view my portfolio just click on this link - theCOCOgallery.com. to book sessions please send me a message through theCOCOgallery.com or contact me via michelle@thecocogallery.com | 949.734.0604

Friday, December 5, 2008

shooting in BULB

ok... so how do you shoot using BULB....

the idea of shooting in BULB is that the shutter is left wide open the whole time until you manually shut it.  it records everything within that time frame.  that is... everything the camera can see.  this is how photographers capture the stars moving at night and how i did that last picture in the previous blog.  to use BULB you click the shutter once and this opens the shutter.  it remains open until you click it again (to close it).

you will need:
  • a dark place to take  your pictures (try not to wear light clothes)
  • a flashlight or some source of light
  • a tripod -- or somewhere to set your camera
  • if you have a remote for your camera it would be very handy for this project
what to do:
  • on my camera i can get to this setting via manual mode.  on manual mode you can control both the aperture and the shutter speed.  
  • set the aperture to the desired number (you want something high so that everything is in focus)
  • set the shutter all the way to the lowest setting --- after you get past all the numbers the lowest setting is BULB.
  • place your camera on a tripod or something steady (i set it on a wall).  
  • select an area that is DARK.  have a flashlight or some form of light handy.
  • with your camera setup you can go ahead and click the camera
  • take your first pose and using your flashlight PAINT yourself with the light.  take it slow or make it fast.  but turn it off before you strike another pose then turn the light on again.  you can have someone flash the light at you with each pose so you don't have to paint yourself.  
  • when you are done with all the poses... click the camera again to close the shutter.
the camera only records what it sees which are the poses where you were lit up.  this is why you need to be in the dark and preferably in dark clothes so the camera can't detect you as you move.  dark beaches with no moon is perfect for this.

there you have it!  have fun and show me what you end up with!

just wanted to share with you the project i worked on for my inner vision photography class.  i took the class to push the envelope on creativity.  i actually story boarded this whole photo session before setting out for the shoot.  it turned out pretty well i think.  

miela and JC are my cousin's theater friends.  thanks guys for helping me in this shoot.



  1. Cool video! Love the song you chose.

  2. What are you talking about "pretty well"... this was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!!!!!! WOW!! Now that's a great slideshow with a story! I LOVE IT!!! Okay.. I might have to TRY and do this... but I don't know...GOSH! THIS WAS AN AWESOME AWESOME VIDEO!!! I think you have something here that I haven't seen anyone else do.. WOW!!! okay.. I'll stop... but WOW!

  3. Thanks for the post about bulb mode. Very helpful!

  4. really great info on shooting bulb... love your blog, thanks..