9 thoughts on “Sinistra

  1. Wonderful, John. Would love to hear the backstory or inspiration for these photos. Or would that destroy the magic?

    1. Thanks Alan– my apologies; a backstory is almost always a good idea. πŸ™‚

      I was shooting conventional portraits of the juggler (my son) when I started seeing interesting things happen when I crouched low and moved in closer. I decided to shoot two sets of high-burst images at the widest aperture: one with the digital shutter and one without. These photographs were taken with the digital shutter (most apparent in the curved shape of the middle knife on the vertical image). I also liked several images I shot with the mechanical shutter, and I might post a few of those as well.

      The “artifacts” created by the digital shutter are a bit like looking into the 4th dimension. πŸ˜‰

      1. Thanks John. Had no idea that shutters now come in both digital and mechanical forms and that the former produces certain artifacts.

        From all you say, I assume that no human beings were harmed in the course of making the pictures — neither photographer nor subject — and that your work will not be impeded as a result πŸ™‚

        1. Digital shutters (aka “electronic shutters”) are what you have in smart phones and just about every point and shoot camera these days. Professional cameras come with the option of either. I often opt for the e-shutter because it’s quiet and because of an unproven hunch that there’s reduced vibration and less wear-and tear on the camera.

          What it does, essentially, is roll the recorded light down the sensor, so that in situations involving high velocity, you can record movement with a distinctive look. Interestingly, they will not function properly under florescent lights unless you use a shutter speed of less than 1/60th of a second.

          Happy to report: no one was hurt. πŸ™‚

  2. What a departure! And a fascinating discussion above – thanks Alan. A juggling son….interesting! It’s a wonderful photo, even if the digital vs. manual shutter information still has me scratching my head. πŸ˜‰ A shutter has to open and close, right? And what makes that digital instead of manual? (I know you’re a patient person, but still, no need to go into it if you’re busy)

    1. Your camera has options to use either type. When the digital shutter is selected, the camera is simply turning the sensor on and off (in other words: no moving parts). The mechanical shutter uses curtains to expose the sensor. When you’re using the digital shutter, the information is recorded on the sensor in a rolling series of lines. If you’ve selected “silent mode,” that’s what you’re using. And when you take a picture with your phone, again that’s what you’re using.

      Maybe take a look at this short YT vid:

    2. …you may wonder (as I have) why is a mechanical shutter even needed on a digital camera? The sensor is being exposed to light; why are moving parts necessary? The answer is complex, and depends on what professional camera you’re working with and what type of sensor it uses. If you’d like to dig into the discussion, you might want to start here:


      As I mentioned to Alan, I’ve been mostly opting for the silent (digital shutter) on the majority of my images for the last year or so, and I’ve been pleased with the results. Plus I like it quiet. πŸ™‚

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