Late Night Long Exposure Photography Adventure

Recently I've started to catch the photography bug again.  So tonight I went out to play around with some long exposure shots.  I went downtown Oakville, near the water and tried to find some spots with minimal light.  I had some luck at the park, check out some of the shots I was able to snap.

15 Second Exposure

15 Second Exposure

This is probably the best of the 3, I really like the way the water came out in this shot.  It looks very smooth and has a matte finish almost.  I took this same shot at 10, 20 and 30 second exposures as well and I believe it came out best at 15 seconds.

20 Second Exposure

20 Second Exposure

This photo was taken close to midnight, but you wouldn't necessarily know that, and I guess thats kind of the point.  This shot is a bit brighter and that is mostly due to the fact there is more sources of light in the photo as well as I did 20 seconds of exposure for this shot.

30 Second Exposure

30 Second Exposure

This last shot is of the Toronto skyline, it is a bit blown out because I had to do such a long 30 second exposure to even be able to see anything. I still think it looks cool, and again I'm a fan of how smooth the water looks.  I think I will be going back to this spot on another more clear night with my 300 zoom lens and giving this another go.

All of these shots were taken on my Canon DSLR, using a tripod with a 18-55 lens.  I used a remote shutter button to take these shots to further reduce any possibility for motion or shake in the photos.

Tech Tip 03: Backpack Gear Guide

I carry way too much tech gear in my bag on a daily basis but I figure some readers of this blog may find some of it handy so I'm going to break down all of the gadgets I carry and why I carry them. Below I give a brief description of each item and at the bottom of the post I have links to where you can purchase the mentioned products.

Silicon Power 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive
You never know when your going to need a flash drive, weather its to give some large files over to a peer or print something. These things always come in handy and the USB 3.0 speed of this Silicon Power drive doesn't hurt either.




Anker Astro3 12000mAh Portable Power Bank
Once you start carrying a portable battery pack you'll never go without. I now have various portable batteries but I find the Astro3 to be the best fit for a backpack, its not too big and bulky but it has a large capacity that can fully charge a typical smartphone around 7 times.  Having a portable power bank can really be a life saver when you are putting in long days at school and drain your phone half way through the day.

HooToo TripMate Wireless Portable Travel Router
Most people will have no real world need for this product but I still think its neat and more often then not I carry it in my backpack.  If you need to create a wireless access point and only have a wired connection then this handy little device will let you do just that. It is also great for computers that do not have an ethernet jack and creating a local file sharing network.  

Kensington Remote Control for Projector
The program I'm in requires us to present a lot and this remote control has become an invaluable part of my presentation routine. This Kensington presenter has all the basic functions you need and also a "blackout" button that can black out the screen and draw the attention back to the presenter. This particular model also includes a laser pointer even tho I rarely use that function, some may find it handy.  The USB dongle also tucks away into the handle of the remote making it harder to misplace. 

Thunderbolt to VGA adapter
Along with the Presentation remote this is a must for doing presentation at school. All of the projector systems at my campus have only the older VGA connection for video input, which most modern computers including my own do not have.  This adapter connects to the Thunderbolt port of a MacBook or other laptop and outputs the video signal to VGA.



If you have something you carry in your bag you think I should know about or have any other suggestion

Tech Tip 01: Best way to charge your Smartphone

How do you charge your smartphone?

If your answer is by using the included charger, you are simply doing it wrong....

The charger included with most smartphones does not usually support the full speed at which most devices can charge.  Most people will never know that there is a faster option and think that phones just take that long to charge. This just simply is not true.  Most people I have shared this tip with in the past now swear by these faster chargers and can't go back.  

First off, using these higher powered chargers does not void any kind of warranty on your device or pose any harm to it. Modern smartphones and other devices are designed to be compatible with these faster chargers.

For my example, I am going to be using an iPhone, but the situation is very similar for any other phone including many Samsung models, HTC phones, as well as phones and tablets from other manufactures.

The iPhone comes with a 5W 2.1A USB power adapter in the box. If you have an iPad, that came with a 12W 2.4A USB power adapter.  You can use that iPad power adapter with your iPhone and charge it twice as quickly.   Tech mumbo-jumbo aside, the more watts & amps your USB power adapter has the faster your device will charge.

Ok so now that I have convinced you that you need a new charger, allow me to recommend some of my top picks.

One of my favourite accessory brands is Anker.  Anker makes great products with very competitive prices, I own many Anker products myself including all of the ones I am about to recommend in this blog post.  Anker products come standard with an 18-month warranty and offer great customer support.  I have had to deal with their customer support and warranty in the past and was treated very well with speedy service, having sent me a replacement product within a week.

Anker® 20W Dual-Port USB Wall Charger: This handy dual-port USB wall plug is small and easily fits into any bag or backpack.  It has fold out wall prongs and 2 USB ports.  The unit is 20 Watts and 4 Amps (2.4 Amps max per outlet).  I personally carry one in my backpack and it allows me to charge my own phone and someone else's if needed.


Anker® 40W 5-Port Family-Sized Desktop USB Wall Charger: This unit is ideal for at home use as it can charge up to 5 USB devices at once. Overall, this charger is 40 Watts and 8 Amps and maximizes the output to each device depending on how many devices are connected and how much power each device requires.  I put one on my desk and now never have to fuss with power strips and individual power bricks to charge multiple devices.

Anker® 24W Dual-Port Rapid USB Car Charger: This charger is similar to the 20W Dual-Port USB wall charger except it is designed to be used in your car.  It plugs into the standard cigarette port in any car and gives you 2 USB outlets to charge your device and a passengers.


Anker® Lightning to USB Cable 3ft: Now that you have all of these great new chargers you will probably need some extra USB cables.  If you have Apple devices with the Lightning connector then I recommend this Anker Lightning cable. It is Apple MFI (Made for iPhone) certified and the cable is rated for 4,000+ bends. I can not stress how important it is not to use off-brand Lightning cables as they can damage your device.  This Anker 3ft Lightning cable is not only one of the lowest cost MFI Lightning cables on the market but it also has a build quality not topped by other brands. 

Anker® Premium 3ft Micro USB Cable: Just like the Anker Lightning to USB cable these micro USB cables are great value for money and are great quality.  They are also rated for 4,000+ bends at the connectors and carry Anker's 18-month warranty. They come in a variety of lengths as well as in several packages of multiple cables, see the Amazon listing for more information. 



Below are links for the products mentioned in the above post.  Anker products are fulfilled by Amazon and are eligible for free 2-day Prime shipping if you are an Amazon Prime customer.