Flex : Long Exposures in Wooden Buildings

Last weekend, I ventured to Sainte Marie Among the Hurons with my friend Bryan Weiss and some of his Daytripper Photo customers.  The re-creation of the habitat of the Hurons and Jesuits is very well done, and the facility is perfect for photography, so long as one is prepared with a tripod and willing to go with longer exposures.  But I did discover a problem...Before I get to that, do note that this is a re-creation of the 1650s, so there is wood smoke everywhere.  And it is smoke from sapwoods so be sure to clean the outside of your camera when you are done there and even if you are one of those who eschews the use of UV protective filters, this would be a good place to use one. I shot the entire day using a Canon 1Dx with Tamron's new PZD version of the 28-300/3.5-6.3  This is a very impressive lens, nearly as colour rich as Canon's own, at one third the price and one quarter the weight.  A really superb lens.

Wood frame buildings, particularly those framed with a built with Canadian softwoods have a certain amount of flex natively.  In normal situations, if you are the photographer standing still during your long exposures, things will go very well.  If however, you are where there are other tourists, particularly small children who bore easily, be prepared to over shoot because the clomping of feet on floorboards, stairways, second floors and basically anything attached to where you are photographing is going to cause blur.  I found that most all of my indoor photographs where other people were in the building exhibited some amount of blur.

There are solutions that work some of the time, such as Piccure that I have written about in the past as well as Photoshop's own Camera Shake correction.  I say some of the time because although they work wonderfully in most cases, some of my images are beyond recovery.  As it happens, I was gifted with the private beta to a forthcoming offering this morning and it did a better job on addressing the movement, but I cannot talk about it until it is released.

This is just a sample image that has been corrected for the floor shake.  It is not optimal but gives an indication of the possible with the right tools.  The better way would have been to pay more attention to my environment and wait for quiet.

The Father's Desk - after correcting for shake caused by moving floorboards