October 15th, 2008 - Pair a (fuzzy) dice by the dashboard lights

Driving home from the Nature Center night after night got me thinking about how I used to take a lot of pictures with my Polaroid Land Camera (a.k.a. "The Roid") by setting it on the dashboard, covering up the "electric eye", cocking the shutter, releasing it, and letting whatever light present expose that awesome 3200 ISO black & white plate while the highway flew by.
Sometimes you completely blanked it out, WAY overexposing. Then after a few misfires you began to get the feel of it, getting to know when to release for even an off-the-charts ISO like 3200.
So to revisit my roots I began setting my Point & Shoot (heretofore known the G2) Canon Powershot G2 on the dash and trying some different exposures. Usually for this kind of thing I set it on Aperture-Priority at the smallest f-stop (in the G2's case, a lackluster f8), and let it expose using the self-timer, for extra randomness.

Then I got to thinking,"Why am I using the self-timer? This car vibrates so much it's not like I'm avoiding any camera shake..." (especially with Minnesota's roads). So I started to purposely try and capture the bumpiest stretches to see if I could see it on the lines of the time-exposure (above). Kind of a seismograph from your dashboard.

The next night I was bored with that and it occurred to me that I have never turned the camera around and maybe that would look cool if I could capture my being relatively still, and smear the lights going by the car window. (Added bonus for smearing the lights off of my glasses.)

So I picked a few likely spots with billboards, the tunnel, etc. and tried to get a good camera position with a wide enough angle to get me and the window. Lots of trial and error here with angle, zoom, close-up, wash, spin, rinse, you name it.

Then of course that left putting the camera on the passenger door storage compartment and using the IR remote to trigger the shutter. Add some brake lights from the car in front, and Viola, it looks like someone running past a cheap movie set with a sparkler. Or maybe Taxi Driver or something. You talkin' ta me? You must be talkin' ta me cause I'm tha only one here..."

Hmmm. If I only had a sun-roof...