Making Abstract Photos in Front of Your TV

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With the Superbowl coming this is a fun project to try and you can use it too with other sports and with non-sports broadcasts. The idea is very simple, take slow speed images of your TV producing abstract images that can look good or interesting either as a single photo or as a complete set. In this article I will use some very old images I took in front of my TV some years ago.

The Setup:

You need a tripod for your camera and a lens to cover the whole TV screen. I recommend a zoom lens so you can adjust the focal lenght until you have your TV screen taking 100% of the frame. With wide screen TVs the borders will be outside of the frame but that’s not a problem.

About 1.5 to 3 meters away from the screen is a good distance for the tripod. A remote control will be ideal to take some shots while enjoying the show at the same time.

2'' exposure

2'' exposure

The Shutter Speed

It’s everything about finding the right shutter speed here. Use your camera in shutter speed priority mode (TV in some cameras) and try different speeds to see what effects you can create. I found that speeds around 1/4 of a second were good to freeze some of the action while still giving the image an abstract look while speeds from 1 to 4 seconds were good to create abstract patterns from the movements in the screen.

1/4 of a second

1/4 of a second

When processing the images try to increase the contrast and the saturation. That will give the images more life.  You can also try playing with the focus and making fake miniatures, screen shots if aerial can work fine for those and the increase in contrast and saturation will give the miniature some life.

1 second

1 second

This was just a very small example of the things you can do while watching a game or any other TV show. Try different speeds, press your remote shutter when something interesting is happening and then review your collection of abstracts in the half time show or after the game.

1/2 second

1/2 second

Now you can get your own personal image of “the catch” or any other significant play. It’s a way to create personalized and artistic memories from big TV shows.

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  1. bycostello

    that only works with CRT?

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