Tech talk- 3 configurations for black tape on my Canon 5D mkII and a little black tang.

July 16, 2013  •  2 Comments

Black Tang at Hunter Beach in Acadia National Park.

'Black tang' is my favorite colloquialism for rock weed. So whenever I see it- I think it. This is a three shot "shift-pan" made with my 24mm tilt shift as a long exposure with a B+W nd110 that I got out for a few days ago in the fog. Which brings me to the tech talk: when making long exposures you don't want light to sneak into the camera anywhere. Nikons have a little door like thingy that you can shut over the eyepiece of the viewfinder, Canon gives you a little rubbery bit of nonsense that is supposed to clip on over the eyepiece window, but it never really wants to stay there and most people never even know what that little black rubber bit is for anyways. But time and again I hear about people going to make long exposures and then they get back home and fine them all ruined by a big streaky of glow on the edge of the frame or even right through the middle, or low contrast, or any other failure to launch kind of thing- it's really hot here in Maine today: I mean ridiculous, it's hard to form succinct sentences, bear with me. 

So- what I do is I always have a piece of black tape stuck on my hotshoe of my cammy- here it is in 'configuration #1':

black tape in the ready position in configuration 1. In this case it's a bit of electrical tape that has been working for me since last fall, you may rather black gaffer tape, or some other kind of thing although I would shy away from the brand name 'Guerilla Tape' as you may never get it off!@

black tape in the shooting mode of long exposure making. We'll just call this 'configuration #2- action tape time!' I've long ago lost both the eye cup that came with the camera and a replacement eye cup that my bud Larson Harley gave me (I think it's under a seat of my car somewhere) as I'd rather leave it off because I almost always use my camera for landscapes rather than regular eye to the viewfinder style shooting, and this allows me to completely block off the viewfinder when I want to easily.

And here's 'configuration #3- surreptitiously "Dutching out" the name badge to make my kit look cheaper in the case of when I recently went down to Manhattan to show some work and then hit the streets for some people photography. 

I never leave home without that tape on my cammy, and here's me telling you to check it out, if you would find that useful in some way that is!

Right then, that's all for me for now- time to go sit in front of the freezer with the door open for a while and hope that this heat wave breaks sometime this month, I mean we are in Maine after all it really should not be this hot here! 

Perfect time to go watch that James Balog documentary about the receding of the glaciers- with some amazing ice photography and time lapses - called "Chasing Ice".

Have a good one friendos and don't forget your black tape! -Nate.


Stephen Cairns(non-registered)
That little rubbery bit of nonsense that Canon gives you goes for almost $15 in Japan if you want to replace it because it popped off owing to poor fastening and now can't be found. I've been throwing my black cap over the viewfinder. Might be time for a little black tape for me too.

Keep the tips coming. ;)

Jim Denham(non-registered)
Love that Black Tang! Makes for an awesome foreground! Beauty!
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