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February 2, 2010 / Steve

Day 33 – 52 Card Pick-Up

I had been thinking of doing this one for a few days. It was a lot more work than I thought it would be, but I’m happy with how it came out.

The obvious downside to this is having to pick up an entire deck of cards a couple dozen times. It took that many “takes” to get the cards in flight just right. There was usually too few, too many, or they were off to one side. It’s pretty hard to flick cards out of your hand in any particular way.

I used two different flashes, opposing each other about five feet apart. In between the flashes, and back a few feet against a wall was a black posterboard for the dark backdrop. Lastly, the camera was mounted on a tripod pre-aimed and focused, which I controlled with a remote trigger.

Each time I flicked the cards with my left hand, I pressed the button on the remote trigger with the other hand, firing off a burst of 3 to 5 shots. To avoid moving the camera around, I wired the camera to my laptop via USB so I could see the pictures on that screen instead of having to look on the back of the camera. It was probably the most complex setup I’ve done so far, and in contrast, the picture actually looks simple.

It was fun to do, but more work than I thought it would be. I hope you dig it!



Leave a Comment
  1. Susan / Feb 2 2010 6:39 PM

    So you did it, I am kind of glad I wasn’t at home to help with all the clean up on it, it brings back memories of playing that game with my brothers. I think it turned out great, totally original!

  2. Marilyn / Feb 2 2010 7:39 PM

    What fun you had with that old 52 card pick-up. You have to have lots of patience to get this great shot. Aunt Marilyn

  3. Socal M / Feb 2 2010 8:33 PM

    Love the shot and the concept. Now if you had done it on day 52 it would have been out of control!

  4. Natalie / Feb 3 2010 3:16 PM

    I like it.. you could always re-title it “Three Kings” too.

    • Steve / Feb 3 2010 3:27 PM

      I like it!

  5. Kim / Feb 11 2010 10:57 PM

    Wow- you really picked up the motion of the cards–Great shot Steve. Kim

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