Fuzzy Dice II: The Story Behind the Photo

By Darren Wiedman

Black-and-white photo of dice dancing on glass table top. Photo by Darren Wiedman

Fuzzy Dice II by Darren Wiedman

This shot was one of about three hundred that I took for our “Motion” competition many months ago.

One Saturday afternoon, to my wife’s delight, I spent several hours dropping dice on a glass table with my right hand while simultaneously pressing the shutter release cable with my left.

It took a while to get the lighting right and not have odd reflections on the glass. Timing was also a huge issue. I was trying to capture the dice in a way where some were still falling and others were bouncing back off the glass. But the dice would often ricochet out of the shot.

I included the wall in the background to give a sense of depth, but later I realized that the harsh line was a bit distracting. But it did help if one of the dice was crossing the line. That issue eliminated a lot of otherwise good images.

I wanted to give a sense of motion while still having the dice remain sharp, so I “dragged the shutter.” This is done by using a flash to freeze part of the action, while keeping the shutter open long enough to capture more of the subject with ambient light.

This was a lot of fun, and I could’ve done it much longer. But I ran out of daylight, and my wife ran out of patience.

Fuzzy Dice II by Darren Wiedman (f/4.5, 1/80, ISO 400, 78mm)