I took the picture at right at the Epping Station, in Epping, a suburb in north-west Sydney, Australia, at 21:05 on 30 August 2006. The shutter speed was 15 seconds while the aperture f-number was 2.8, all was the maximum value allowed for the compact camera which I was using, Canon IXUS 50. But I never thought that shooting this picture could cause an incident at the train station.
I attended a Microsoft user group meeting that night at Microsoft Australia, located at 1 Epping Road, North Ryde, NSW. Therefore I went to the Epping Station to take train home after the meeting. I got there at nearly 9pm. The next train was to arrive after 25 minutes, so I boringly roamed along the long, winding platform until reaching its north end.
As shown in the photo at left I first took at the north end, the Epping Station was under construction, and it looked like being in a tunnel because of the dim rocks along the track. This gloomy scene reminded me to test my camera's low-light performance using its long time exposure mode. I noticed that there was a large, shadowy space under a construction just outside the stage end.
"That's it", I thought to myself. I simply put my IXUS 50 on the stockade enclosing the platform with lens facing the dark area, set it to self-timer mode, maximized the shutter speed to 15 seconds, and then pressed the shutter. The camera beeped while distinctly flickering in red in the dark area for 10 secs, after that it silenced for 15 secs to capture all the details as possible as it could. The heading photo is what the camera saw at that moment though I almost saw nothing except that workroom with a light at another end of the murky field.
The flashing red light was obviously noticed by the security standing in that lighting room ...