Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Little Behind...

I am nearing the end of my 365 project for 2010. Tonight's image was 362 of 365. The last few images of my project all had one thing in common. The light was coming from behind the subject.


In the first image of the tea cup, the single light source was directly behind the subject and above, just out of the frame. For the tea cup image a piece of white foam core board was used to reflect just a touch of light to remove some of the mystery. The second shot with the female subject the light is behind the subject but more so to camera right rather than directly behind. And in this third image, the light is again directly behind the subject just like in the first image with the tea cup. However, in this case the shutter was slowed quite a bit to bring in some of the ambient from the candle.


It was fun to experiment a bit moving the light behind the subject to see what different looks, moods and imagery I could create.

Keep shooting.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Proof of Concept

I met a couple of guys for the first time today for the purpose of checking out a location and doing some "proof of concept" shots for some future work. It was great to hang with fellow photogs who share a passion for the craft and enjoy experimenting.

We set up just a couple of lights on stands and occasionally used another handheld flash. Cactus V4 triggers tripped the flashes today - something I had never worked with before but they worked really well. We even had a Nikon flash in there too! The cool thing about the Nikon flashes that Canon should pick up on is that the Nikon flashes can be used as an optical slave. Canon flashes can only trigger other Canon flashes.

Today was great fun and I even managed to grab a pretty good frame along the way.


Keep shooting.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fun With Christmas Lights...

I have been experimenting for the past week with LED Christmas lights and managed to get quite a few interesting shots. I started with simple, still shots such as the one below.


And then I built up to longer exposures with the LEDs moving in the background like this next one.


That shot was a four-second exposure to give the LED lights time to paint the background and then at the end of the exposure a small flash was popped to expose the subject. The same technique was used for this portrait.


The only subtle difference between the two exposures is that in the first shot the lights are hanging from a C-stand on one end and just before the exposure begins they are stretched away from the C-stand, raised up as high as they can go and then released. As you can see in the result they just paint diagonally across the background. In the second example, the chain of lights is being held by a person on either side of the background and they are raising and lowering the whole stand, somewhat in unison. The effect is more like a fountain, which I thought was pretty cool. I suppose there is no limit to the ways to move the lights with each one creating a unique effect.

Tonight, I went back to still life and shot a close-up shot of an eye, which was lit with only a handful of LED lights taped in place very close to the subject. Again, it produced a very interesting effect, catch lights and almost a make-up look on the face. Pretty neat.


Keep experimenting and keep shooting.