Saturday, 8 November 2008

How to make the best of a foggy, soggy morning shoot.

While I was out wandering one morning near the Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn, I came across an interesting guard shelter. It was lit from high above by a high pressure, sodium vapor lamp. These lamps typically produce an ugly orange glow and are not my light source of choice!

I thought I would try a time-based flash shot to light the interior with a different colour light to see if I could produce something that might be interesting. David Hobby posted about this on his Strobist blog as an assignment called 'Time in a Bottle'. I didn’t have the time to try it when he first posted, but I figured that 5:30 a.m. on a foggy morning with sunrise 2 hours away was as good a time as any.

For reference, here is the 'normal' shot. The exposure was f8, 6 seconds, ISO 200.

Normal Shot

I placed my SB800 in to remote mode, @ 1/16 power and set my camera flash to 1/16 power. This was just enough to trip the SB800 without contaminating the shot with too much fill light. I placed the SB800 on the floor of the hut and fired off a frame using the same exposure for ambient.

I then used the delayed remote trigger setting on my camera and fired the SB800 in through the side windows from various positions around the hut.

Opening all of these shots and layering into Photoshop using "lighten" for blending resulted in this:

I then masked off the flash and me. The colours were still ugly, so I overlaid a red and green photo filter to get some colour contrast (it is almost Christmas and these were the first that came to mind) and tweaked the levels to drown out the tree in the background. It's not much of a composition, but I quite like the idea of a time delayed / composed shot, although you really have to think it through with an end-goal in mind. Here is the final shot one more time.

Christmas Outpost

1 comment:

Images by Ceci said...

Very cool. Thanks for the step by step.