Next weekend I am going to be shooting the final images for a competition in October and while I will show you the final result once it was finished, I thought I would also share some of the pre-shoot preparation.

In my final image elements will be flying out of a book and I wanted a burst of light to accompany them. This will be done using a speedlight to provide that part of the light and Cokin filters to colour it. My daughter was roped in to be my model for the day.

In order to create a gap through the whole book the easiest approach was to clamp the book shut and use my jigsaw to cut a section out.

I found a couple of old books that no one wanted as I was going to destroy one in the process. In order to create a gap through the whole book the easiest approach was to clamp the book shut and use my jigsaw to cut a section out.

Gaffa tape was then used to secure the speedlight to the book.

Gaffa tape was then used to secure the speedlight to the book.

The speedlight was set on 1/32 power and a test show was taken. The result was an overblown image

I knew that full power would be way too strong at the range so the speedlight was set on 1/32 power and a test show was taken. The result was an overblown image so it was obvious that I needed to dial it down further.

The power of the light was reduced to 1/64 and this time the light output was still hot but we were getting there.

The power of the light was reduced to 1/64 and while this time the light output was still hot but we were getting there. I knew that adding the filter would have the effect of reducing the light.

A Cokin Blue filter was placed over the hole on the inside of the book. This tinted the light but was still not exactly what I was looking for.

A Cokin Blue filter was placed over the hole on the inside of the book. This tinted the light but was still not exactly what I was looking for.

I added a Cokin Red filter knowing that the combination should produce a purple light which is exactly what it did.

I added a Cokin Red filter knowing that the combination should produce a purple light which is exactly what it did.

The final results are still a little hot but I was not worried about that. I now have a good starting point to tweak them on the day of the shoot. Plus these shots were taken inside on a dull day, when the actual shoot will be outside so the natural light will have a greater influence as well.