Movement in dance

LR_Kasia_Dance-9 Some weeks ago I came across a Youtube clip in which the photographer used long exposure and flash together the create images of movement. The flat essentially froze the action at that point whereas the log exposure created the movement.

I decided that this fitted in nicely with my earlier session using the LED lights and dancers which you can read about here. I had a large hall available and Kasia agreed to be my dancer.

The key to the shot is getting a sufficient long exposure to allow enough light in to capture the movement, and the flash set to fire right at the end. I knew that I had to have a very wide depth of field as Kasia would be ranging over quite a large area. Therefore the camera was on a tripod and set at f20, with manual focus set with a test shot.

We initially started with a 1/3 second exposure but that didn’t generate enough movement so we extended that to 1 second. The ambient light was provided by the room lights, and my main flash was set to camera left using the 7 foot parabolic umbrella. I positioned a second light camera right with a small gridded reflector aimed at the backdrop to try to add some more separate.

I had planned to bring in a constant light but in packing the car that got left behind.

LR_Kasia_Dance-30 LR_Kasia_Dance-18 LR_Kasia_Dance-7

While I am reasonably happy with the end results I think that there were some definite  things that I would change for the next shot.

  1. The first was to use a much bigger backdrop. I was using a very old support system and it is not that wide or tall. That meant that a number of great looking shots were not useable because Kasia had moved off the backdrop.
  2. I would remember to bring in all of the lights that i needed because the final image is well lit, the movement is a little dull.
  3. Timing is everything. Trying to start the movement with the press of the shutter is quite hard. As shown in the image below if Kasia held her initial position for two long we ended up with a double exposure.

LR_Kasia_Dance-3I am trying to arrange a time with a ballet dancer in the next month and hope to take this series further.

A night of honours

Last night we had the results of the third round of the Hutt Camera’ club 2016 ladder competition. This time I had four images in for consideration. There were two digital images, that had been entered specifically to compete for the overall title. In addition I submitted two print images, that I am considering to be part of my submission early next year for Photographic Society of New Zealand honours. The plan was simply to get feedback from the judge.

I was blown away with the results. Both print images were awarded honours, as was one of the digital images. The other scored a merit (which is the grade below honours) so that was pleasing as well.

Against the cold - Honours
Against the cold – Honours
The Old Map - Honours
The Old Map – Honours
The old Accordion player - Merit
The old Accordion player – Merit
Wild - Honours.
Wilf – Honours.

My image of Wilf is one that proves you don’t need a fancy camera to get the image. This was shot on a small and relative cheap Fuji mirrorless.

Success with Reflections

Each year the six photographic clubs in the Wellington area have a print competition. The host club sets 10 topics and each club submits a single image. I have entered images for selection in most years, and have normally had at least one selected by the Hutt Camera Club. This year was no different and I submitted images in two categories.

The judging was held last night and I was thrilled when my entry in the “reflections” category won, with the judge raving about the image.Reflections

Afterwards the images attracted a lot of attention and I received a lot of questions about how it had been produced.

When I had seen the category “reflections” I knew that I wanted to create something quite different. A very similar  topic was used in 2011 and that time I used a mirror as well. (you can read about that one on this link).

Fortunately just down the road from work is an unusual shop selling a wide of mirrors. It is set out more like an old curiosity shop, and so i knew that it would make a great location. The shop describes itself as a gentleman’s destination shop so I knew that I wanted a particular look for the person. Fortunately I knew that Wellington wedding photographer Jason Naylor fitted that bill, and he agreed to take part.

We had to wait a couple of months to get a time that was not so chaotic for him and the shop owner. We will given full run of the shop after it closed to the public. My daughter assisted with helping set up the mirrors.

The image was lit with a single strobe placed immediately in front of Jason firing into my 7 foot parabolic umbrella. A Lumecube was placed on a light stand just behind him (camera left) to add a little separation.

The shot as presented is pretty much straight out of camera. Photoshop was used to set the tone of the image along with a little dodging. The fifth mirror was a little bit of a mistake however I quite like how it adds a little bit to the image.