Sunday, 29 September 2013

Bathed In Light (All In Camera Lightpainting), Ukanc

Via Flickr:
This is the view of the Savica river, shot from a bridge three hundred yards or so from where it feeds into Bohinj Lake. It's outrageously, muscle-throbbingly cold even in the middle of summer. Whilst shooting these, I ended up in conversation - for a couple of hours - with an interesting local chap, who briefed me on the state of the economy, politics, environment, etc. in the former Yugoslavia. It was a hugely engaging discussion, but meant I shot fewer runs of this than I meant.

Still, he said the water is so cold as it flows from an underground cave system. Six degrees centigrade was the temperature he believed it to be. Not having a thermometer with me, I can't corroborate the exact number. All I can offer is the fact that wading in it felt like you were being burnt alive - the line blurring between hot and cold, until the nerves registered only "unacceptably extreme".

The light painting is done with a high power LED, with a white baby sock as diffuser, in a zip lock plastic bag. The diffuser was removed to get the starbursts. The trees on the right were lit with a Canon 600 EX-RT flash; 6 full power blasts from just off axis.

We've just booked for another week in Slovenia next April, and Bohinj will definitely be on the agenda again. This stream will obviously be horrifyingly cold. I'm just hoping the evening will be warm enough that I can cope with the standing around between shots.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Ram's Skull Statue, Arsenale Venice

Via Flickr:
One I've been meaning to post since my March trip to Venice, delayed by life and other shots.

It's perhaps a little mundane, but I really liked how the texture and weathering of the stone looked so convincingly (deliberately or otherwise) like bone.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Light Unleashed (Light Painting), Bohinj Jezero

Via Flickr:
This is one of my favourite light paintings from the series I shot in Slovenia this summer. Unfortunately it was also one in which my Bermuda shorts made an unwanted appearance, thanks to a mix of spilt light from the flashlight and, well, my not having planned properly and worn something darker.

I finally corrected that in Photoshop last night, having tried and failed for a few weeks. You can see the SOOC version in the comments below. It's mostly as you see above, but with a nasty red smudge if clothing right behind the flashlight painting. I always shoot a "blank plate" of a scene I'm light painting, in case I need to correct anything away from the painting itself. Actually correcting detail behind the painting is very difficult, as the haze from the light changes the tone, contrast and brightness of the background in that area.

For this one, I found that the fix worked best by adding a 60% opaque section of the blank plate, erasing the areas that blocked the original in camera lines, then adding a 5% layer of manually brushed in turquoise, selected with the pipette tool from the hazy area on the original light painting. I also pulled the reds down in the "hue" menu. It's not perfect, but it's much better to my eye than the distracting red splotch in the original.

The lines are drawn with a flashlight covered with a white baby sock. The starbursts are just flashes of the torch without the sock, aiming about 45 degrees from the lens to avoid the kind of flare that overwhelms everything else.

I drew it like some kind of summoned magic, but you might equally interpret it as some poor girl being dragged into the lake by a team of bioluminescent starfish.

Hopefully everyone is having a fantastic week.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

LED Astray (All In Camera Light Painting), Bohinj Jezero

Via Flickr:
This is another from my Slovenia lightpaintings. Everything is done in camera, drawing the lines with a flashlight/torch.

I use a tiny baby's sock as a diffuser on the flashlight to control flare and keep the lines clean. One challenge I hadn't anticipated before this trip was the way the light spill from the diffuser could catch your clothing. Normally I light paint in dark clothing as a precaution, but there's a whole series of shots in Slovenia which I shot in Bermuda shorts. This is one of them, and the red/white shorts are just visible. There are other one's which are potentially ruined - so beware if you try this out! I'll be back in dark clothing next time.

In terms of controlling the movement of the torch, I always measure out the figure against my own body. So her face tracks the edge of my face, etc. It works well to minimise retakes due to crossed lines or odd scaling, but it does keep the light close to you, exacerbating the issue with spill from the diffuser outlined above.

The foreground and trees are painting in with strokes of a flashlight through an amber gel. I thought that would give some interesting contrast with the turquoise glare of the campground.

In the background there's a road - I have others from this location with passing cars, but thought it was stronger without the distraction.

There's some incredible fog around today. I wish I could just take a day's holiday to get out into it with a camera, but it's quarter end. That's made catching up with people a little slow - apologies if your one of those I'm behind with. Look forward to seeing your pictures today.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

White Grapes, Dalaman

White Grapes, Dalaman by flatworldsedge
White Grapes, Dalaman, a photo by flatworldsedge on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Another older shot that I very much like, but have never managed to post.

There's a particular brown stalk I kept intending to clone out, but it's proved a more challenging job than I'd hoped. So it remains. Another reminder that one should get things as right as possible in camera, even if it means getting looked at sideways at the market.

There's still some Photoshop at work here - this is a composite of three shots; one for the grapes in focus, then one for each zone of newspaper text.

I can't explain what appeals - the contrasting tones of the grapes and the plastic, the angular curl of the newspaper, the simultaneous feel of decay and yet juiciness. It just seems to work... to my eye. Except for that wretched brown stalk.

Hope everyone is having a great week - thanks for everyone that checked out my light painting and helped it into Explore!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Cave Darkness (Quarry Light Painting & Smoke), Dorset

Via Flickr:
Not the shot I set out to capture, but one I rather like. It's from another series on the Jurassic Coast shot with the assistance of the Hooded Accomplice.

It's largely SOOC, though you'll note a tweak to the WB to bring out the eerie greens of the cave - and, with them, a hint at the "Mines of Moria" vibe that haunted the darker recesses of this abandoned quarry.

Backlighting the pillars demanded no small measure of stumbling about in the darkness and smoke; an endeavour made more unsettling still by the presence of some extinguished candles left by some former visitor on the natural shelves and altars further back.

Hopefully everyone is having a fantastic week. It's the end of quarter here, so my postings are a little sporadic at present. More from Dorset, Slovenia, model shoots and Utah to come anon.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Lightning Strikes Twice (In Camera Light Painting), Bohinj Jezero

Via Flickr:
Light painting in Bohinj Lake, whilst a lightning storms plays across the surrounding peaks of the Triglav National Park. The white balance is as shot - the lightning picking out the distant peaks in a curious purple glow.

Wading out to the little rocky island to light paint, whilst the thunder and lightning bounced around the surrounding hills, was a slightly nervous endeavour, but worth it for the result.

Full write up on Flickr - click the main image to reach.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Shooting The Rapids (Matkov Kot Jezero Stream), Savinjska

Via Flickr:
More from Slovenia's Savinjska region, this is shot in Matkov Kot; the neighbouring valley to Logarska Dolina. It has the feel of a fortuitous wrong turn, rather than a destination in itself. This is the oddly named Jezero stream - "jezero" meaning "lake" - by which we enjoyed a picnic.

I'm a little addicted to shooting at water level currently, and this one is shot with the camera bobbing on the top of the bubbles, spattered with spray from the rapids. I probably shot another twenty images of this view having seen this first sighting shot; all better composed, focused, etc. but none that replicated that same feeling of being immersed, and none with quite the same golden light to catch the flying droplets. The sun moves pretty quickly when it's filtered through so dense a canopy of trees.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic week!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Moonraker (Logarska Dolina Moon Beams & Cloud), Slovenia

Via Flickr:
Moon beams raked through the mountain ridge that terminates Slovenia's Logarska Dolina valley. Shooting over a few hours at night, the moon rose from behind the peaks, its light filtered through the thin drifting mist.

The buildings to the left are the fantastic Lenar Tourist Farm where we stayed. I can't recommend it enough; superb people and accomodation in an incredible location. We will be back, Insha'Allah.

Apologies to those with whom I haven't caught up since my return from holiday. I've come back into a busy spell at work, and am slowly slowly catching up with everyone's super work.