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Photo of the Week – Light Painted A1

Photo of the Week – Light Painted A1

Today’s Photo of the Week is dedicated to Stephen Dowset who sent me a message on Facebook asking how this image was made. In camera or in Photoshop?

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The answer is: Both.

EXIT dataI have a more detailed write up on light painting cars and to be honest, the technique on this one is pretty much the same. The only real difference was the ambient light in the scene which dictated my shutter speed. 13 seconds at f/14 was the sweet spot and gave me time to cover about a quarter of the car per exposure. The main thing to remember is that you need to need to light the roof of the car from behind to stop it blending in with the darker background and to take more images than you think you need so you have plenty to chose from in post production. So after many clicks of the shutter and lots of running around waving a Quadra head (with modelling light on) I was left with a selection of images to sort through in Lightroom and layer up in Photoshop.

In this case I was shooting from a tripod so the images were already aligned but Photoshop is very good at auto-aligning layers if you are working freehand and have an assistant to move your lightsource.

Separates

Once in Photoshop, it was simply a case of switching all but the bottom layer to ‘Lighten’ blend mode (so only areas that are lighter than the layer below show up) and adding a few layer masks to cover up where my light, rather than it’s reflection in the car, had been captured. You’ll notice I left one of those “mistakes” in as I like how the light trail seems to come off the car and drift away.

The final contrast tweaks on the brickwork and the car were added in Lightroom.

 

Photo Of The Week – Jen

Photo Of The Week – Jen

A couple of years ago I got the opportunity shoot in a local cinema’s luxury screening room. As testament to my recent post about when working for free works I shot some images of the cinema foyer while it was bustling for the management and in return my “payment” was a days access when it was quiet. No money, but a no brainier!

On to the image.

Quite a simple lighting setup here, just 2 Elinchom Quadra heads with standard reflectors and 30 degree grids. One firing directly at Jen, the other at the seats further down along the row.

 

Looking at the EXIF data, you can see I was at ISO320 and down to 1/50th for my shutter speed the let some ambient light in to the shadows. My aperture was at f8 for no reason other than that’s what power my lights were set at from the last set up and we didn’t have long before the next film showing!

This shot was taken back in 2011 and (fortunately!) I’ve learnt a lot since then. I didn’t notice at the time, but now when I look at this image all I can see is the wooden table from the seat behind sticking out of Jen’s head.
Close Up

It would have been so easy to correct in camera. I could have ducked slightly to hide it behind the seat next to Jen, I could have moved to the right slightly to hide it behind her head or I could have even angled my lights down to keep the next row in darkness.

Annoying, but lesson learnt!