Tutorial: Kirsty At Middle Head Fort – Part 1… The Capture

16 05 2010

It’s been a while since I posted a tutorial, so I thought I’d do a tutorial on this image that I made last night.  This article will be in two parts;

  • Part 1 will talk about how I made the capture
  • Part 2 will take you through the post processing of the image.

So last night I was running a workshop for Northside Creative Camera Club on Light Painting.  I decided to ramp it up a bit and include some off-camera flash techniques as well.   We invited a lovely model called Kirsty to come and model for us.  Here’s how we did this shot.

Set up an SB900 flash unit in a soft box just out of frame on camera left.  The flash was close to Kirsty which meant the light levels dropped off quickly in the scene and allowed us to control the lighting on the bunker separately.  I was using Nikon’s CLS to control the flash power.  Camera was set on ISO200, f5.6, 30sec exposure.

As we triggered the shutter the strobe fired, and then we started light painting the bunker from camera right, and then from camera left using my olive oil can with a fluoro in it.  We also went behind the bunker and popped a second flash with a pink gel on it into the bunker about 5 times to create the pink glow.

The stars were captured separately from a high ISO shot (iso 1600, f5.6, 30sec) and then blended in using a contrast mask.

Thats pretty much it.  Even though it was a long exposure, Kirsty was sitting in darkness, so the flash pop gave her sharpness.

My next post will show the post processing step-by-step.

I hope you like it.  I am using a more stylised processing approach for these portrait sessions because I feel they lend themselves more to it rather than straight landscapes.

More later


This is cool…. seriously! Check this out. Off Camera Flash Meets Light Painting.

12 01 2010

Don’t you love it when an experiment comes together and works!  Well this one worked better than I thought.

Recently I’ve started getting more into Off Camera Flash photography and blending it in with my landscape and urbanscape images.  I came up with an idea of combining studio off-camera flash with creative light painting.  So I pulled together 2 lovely models, 1 awesome makeup artist and a bunch of strobist freaks for a  night of experimental fun.

The images that you will see in this video ARE STRAIGHT FROM THE CAMERA!!! I have not opened them at all in Photoshop, they have just been converted in Lightroom.


Makeup by Glitta Supernova

Models  Catherine and Liliana

Strobeys: Australian Strobist Group

Music: Chamillionaire – Good morning & Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition

Light Painting: Yours truly.

Light Painting Article in Better Photography

29 12 2009

I just picked up a copy of the latest edition of Better Photography.  Peter Eastway has written up a nice article about a shoot I took him on a few months back to show him the ins and outs of light painting.

It’s funny what editors omit from their articles… he ommited to mention that he went on a seascape shoot with two Phase One backs in his backpack wearing thongs.  Now the trip out to the headland wasn’t too bad, but it was an incoming tide, and I think Peter got a tad nervous when we had a few dashes across the rocks in between waves.  Watching somebody dash across the rocks in thongs with about $80K worth of camera gear on their back was certainly one of the moments I won’t forget in a hurry.



The Making Of Nightmare (part 1 of 2)

21 11 2009

It’s been a while since I have posted a video, so I thought I would give you a double-header.  This is the first of two videos that show how I made an image called Nightmare.  This video is part 1 which takes you behind the scenes when we did the shoot.  It was a lot of fun, there was a group of about 8 of us and I think everyone really enjoyed the location and the shoot.  When you are shooting with a good group it really makes photography fun.  We were also lucky enough to have a gorgeous and talented model (thank you Mandy) who modeled for us.

This shot is something different for me in a few different ways.

  1. It combines off-camera flash with light painting.  I don’t normally do much off-camera flash, but I’m keen to start doing more after Oat and Nelson’s wonderful off-camera flash workshop.
  2. It is a shot of a person… I normally have a bit of a mantra of not shooting anything that talks or shits.  Hence the fascination with seascapes, landscapes and urban shots.  In this case I do feature the beautiful Mandy.
  3. This shot was totally pre-visualised for about 3 months, and I have set out to create it.  I planned everything about the shot from the pools of light to the type of clothes that Mandy had on.  I wanted to see if I had the technique to accurately re-create my vision…. and I have to say I was very happy with the results.

What is this shot about?

Nightmare is about a chick who has been out for a wild night of partying finding herself in the wee hours of the morning in one god-awful freaky place.  Her clothes are in disarray, her makup is smudged over face and I wanted to create a response in the viewer of “what the hell happened to her…. what is she doing in this freaky place”?

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video…. I will try to post part II tomorrow which will show the post processing including some pretty cool techniques.

This video was produced in High Definition, so I’m not going to embed it inline with the blog but send you over to Vimeo where you can enjoy it in all it’s HD splendor.