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POTM [10/07] Dying in the Dark

Discussion in 'Photography, Art & Design' started by Firehed, 25 Oct 2007.

  1. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    [​IMG]

    Taken around dusk, 1/50s f/8 ISO100, EF28-135 IS @ 30mm, remote triggered flash sitting at the base of the tree at something like 1/16 power. Exposure levels are tweaked a tiny bit in Lightroom, but no other changes.

    Feedback is much appreciated, but this is one of my entries for the POTM as-is.
     
  2. ajack

    ajack rox

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    I'm not sure the subject is very interesting in this shot, and I feel the lighting is just too harsh. A wider crop might have been nicer too. Sorry if that sounds very negative but you know, constructive criticism and all.
     
  3. OleJ

    OleJ Me!

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    I like it. Reminds of another picture I've seen recently. But I like it. It's frozen in a wonderful way.
     
  4. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    Don't apologize - nothing wrong with harsh feedback as long as there's a valid reason for it. It was a bit more blunt than I'm used to, but I appreciate it nonetheless.

    The lighting hadn't come off quite the way I'd have liked, but without a pair of snooted flashes (which I don't have, yet), it's about as close as I could get. I'll consider the framing/cropping in future shots as well.
     
  5. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I think it has the potential to be a really interesting shot; it is just that the flash doesn't work so well because it is too narrow and focused. Try setting your camera on long (20 second or so) exposure while shining a torch at the tree, moving the beam over each part to cover everything. Having a torch shining up from the base at the same time would add to the effect nicely. I think that would work.
     
  6. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    Hm, I was actually thinking the opposite and getting the part that's fairly well-exposed to be the only part that's exposed giving a sort of floating-branch look. I'd rather not do long-exposure if I can avoid it as I don't want to bring the background into the equation. Remember, that was 1/50 f/8. Even if I stopped down to f/32, opening it up for even two seconds or so would really start to bring out the background (not to mention screw with my strobe, as it only cares about aperture and not exposure time), as I'd be darkening by four stops via aperture but lightening by eight or nine stops if not more. That, plus white balance. I don't have any gels for my flash and don't have a powerful flashlight that's anywhere near the same color temp.

    But I'll hopefully be able to give it a try at some point anyways and see what happens. Learn through experimentation, and all that, right?
     
  7. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    Reciprocity. If you stopped down to f/32, an exposure time of 1/4 second would give you roughly the same exposure as 1/50 at f/8. I say "roughly" because I'm calculating from 1/60. Either way, going out to 2 seconds would only give you 3 more stops exposure of the ambient light. If it's dark enough outside, this might not be enough to get all the background detail. If the background starts to show, some minor post processing can fix that quite easily. Same thing with white balance. You can fix that prior to the shot (by manually setting the white balance), or afterwards in the raw editor of your choice.

    For snooted flashes, you can try using a toilet paper tube (or other such device). It's cheaper than an actual snoot, and may perform well enough for the effect you're after.

    Light painting is great, and you can end up with some really nifty effects. Flickr has a decent gallery of the subject.

    -monkey
     
  8. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Not to mention ND filters. :)
     
  9. Ryu_ookami

    Ryu_ookami I write therefore I suffer.

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    Oi who said you could take pictures in my garden :)

    nice picture
     
  10. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    I probably had some flaky math in there, but I know how the stops would work out. Regardless, it'd be considerably more exposed than as I shot (not to mention the different DOF), and I'm concerned that there would be way too much gain in the background.

    Regarding the snooted flashes - I have a Strobist-style snoot for my 580II (read: piece of bent and taped cardboard) that'll get the job done. I was more commenting on the fact that I'd need at least two strobes to really do it how I want, and I only have a single.


    Maybe I'll have fun with a makeshift pinhole thing. It'll let me expose as long as I need anyways.
     
  11. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    Since you only have one flash, you could always try a multiple exposure. Fire once at 1/50 at f/8. Then fire again with the flash in the next part of the scene. Two or even three exposures may keep your background dark, but will give you the opportunity to use the one flash multiple times.

    Exposing for 2 seconds may give you more ambient light than you desire. It's hard to say without actually being there and experiencing the conditions first hand. As far as the depth of field is concerned, with the lens set at 30mm, and guesstimating your distance from the tree, you may have reached the hyperfocal distance at f/8. Given that, stopping down to f/32 won't necessarily give you any more depth of field, since everything is already sharp to infinity (for a given value of sharp).

    Of course, it's 1:00am here and I may be over thinking that. It's entirely possible.

    -monkey
     
  12. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    Tree was across the road from me... maybe 20-25ft or so? It was around dusk when I took the shot, more of a dark blue outside at the time, not nearly as black as it looked in the shot - the background is fantastically underexposed relative to actual conditions. Which I suppose gives me more possibilities if I reshoot it, as I can just go out later at night when there's less ambient light to worry about. Even if I were to reshoot in similar ambient lighting conditions, I probably could get another two stops more exposure and still be reasonably close to the same on the background.
     
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