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Thread: Help to achieve this shot please.

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Regular Hamster's Avatar
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    Help to achieve this shot please.

    Hi all

    I have a shoot arranged for next week and I think I have a pretty good idea of how to achieve what I want, but I'd appreciate any input and ideas that will help make it work. Please excuse the long description, but I hope this will make it easier to provide input.

    This is a mock up of the shot.



    But now imagine that the person at the front is actually female, wearing heels and with bare legs that show a tattoo on her right upper thigh. The thing she's holding is a whip (orange) which trails onto the ground front right. From the end of the whip a trail of fire extends out and around the bike (the red line). The jacket was just a marker, ignore it. Yes it's over the top :-). I want a low key, dark and slightly fantasy look (i think). Dark is going to be a bit of a necessity if I'm going to have the fire trail as this requires a long exposure. So timing will be an hour before sunset into darkness.
    Lens is 70-200 at approx 80mm to get foreshortening effect and bring legs and bike closer together. Camera to legs about 3-4m and legs to bike roughly 3-4m more.
    My set up process is going to be:
    Get composition sorted
    Set aperture approx f16 so legs are in focus and bike out of focus.
    Set shutter speed to get required level of ambient light (low key)
    Set up one snooted flash camera right pointed at the models right thigh.
    Set another flash camera left pointed at the bike.
    Fire away adjusting flash power until I get something with model and bike both lit but background suitably dark and dirty.

    Possible problems might be getting enough light on the bike at that distance. In which case I might try painting it with a torch.
    I may also struggle to get the balance right so I may shoot at various powers for legs and at various powers for bike and choose the best pair to combine later.

    The final thing to add is the fire trail. This will probably have to be done after the sun is down and then this shot added to the others to give the final composite. I will try doing it in one shot with lights on model and bike, but I'm not sure how this will go. It's going to be tricky getting it right with the flashes and a long exposure, plus me entering stage right with a flame after the flashes have fired. A realistic composite is often hard to achieve though, even using gels too give a light that matches the flame.

    So, has anyone got any experience that will help me out on this. As you can see I've had a think about it, but not actually had a go yet and I'm pretty new to off camera flash work. So I'd welcome any ideas/hints etc from more experienced people.
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  2. #2
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Now that picture would be worth the (almost) 1000 words above .

    I'm wondering myself. But sooner or later Wretched will see this thread and I'm sure he'll come up with something.
    CC, Image editing OK.

  3. #3
    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    Me, I'd create it in photoshop because I'd be more comfortable doing that than photographing

    I think you have a definite idea in your mind on what you want, have worked out a theoretical plan of how to carry it out .... so go and give it a go. Nothing to stop you experimenting with the flame and bike and get that side worked out before making a model stand there.

    No, it's not over the top. If you can make your vision work, it will be interesting to see the results.

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    Ausphotography Regular
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    Help to achieve this shot please.

    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Now that picture would be worth the (almost) 1000 words above .

    I'm wondering myself. But sooner or later Wretched will see this thread and I'm sure he'll come up with something.
    :-p
    Wretched does some nice automotive work, that's the kind of experience I'm looking to draw on. Otherwise, as Farmmax said, I'll just give it a crack using the ideas I already have. I was thinking of having a practice first, but I'd hate for someone to see me standing in front of my bike with a whip taking shots of my derrier via remote trigger. :-0
    Last edited by Hamster; 02-01-2015 at 5:27pm.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I would firstly look at an alternate background, You say you want DARK, so look for a darker background that can easily be made darker still in post processing. The other issue will be that if it to dark, you risk not being able to see the whip at the furthest points. I would suggest going with some bracketed shots at different exposures and blending components of each to get the final image.
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  6. #6
    Ausphotography Regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    I would firstly look at an alternate background, You say you want DARK, so look for a darker background that can easily be made darker still in post processing. The other issue will be that if it to dark, you risk not being able to see the whip at the furthest points. I would suggest going with some bracketed shots at different exposures and blending components of each to get the final image.
    Good points. That location is between two buildings so I could turn to the right and get more open space behind. My thinking was that the background will show through to some extent and that one is fairly innocuous. What I'd really like is an alleyway with fire escape and bins etc but I haven't found anywhere suitable yet. There was one spot like that I might have a second look at. Good point re the end of the whip too, I'll watch out for that.Thanks for the feedback.

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    OK, I had a quick practice and noted a few things. I may need a composite to get enough light on the bike, although the version below was one shot with the bike selectively lightened in LR.

    The flash on the right was put on the floor and zoomed wide so it threw some light on the floor. I'm hoping this will be enough to light the whip when in place.
    The fire is going to be tricky as adjusting light levels selectively with this in shot often leads to strange and unrealistic effects. I'll probably start by using flashes at the start of a long exposure and see how that looks.

    I'll also compose it with legs slightly further left.

    Any thoughts @Wretched?

    Last edited by Hamster; 06-01-2015 at 11:13am.

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    Well, I did the shoot and I pretty much managed to achieve what I set out to do. The main problem I had, was that we had to move to a new and untested venue on the night. At this new location there were lights from an adjacent building and it was also a full moon, so there was too much ambient light for the fire shots. This meant that I showed up in them while moving the flames around. This also meant that the model couldn't hold still enough either. I had to overcome this by combining a fire and a non fire shot in PP, which was not a trivial task. I'm pretty sure that I could have achieved it in one shot with less ambient, which would make it a notch better in my eyes. Having said that, one of the things you to tend to lose in such processing are the reflections of the fire which are what let people know it's real and not faked. But looking at the shot with flames there are no reflections in the bike anyway, so it's all looking pretty "out of camera" anyway (hope that makes sense).
    I'll put it up in the "People: Formal and Posed" CC thread, since there doesn't appear to be a strobist one, and would welcome any suggestions for making this better.

    Edit - The link to the CC thread is HERE
    Last edited by Hamster; 11-01-2015 at 10:02am.

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser Wretched's Avatar
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    Hey man, sorry I never replied. Only just found the 'mention' tab in the notifications bar...

    Looks like your final result was good. You should be proud of it! What did you use for the fire? Just a line of fuel?

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    Ausphotography Regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wretched View Post
    Hey man, sorry I never replied. Only just found the 'mention' tab in the notifications bar...

    Looks like your final result was good. You should be proud of it! What did you use for the fire? Just a line of fuel?
    No probs, the mentions thing is new. Fire was a piece of Kevlar rope tied in a knot and soaked in kerosene. This was moved though the shot during a 10 second exposure..

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