Not Quite What I Was Trying To Achieve

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by MadDoc, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. MadDoc macrumors 6502

    MadDoc

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I am trying to achieve a similar effect to this photo by Dan Heller:

    [​IMG]

    I was trying to do a proof-of-concept shoot with my fiancee just to see if I could get a similar effect. I have a nikon D60, was shooting with a 18-55mm lens. I also have in my possession a SB-600 speedlight. I made sure the room was completely pitch-black, set the shutter to bulb and framed my fiancee on an arm chair. I then illuminated her with the flash (not timed to the shutter - just by pressing the button on the speedlight). I then asked her to move position and repeated it. The result is as below:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, she came out like a ghost. I then thought that the flash was either too fast or not powerful enough so I simply flicked the light switch on. The result is again, rubbish:

    [​IMG]

    What could I do to improve things?

    MadDoc,
     
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    I'm a bit confused, I'm no photographer but I'd have thought all you do it set up your cam on a tripod so that the shots are always taken from exactly the same position. Take several shots with your subject in different positions, then cut them all together as one in Photoshop :confused:
     
  3. hank-b macrumors member

    hank-b

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #3
    The flash is too powerful and too far away from her. It's lighting up the bit of room behind the other position she's going to sit in which is then ghosting through.

    I agree with the previous comment though - much easier to Photoshop this kind of composite image.

    HB
     
  4. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #4
    You could try using a snoot (google it or try strobist.com), putting more distance between each figure or using a torch. Also, yes, lower the flash power and zoom it in.

    Play around! Don't be afraid to pp raw either.
     
  5. Jeromie macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    #5
    Photoshop or not, one thing you'll want to do is add a snoot to your flash. A snoot is a tunnel that you fire your flash through. It will let you aim your flash more precisely, so you won't be lighting up the whole room when you trigger your flash. You can learn more about snoots here.

    Also, keep in mind that there are only two ways to adjust the power of your flash (barring filters and such) - directly adjusting the power output on the back of the flash, and adjusting the aperture on the camera. Changing the shutter speed doesn't affect the amount of light you get from the flash.

    While photoshop is certainly one way of doing this, you should be able to get pretty close with one take in the camera. You'll just need to control where your light is going more precisely.

    Oh, one more thing - make sure that the photograph is actually turning out black without the flash at the shutter speed and aperture you're using. Stop down the aperture if you need to get things darker.
     
  6. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #6
    One simple concept..... multiple exposure.

    If your camera to do multiple exposures then set your camera up for that. Each time Dan moves is one photo, then a fifth for the light painting.
     
  7. MadDoc thread starter macrumors 6502

    MadDoc

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Thanks for the help guys,

    I will try playing around tonight with lower power settings first of all and using a torch. If that is not successful then I might go out and get a snoot (great name btw). I'd rather do it in a single exposure rather than use photoshop (I just think it seems more like real photography if you use PS as little as possible).

    I'll let you know if I have any success :)

    MadDoc,
     
  8. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    In my imagination
    #8
    Multiple exposure in the camera. :rolleyes:
     
  9. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #9
    This is not achievable without multiple exposures or some serious trickery.
     
  10. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #10
    I agree. The OP's image is transparent because she doesn't stay in the same place for the entire exposure. She will have to underexpose the image slightly and do multiple exposures in camera to get a solid figure, then do the light painting on a separate frame as well.
     
  11. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #11
    Think about it - each time you flash you are exposing the area of the wall behind the woman. So you're getting 1/2 wall and 1/2 woman in your image.

    Photoshop composting will allow you to "overwrite" the wall with the woman's image. You can't do it even with multiple exposure in camera UNLESS you are very careful NOT to light anything on the wall.
     
  12. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #12
    You can, and that's the idea. To properly expose for the subject, but not the hot areas in the image.
     

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