Tuesday, 24 September 2013

NP: The Hidden Truckyard

When we are getting to the location that is amazing at night, sometimes it becomes even tougher to capture the sense of place, we may become overly excited and speed up our process so that we can capture everything.

Learn to slow down and feel the location, and only start shooting after you become part of it.

Lit by sodium vapour light(quite a lot of street lights over there) from camera left. This scene would be static if I set very short shutter speed, as I could see the cloud was moving and it was winding, I set my shutter speed to 90 seconds. Observation is important here, we can actually control how the cloud looks like in long exposure by watching them. This is one of the frame I'm most happy with after few clicks that expresses what I have in mind about the location.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Ohai Internet

We all use many internet services today, and I am no different. So to make things clear about what I do and how I use them -

Zenfolio - http://cslee.zenfolio.com
My main photography site

Blogger - http://9shift.blogspot.com/
More content driven, long post will be usually posted here, discussing about techniques and art

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/cslee.photography.art
Keep my friends updated about my photography work

Flickr - http://flickr.com/photos/9shift
Mainly posting latest night images and check out other photography friends' work

When we are using too many services, we can easily lose track, I'm writing this to keep myself stayed focus.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Making Of Surviving Fishtown

I would like to share how I make this image - The Surviving Fishtown and the whole light-painting workflow.

My main subject here is the fisherman house, and an old rusty boat, to get the composition and exposure right I set my ISO to 400 and 30 seconds shutter speed so I don't need to wait too long to review it. This is what I get from first image.

Exposure: Aperture F8|Shutter Speed 30s|ISO 400|WB Auto
After reviewing it, I change the ISO to 100, and extends my shutter speeds from 30 seconds to 220 seconds to compensate it(add 1 more stop roughly) so the camera can capture more background ambient light and at the same time reduce image noise. From the first image I know that the foreground is in the shade and won't be illuminated much, so that gives me full control of how I can light up the foreground subjects. I stand on camera left, and skim the light through the foreground and that gives me rough idea of how I can have more precise light-painting after reviewing it on my lcd screen.

Exposure: Aperture F8|Shutter Speed 220s|ISO 100|WB Auto
Here's the juicy part, what I want my viewer to see and interpret? I want to project a polluted fish-town here, if I go with tungsten white balance the colour tone will be more blueish, I want it to have more cryptic colour(orangish) presented in the scene, so I switch the white balance to cloudy, and that will enhance the present of background light pollution(generated by the street light). For the light-painting part, I just need to bring out the details of all the subjects here, I stand nearby the tree on camera left(just outside of camera view), then paint the tree and cast its shadow on the house to show the tree is angry because of pollution, after that get the light to lower angle to illuminate the muddy ground and also back light the boat to bring out its shape. The last part is run to camera right, stand in front of the boat(just outside camera view), and illuminate it from low angle(more like a cross light setup after-all). As I want the boat to look more rusty, I put less light on it compare to other part of the scene, the whole light-painting process is done in 220 seconds.

Exposure: Aperture F8|Shutter Speed 220s|ISO 100|WB Cloudy
The final image is here. As I shoot in jpeg, nothing much I have changed except cleaning up the dust spot and adjusting the contrast. I always love to practice story driven lighting, which shapes the story I want to tell.

By the way, I would like to tell the star, you are not alone ;)