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 ;)

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