Advanced Technique & Process 2A: Test shooting

9th October 2014

There was a light show on in City Park, Bradford called ‘Bradford Shine’, so I arranged to meet the models in there so I could do some test shots. I tried out a variation of long exposures and experimented with rear-curtain sync flash that I researched and wanted to try out. I used my Canon 5D mk iii (full frame) DSLR and my Canon 1000D (cropped chip) DSLR, because my reasonably wide angle (24mm) lens for my 5D was off for repair and I didn’t have another full frame wide angle lens to get the whole scene in on that camera. So I used the 1000D just for test shots, to get a ‘wider frame’ (although it’s a cropped chip camera, the 18-55mm lens I have on that this camera is about the equivalent of a 35-70mm, full frame). It was a reasonably damp night so the free runners had to take precautions with foot wear and clothing, for health and safety reasons. They warmed up and used a technique to make sure they didn’t slip and were safe. As they were warming up I shot some long exposure shots for practice.

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Using rear-curtain sync flash proved rather challenging. This was because from when the shutter was pressed I had to count down the seconds however couldn’t figure out for a long time whether the flash fired on e.g the 10 second mark exactly, or just after. Looking back with hindsight, I should have had a timer with me or used one on my phone to time the exact amount from when the shutter opened to when the flash fired. I shot in city park but also knew I needed somewhere darker for the back ground because there was so much ambient light in the park. We then shot in Little Germany and this was a bit better. However because the ambient light was so strong sometimes it wouldn’t even look like the flash had fired, even though it had. We moved around to find somewhere where their wasn’t a lot of ambient light behind the subject and I got a shot I was quite proud of.

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From this I see that skies are definitely the best for shooting against. Getting some of the horizon in and a sky with the model frozen in the air is what I will go for.

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