Night (Light) School…
For the last few weeks of so I’ve been prepping-up ready for a wee trip underground. Obviously, I’ll be dragging my cameras along as well – just to make life more ‘interesting’ - so I’ve been wrestling with a whole sack-full of how-to questions...
My PoTM in April, http://blog.keithsharplesphotography.co.uk/blog/_archives/2011/5/8/4812328.html, showed a very quick and dirty underground lighting set-up. That’s OK in-so-far as it went, but for the real thing I knew that I’d need to get way more sophisticated. It was time for some (night) light school. I figured, why have a friendly local climbing wall and not take advantage of it so I made a call to the Foundry manager, Neil Bentley. It was game-on. Gavin was snared as the hero to staying behind after a long shift to ride shoot gun.
To my mind, there’s a number of thorny Q’s here on how to lighting a large empty space – in this case an out-off-hours climbing wall rather than a cave - to wit:
Q 1. How to support the camera and strobes
Q 2. How to set up the camera
Q 3. How many strobes to use
Q 4. How to trigger the strobes
Q 5. How to control the light from the strobes
Q 6. How to decide what lighting rations to use for the lit areas
Q 7. How to decide which areas not to light
Hmmm… thinks… It was starting to look like a long night so I pulled a couple of ideas only out of the hat and blasted away with the strobes for 30 minutes or so.
Finally, thanks to the Foundry and to Gavin. Below are a few selected shots, along with some thoughts. More trials to come so watch this space…
A basic two remote strobe set-up with light concentrated on a single subject (err – the Five Ten wall at the Foundry?) triggered via a master gun - on camera - dialled down to 1/128 power gives a striking, if a little stark, lighting regime…
Same again but with one remote strobe only lighting the main subject and the second remote strobe back-lighting a passing hero. Interestingly, the throw from the main remote strobe (camera left) has ‘travelled’ much further lighting the camera right back walls quite adequately. The side light is also giving some interested shadows…
Same subject – totally different lighting system. Same two remote strobes as above but the master gun taken off camera a triggered manually several times through-out a 30 sec timed exposure. Much more interesting IMO here with really interesting shadow effects – some of which are mine whilst I was running round firing the master gun. I’m liking the star-burst too of the back light behind Gavin. There’s also some light spill onto the side walls which brings out the bright-coloured holds and adds interest…