Saturday, April 7, 2012

Playing in the Light

I've been playing around with some photo techniques lately that have been a lot of fun.  The first is the use of multiple flashes on a single image.

The idea behind multiple flashes is to take advantage of the a longer exposure (1 second or more) in dim light or darkness.  During the single exposure, you fire a flash multiple times.  Since the lighting is too dim to capture anything with ambient light, the only thing visible on the photos occurs when the flash fires.  In effect, this let's someone appear multiple times in the same photo.

For example, I could set up an image with a shutter speed of 3 seconds, and set my flash to go off one time per second for three seconds.  By moving between flashes, I can appear three times on the same image.  No need for Photoshop, it comes straight out of the camera that way.  Here are some examples:





You see where there was a gap in the black background behind my feet in the "middle" Brian in the above image.

I was firing the flash 2 or 3 times per second in the above shot, and you can see multiple heads on the last body of Aleena.

I did not Photoshop these, the multiple images were each captured by the camera. I did make some adjustments in Lightroom to make parts of the image look brighter or darker. For example, I darkened the background so that it looks completely black in order to make the people stand out.

Originally, I was doing these photos outside, which presented some challenges.  There would always be a light or something very lightly colored in the background.  The ambient light from the background object would be strong enough to be exposed in the photo, so I could end up with a light in the middle of the model's body.

Now I am taking the photos inside and use a black background.  By closing the curtains, I can actually take the photos during the day.  I am having someone mount some brackets so that I can have a longer background for the photos.  I would have done it myself, but like so many things here, I don't want to buy the tools because I'm only going to be here for a little while.

It seems like the kids really like to pose for these photos, as do some adults.  I should have the background set up by the time we get back from Japan, so I'll definitely have more shots after that.

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