Long exposure, flashlight advice

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by josefkoudelka_, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. josefkoudelka_

    josefkoudelka_ TPF Noob!

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    Please help. Im trying to create the effect this photographer used in his photo (link below). How many seconds are shots like these taken for, since it's long enough that you don't see the holder of the light walk by. Would flashlight work?


    http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w238/perrycomo/AdalMaldonado.jpg

    :DThanks to anyone who could help.
     
  2. M-O-S

    M-O-S TPF Noob!

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    Jose, I was just thinking about doing that effect before I saw this thread

    Conspiracy!
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It depends on a lot of factors...you best bet is to experiment as see what works best for you.
     
  4. RacePhoto

    RacePhoto TPF Noob!

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    Looks like a laser pointer not a flashlight. Very fine light with a consistent width. Could have been done from a distance, but I doubt it because the writing is so well done.

    Possibility:
    1) Writing is done with no other light at all. Scribe standing to the side a little. So, all that shows is the writing.

    Then with the shutter still open, the writer leaves, and turns on the low lights for the subjects.

    Kind of a double exposure, but the shutter stays open the entire time.

    2) You could also have someone cover the lens after the writing, position the subject for a long exposure, turn on the low light, remove the lens cap, while they sit absolutely still. Since the writing is done in darkness, any movement putting on or taking off the lens cap, is not captured. Same with removing it, since it's a long exposure.

    3) Open the shutter. Do the writing in total darkness. Flash each of the subjects, without getting any light, or very little, on the wall with the writing. Done!
     
  5. josefkoudelka_

    josefkoudelka_ TPF Noob!

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    Hey really appreciate the advice, someone suggested to me that i write in total darkness with a small flashlight on a dark screen. Then removed it after i turn off the flashlight then, set off the strobe as the subject posed in darkness. My only question is how many seconds do i expose for?

    :D
     
  6. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    The usual way of doing this is to lock the shutter open with the room in total darkness. Do the writing standing facing the camera and using a small pen torch:
    http://www.medisave.co.uk/white-nursing-pen-torch-disposable-p-1328.html
    When you have finished just pop off a flash to light the room.
    Have everything set up before you start and set the aperture to suit your flash. If you can't write backwards then reverse the print later.
    If the room is in total darkness it won't really matter how long it takes you to write what you want.
    The brightness of the writing is determined by the speed at which you write. Moving the pen slower will make it brighter, faster makes it dimmer.
     
  7. f8lranger4x4

    f8lranger4x4 TPF Noob!

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    try it again and try going a little faster with the light when I did my pictures with a flashlight. I found that I had been leavig the light in one area for two long, also i did mine with a digital and worked on the fine details in photoshop.
     
  8. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    This could just be a photoshop layer with the pen tool and a wacom tablet?
     
  9. benjikan

    benjikan TPF Noob!

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    I have often done this and it is really fun. There are a few approaches, but here is how I attack it. Prior to turning off all light sources i.e. flash units, I set up the model and manually focus on her. I have tested the flash output and know it is the correct exposure. I set my camera to "B" and get ready with my three or four penlight flashlights, each covered with a different color gelatin (that is an option of course) I do some practice runs by squinting my eyes to visualize the trail. I am ready to shoot. I switch off the pilot lights of the flash units, but keep the flash on. While on the tripod, I confirm the "B" setting and set the self timer to go off at 2 to 10 seconds depending on where I am positioned and depending on how long it takes for me to run to the set. I press the shutter, run up to where the model is and fondle her...No I find her to determine where I am lighting. I can do one of two things. If my backdrop (wall) is too far away and want to give the appearance of the light floating in mid air, I shoot the penlight directly at the camera as I am drawing the light. My back is to the camera though so I can see the script as I am writing it. If next to a wall I draw on the wall and the thickness will depend on how close to the wall I'll be. Don't write too slowly as it will overexpose. Once you have finished writing, tell the model to ready her/him for the flash. Go to the flash and manually "Pop" it. Immediately release the shutter. There you have it. It can also be done inversely, by taking the flash image first in "B" manually popping the flash turning off the lights and drawing. Once done release the shutter to close. This may be preferable, in that you can see the models face before hand and get the desired expression, before going off to draw your masterpiece.

    Ben
     
  10. Paul Ron

    Paul Ron TPF Noob!

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    With the light off you can keep the lens open for minutes. Then after the subject sits down, you can turn on a light just long enough to properly expose him, or even pop off a snorkled flash.
     

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