Details: Phase One c/w IQ160, 35mm, 1/30 sec, f14, 200 ISO, no filtration, 1 flash
I always relish a challenge and this was certainly just that. Leaving home at 01.00 to meet the team then drive 140 miles (225 km) with a car full of Elinchrom Ranger Quadra lights, the Phase One camera system and a Nikon to shoot the time lapse we headed out along the M4 away from London. These sort of shoots are always a gamble as the weather or the light doesn’t always work out so I need a head full of optional ideas ‘just in case’.
On this day good fortune was with us. Though the previous day had been very warm and overnight the temperature had fallen considerably causing for a damp atmosphere we weren’t greeted with dense mist as can often form as dawn approaches.
We reached Avebury at 03.45 and were set up by 04.30 with the Nikon already runing in repeat mode to provide over 1000 jpeg stills as content for the DV below and a Sony digital recorder fitted with an external mic to pick up background sound.
My plan was to do a light painting exercise of the stones using the Ranger kits. This is a technique I first learnt as an assistant 30 years ago when we would light industrial machinery in engineering works using just one photoflood tungsten head. I knew that the moment was essential – getting the right balance between a brightening sky before the sun rose whilst having sufficient darkness to make the power/intensity of the flash pull the stones out from the shadows. I shot a total of 23 frames, the entire shoot was completed by 06.45 and we got to Marlborough in time for breakfast at 08.30. A very productive night and day’s photography.
Why not watch the video to get a feel what it was like and for a sense of what happens on Shadows and Light workshops? Listen to the crows greeting the dawn, they always know best.