Tag Archives: dawn

Light Painting in Wiltshire

Light Painting, Avebury Stones, March 2012

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.

Time lapse video

Shadows & Light video page

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Large Format Landscape

Bamburgh Castle at dawn

Details: Wista 45DX, 90mm, 4 secs, f22 2/3, Fuji Velvia 50, 0.6ND Grad

Yesterday evening I made a presentation about large format photography to the City of London & Cripplegate  Photographic Society and received a very welcome. I covered all aspects of large format that I’ve used throughout my career on both 5×4 & 10×8, from portraits to still life and on into landscape.

I now run Large Format workshops both for complete beginners through to experienced practitioners. There will be a two day introductory to large format landscape on 2-4 Nov 2012 in South Wales and refresher days on 16 March 2012, 27 April & 25 May either in London or Essex. I supply the cameras for these workshops so if you’ve been considering LF and want to experience it before buying a camera then perhaps a Shadows & Light workshop is just for you?

Another recent speaker at the same society was Red Saunders, a photographer from whom I learnt a great deal of LF skill and technique.

Apart from shooting landscape in this form I’ve also done a great deal of still life with art directors such as Pearce Marchbank.

Stone, Paper, Scissors

Details: Sinar Norma 5×4, 150mm, 1/125 sec, f22, Fuji 100D
Art Director: Pearce Marchbank, Client: Marxism Today

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