Using Available Lighting in Photography
One of the things I think a lot of photographers try to do is bend light to do interesting things with photography. I got lucky enough to work with an amazing model, a dark hallway that was back lit, a couple of candles and a flashlight. It helped that I had a trusty camera assistant to help me out along the way with holding the flashlight, and the model was awesome for putting up with me while we futzed around trying to get everything just right to make this picture work.
Basically this is a standard silhouette shot with a LED flashlight to help offset the back lighting from a set of fluorescent lamps in the background. Ratchet down the F Stops to 3.5, and shot around 1600 ASA to pull this off. It was a truly dark tunnel in the Seattle Underground, the funny part is that they had an IR camera in the hallway to spot ghosts.
This next picture is all natural lighting, there was a single spot out of frame that I had her stand below next to the coffin so that we could try to get some kind of ghost light or god light on the subject, while barely lighting the rest of the room. Same settings on the camera as the spot was a low wattage light like you see in restaurants now. The coffin and other parts of the Victorian set design was provided by teh location, if you want to have an eerie creepy location, then Spooky Seattle is the place to do a photo shoot, there are a lot of places to do interesting things with light in their space.
Bending light to be interesting is a huge challenge for me, and I like it when I can get something to work just the way I want it to work. If you want to see the rest of the gallery from this model and this shoot you can go here to check it out or check at the bottom of the page for the partial gallery. The shoot was Haunted New Years at Spooky Seattle offices down on Cherry and 1rst Ave, Pioneer Square. Fun place to shoot, but it is available for renting if you want to use the location and some of the underground Seattle areas as well. Seattle has an interesting history with a lot of pockets like this to take pictures in.
Using Available Lighting in Photography
Liquid Light Project
As I close out the Ziegfeld Follies project and prepare to send that off to make a book out of it, the new project for 2014 is going to be a Liquid Light Show project. Liquid Light is something that was very popular in the 1960’s, where we had a fascination as a population for the psychedelic experience. Underground shows often showed liquid light with Go-Go Dancers, the hippy culture, and everything that went along with the drugged out experience.
What I will use for this project is four 48 inch black light fluorescent bulbs zip tied to lighting stands, a white background and I will have to cover the window in the studio with something sturdy to cut the light. The black light will be used in conjunction with UV glow body paint of flowers, peace signs, and anti-war messages much like you saw at the height of the protests against the Vietnam War. Digging through the archives, the sad part is that shows like “Laugh-in” will end up being one of the major inspirations for the body paint style of the time. The messages were subtle in the 1960’s to evade the censors, and I seriously doubt that a show like “Laugh-in” would even make the airwaves in this age.
For the liquid light we will be using the instructions out at the Liquid LIght Lab and information from Virginia.edu to help out and set up the technology. There is always something interesting about recreating vintage lighting from an era where good notes were not taken because they were all tripping on LSD or other drugs. It does seem though that others have been able to reproduce the effects without any major issues once they got the chemistry down for creating liquid light. The more interesting part of this is that there has to be a mechanical motion to make the liquid light pulse so I will be needing someone to manage spinning the liquid light table to make this puppy happen the way I want it too, although there are some modern colors that will respond to the bass movements of the music making Rave music something to explore along with this project.
If you are interested in participating I will be looking for models that want to be nude and covered in UV glow body paint wearing only a pair of 1960’s Go-Go boots. I will also be working with some of the more garish designs from the 1960’s that were designed for the higher end clubs that were pretty much so black light only but I have to find the costuming first.
In this entire project the costs will probably be about 500.00 to set up not including modeling costs, and should be a longer term project. I see this one extending well into 2015 as finding vintage 1960’s clothing, posters, and other ephemera will be an interesting project in its own right. Drop me a note if you want to be a model for this project. Check out the video below if you want to get an idea of what the background will look like.