Hi and welcome to the May 2019 edition of my Instructional BLOG – Workshop at the Ranch. People continue to enjoy and learn from the current WATR theme of “Images and Backstories” … so here we go again.
Don’t Forget to: Checkout my: 2019 Workshops Calendar to see when and where I will be teaching a workshop or seminar that you might be interested in: Dave’s 2019 Workshops Calendar: https://daveblackphotography.com/upcoming-workshops/
2019 Workshops Calendar:
May 29, 2019 … Photoshop World Pre-Conference SPORTS ACTION SHOOTING Workshop in Orlando: (Skateboarding) www.photoshopworld.com
May 30-31, 2019 … Photoshop World Conference in Orlando, FL. www.photoshopworld.com
June 19-20, 2019 … UPPA University Professional Photographers Association Workshop in Grand Valley State Univ. MI. http://www.upaa.org/content/2019-symposium
June 20-23, 2019 … Summit LIGHTING Workshop in Denver, CO. www.photographyatthesummit.com
July 10-15, 2019 … Summit SPORTS Denver Workshop in Denver, CO. www.photographyatthesummit.com
August 20, 2019 … Photoshop World Pre-Conference LIGHTPAINTING Workshop in Las Vegas, NV: venue: Nelson Ghost Town www.photoshopworld.com
August 21-23, 2019 … Photoshop World Conference in Las Vegas, NV. www.photoshopworld.com
September 14-19, 2019 … Summit ADVENTURE Workshop in Jackson Hole, WY. www.photographyatthesummit.com
September 22-27, 2019 … Summit NATURE Workshop in Jackson Hole, WY. www.photographyatthesummit.com
November 7-10, 2019 … Summit SPORTS California Workshop in LA – Thousand Oaks, CA. www.photographyatthesummit.com
Images and Backstories:
With snow in the forecast again next week, this, not so much of a lesson, but the reminder that “Bad Weather Makes Good Pictures” … this short story was a big hit on my IG.
I’m here to tell you, it’s not easy being a Spring Flower in Colorado. Roses come up in May but not me, Oh no, I had to poke my Corona up between the back deck boards only to be greeted by the wind whipping off the Rockies like a western Zephyr.
Then the rain came and turned to snow … and now the snow turned to ice … in April !
I’m not complaining, Oh no, not me … As a Daffodil I can be patient, but this is insane.
I mean, just look at me … I’m bent over, frozen and shivering in ice.
Okay, Okay, so I AM complaining.
Come-on Spring! … Get here already.
Image 2 … “LIGHT Swing” … #NikonZ7, ISO2000, 8 seconds at f5.6, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm S lens, 2 Profoto B1 strobe system, Glow Sticks, Lightpainting with Blue LED flashlight.
Baseball is in full swing and so I thought it appropriate to showcase my most unique and possibly the most complex image I have ever made … and it was accomplished during my “Experimenting with LIGHT” class during the 2018 Summit SPORTS California workshop in Thousand Oaks, California (held this year November 7-10, 2019 @summitworkshops)
HOW THIS IMAGE WAS MADE:
I used two Profoto B1 strobes each with two 10 degree grids sandwiched together to create a very small spot light … one illuminates our athletes face-torso and one illuminates his back. Each is about 12 feet away from the athlete.
I have taped one 24 inch Blue Glow Sticks and one Red 24 inch Glow Stick to the backside of the bat … I have placed segments of black gaffer tape on each Glow Stick to create striping effect.
A Baseball is hung from the ceiling with fly fishing line-thumb-tac.
With black cloth backdrop and studio lights turned OFF, at my command Mark Terrill @mjterrill1 swung the ball into a pendulum motion … as my class of 7 students opened our camera shutter for an 8 seconds exposure … Then I Lightpainted the swinging ball with a Blue LED flashlight while on the up-swing.
I then stepped out of the scene (remember it’s completely dark) and I ask the athlete to begin his Slow-Motion swinging of the bat, which captures the Glow Sticks illumination during the simulated homerun swing.
At my “estimated” imaginary “ball-on-bat” mid-swing position I manually trigger the strobes via the B1 REMOTE TEST button … FLASH! …the athlete is frozen, BUT he continues to slowly follow through until the exposure is complete.
For this image the athlete took a few “check swings” before starting his Slow-Motion swing which created the additional swing motions.
THANKS to Justin Tafoya @jtafoya05for suiting-up and swinging the bat perfectly and Thanks to @summitworkshops for letting me teach my “Experimenting with LIGHT” classes. Looking forward to teaching this class again this year.
HOW THIS IMAGE WAS MADE:
I used a single Nikon Speedlight with a LumiQuest snoot to make this Butterfly portrait. The LumiQuest snoot is flexible and so I used a paper-clasp to “pinch” the opening down to a tiny hole about the size of a #2 pencil.
I held the Speedlight over the top of the Butterfly (about 10 inches away) and made this lit portrait. Needless to say I moved very slowly and only made 1 picture …then my subject took off before I could get a signed model release.
Sometimes all you need is a little bit of light to take your images to the next level of creativeness.
I’m just like all of you … I love to make pictures.
HOW THIS IMAGE WAS MADE:
Colorado has a lion’s share of our nations Lightning strikes and Spring time usually brings some awesome and sometimes violent electrical storms rolling over the Rocky Mountains.
I knew from past experience photographing fireworks at various Sporting events that using a long exposure like 2, 5, 10 seconds or longer would allow multiple “bursts” of fireworks to “accumulate” in a single frame.
It stands to reason that the same principle should work for Lightning strikes too … and it does, “but wait, there’s more”
THE KEY ELEMENT:
As the storm was building its electrical strength I made TEST shots and discovered (by trial & error – take a shot and take a look on the LCD monitor) that ISO200, 2 seconds at f5.6 and WB 8000K would capture the city lights reflecting a beautiful Red Glow off of the low lying clouds.
This Red Glow on the clouds was the Key Element that would take a “nice shot” of Lightning and make it something more special.
Once the storm began its Lightning Show all I had to do was open the shutter and let the Lightning accumulate … but that can actually prove to be more difficult to time than one might expect.
GEAR FOR SHOOTING LIGHTNING:
I used a “Lightning Trigger” to capture this image of multiple Lightning strikes with the storm clouds reflecting a brilliant Red Glow from the city lights of Colorado Springs.
The Lightning Trigger “triggers” the camera automatically when the Lightning flash occurs. I sat down and watch the LCD monitor on the back of the camera as each sizable Lightning strike would automatically open the shutter and capture multiple strikes in the 2 second exposure time.
Its fun to make pictures … just google Lightning Triggers, there are several to choose from.
Come by my Instagram @daveblackphoto each week to learn something new about photography. I’ll see you next time here on Workshop at the Ranch.