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Thread: Flash fill Joshua Tree (gels) on Milkyway Galaxy

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    Flash fill Joshua Tree (gels) on Milkyway Galaxy



    In case you missed this in my Popper Post, here is a shot I captured late Wed (July 07 2010) after escaping the thick cloud layer on the coastline. f/2.8 20 seconds ISO 1600 - 1/4 flash power. Hope you like it - Shea



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    Re: Flash fill Joshua Tree (gels) on Milkyway Galaxy



    [:O]

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    Senior Member Bill W's Avatar
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    Re: Flash fill Joshua Tree (gels) on Milkyway Galaxy



    very nice pic Shea...seeing that I don't take many flash pix, would you mind adding afew more details on how you did this, i.e. was the flash (1 or more?)off camera? How did you get the colors...blue on bottom, green on top?


    Thanks


    Bill

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    Re: Flash fill Joshua Tree (gels) on Milkyway Galaxy



    Sure no problem.. I had 4 580exII's and one ST-E2 master unit all equipped with RadioPoppers. For this shot I used just 2 flashes, the blue flash was on a light stand at full height - maybe 10 feet and on my right. I set the flash head at an angle with the intent of filling the long side of the JT and foreground. I manually set the flash to 80mm. The green flash was on a tripod to my left just above camera height and aimed to overshoot the top of the JT as I could easily overpower the subject even at 1/4 power. This one was set at 35mm to concentrate the light energy for a strong highlight.


    Now I thought I was going to second curtain sync this exposure, but it turns out that is only possible with the flash on camera and no 'off camera' (wireless set) flashed enabled. So after cycling between manual and ETTL and think I ended up in ETTL with flash exposure compensation (minus 2 stops). With a 580exII as the controller I would have more options but since I had them on standby with other colors (gels) mounted and it was getting late I just went with it.


    I would have liked to set white light flashes about 300 yards out to illuminate that middle ridge, full power, full wide (24mm) but working alone in snake country at night I decided to minimize risk.


    I must admit I felt a bit odd packing up light stands and merging all my gear into a pelican 1600 for the road, but now I'm really glad I did and I'm literally ready to drive 2 hours into the heat for some more exposures!


    Anybody in the general area feeling adventurous? I think it would be super cool to meet at a Jumbo Rocks and then set out into the dark to make art. Astronomy shooters, the sleepless, Nikon, all welcome! I can always manually fire the flashes for your compositions.


    -Shea


    Here is one several hours earlier:





    For this one Palm Springs provided the background light and my 'surprised it worked' truck Maglight became my paintbrush. This is about the time I started to realize just how clear the sky was and that I could work the gaseous stars into my compositions.



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    Re: Flash fill Joshua Tree (gels) on Milkyway Galaxy



    Beautiful!






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    Re: Flash fill Joshua Tree (gels) on Milkyway Galaxy



    Now that gives new meaning to creative lighting! Absolutely awesome, Shea![Y]
    Also, I commend you for venturing out there by yourself ...took alot of guts! I'm lucky if I venture out in my backyard in the middle of the night! All I'd need to see is some critters eyes glowing when I look thru the viewfinder and that would be the end of my gear ...it wouldn't survive the crash test!

    Denise

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    Senior Member Bill W's Avatar
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    Re: Flash fill Joshua Tree (gels) on Milkyway Galaxy



    Shea, thanks for the in-depth report. Well beyond my flash (one 580exll) expertise...I had to read your description a couple of times to get a grip on what you did....LOL....getting slow in my old age.


    I like this last one also....when you say painted w/your Maglight, do you mean you actually moved the light on the areasto expose them?


    Wish I could join you....but it would be a long drive from the Boston area.


    Thanks again for your input Shea....looking forward to your next night posting.



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    Re: Flash fill Joshua Tree (gels) on Milkyway Galaxy



    Thanks Denise, I'm still recovering from laughter here! In part because I was a little on edge with critter sounds myself and also from imagining your backyard crash test. Thanks for your comments and entertainment. -Che


    Oh and Bill yes just mousing the flashlight around I quickly learned to paint the more distant trees much more than any foreground elements. With those high ISO long exposure a cell phone will work with close objects.

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    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    Re: Flash fill Joshua Tree (gels) on Milkyway Galaxy



    Quote Originally Posted by Shea Design


    In case you missed this in my Popper Post, here is a shot I captured late Wed (July 07 2010) after escaping the thick cloud layer on the coastline. f/2.8 20 seconds ISO 1600 - 1/4 flash power. Hope you like it - Shea



    <div style="CLEAR: both"]</div>

    I think this shot would have looked better if the tree was backlit and the flashes were flagged (or gridded) to keep most of the spill off the ground. I think the darkened form of the tree with a subtle, light outline (with a less vivid blue) would have fit the mood of the background a little better. Maybe place the flashes behind the hill, low, pointing up at the tree (using the ground as a flag) would look cool....that would give the ground a rim light as well... :-)

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    Re: Flash fill Joshua Tree (gels) on Milkyway Galaxy



    Sean I could have easily kept the light off the ground sans studio modifiers, for me it is a very satisfying capture as is. I DID want to light the distant ridge line in white light and with the poppers it was a very real possibility, but I decided that disturbing the campsite or getting bit by a snake would be lame. BTW - The Coyotes don't scare me, but one wrong move and a cactus will kill your buzz real quick. I previously had one run down my leg like a toy when I tried to remove it leaving a trail of blood spots. The very first time I left the road Wednesday night to place a flash I disturbed a baby snake. Scorpions, Earthquakes it was all going on that day/evening. Show and Tell baby.

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