kyle cassidy (kylecassidy) wrote,
kyle cassidy

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I'm on an extremely delayed train, somewhere between Virginia and Philadelphia; coming back from my third summer workshop at Quicksilver and I'm really proud of what the students have done this year so I might as well write about it.

Quicksilver is a group of friends who meet monthly to work on creative projects (they're making a movie right now called Ninjas vs. Monsters), which essentially makes them the sorts of people one should aspire to be like). Every year I've been coming down and doing a three day photo workshop where we work on lighting and project ideas and then I go away and come back the next year and look at the great stuff they've done in the intervening 12 months. It's all organized by ceciskittle who does a marvelous job.

(You can read about the 2012 workshop here and see some photos from the 2011 workshop here.)

Here's an example of what we worked on this time.

This photo arose from two things brought up by participants, Lenore wanted to do a photo in a house that looked unrecognizable -- she wanted to do something that transformed space, and Shelley wanted to do a photo of a disheveled movie heroine -- here we have Liz (with her baseball bat) pursued or protected by the mysterious figure of Aaron in the mysterious, shadowy background (who can say).

Shelley's photo from la workshop. Clickenzee to Embiggen

The first thing to do was to remove all the existing lighting from the situation, we did this by choosing an f stop and shutter speed that resulted in the existing room light appearing completely black. (something like 1/250 second at f8) we were then free to add light to what was essentially an empty vessel.

To make the light in the background on Aaron interesting, we fired a flash through a lawn chair, the slats in the chair back are making the shadows on the wall. (This is called a "cookie" for some reason -- very popular in film noir and an easy way to make things look more complicated than they are.) We set the flash on Aaron so it was properly exposed.

The light on Liz has tin-foil wrapped in a tube around the front to make the light extremely directional (this is called a "snoot' -- you can buy expensive snoots or make your own out of most anything). This flash was attached to a Voice Activated Light Stand (me) and triggered with a wireless remote on Shelley's camera.

Here's another photo I'm very proud of -- this is Snidegrrl (aka Kim)'s photo of hula hooping superstar Liz:

Kim's photo of Liz -- Clickenzee to Emibiggen!

Lenore had done some photos of hoop spinners and wasn't entirely happy with them, so we set out to figure how to do it. Cecily found us a fabulous hoop spinner with a light up hula hoop and we set up in the street, experimenting with exposures and eventually began adding flash (first one, then two) in conjunction with a long exposure. The long exposure captures the travel of the LED hoop, and the flash freezes the person in it. This photo has a flash behind an umbrella fired by a Voice Activated Light Stand (me) and a second light behind Liz and to camera right on a stand with no modification. Kim came up with this excellent crop on her own, she's made a beautiful photo.

Train's started moving. I'm going to put away the laptop and listen to a Liz Hand audiobook. Be well everybody. Thanks to everybody at Quicksilver for a marvelous few days.

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