Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 175 - After Glow

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1 SB-26 on each side of the glow in the dark ball @ 85mm full power triggered with Pocket Wizard Plus IIs and a Sekonic 758-DR.

View On Black
Day 175 - After Glow

To start lets see what this shot looks like with all light turned on in aperture priority.

ISO 100 f/22 1/2s (pretty boring image)
DAy  175 setup shot

Let's cut the lights off and add a stop to the shutter.
DAy  175 setup shot

Not enough light! You can see a faint glow, but not what we want.

Now for the inspiration behind this shot. Years ago, film cameras had flash sync ports with the settings "M" and "X". M for Flash Bulbs, and X for electronic flash. So what's the deal, and why should you care. Before electronic flash, people used flash bulbs for extra light in a shot. The problem was that flash bulbs took awhile to reach maximum brightness; therefore the M setting would trigger the flash bulb just before the shutter opened, and the X setting would fire the flash the moment the shutter was fully opened because electronic flash duration reached it's maximum power much quicker than flash bulbs. Years ago I read of a hack where film photographers would use the flash bulb setting to fire electronic flashes to light phosphorescences before the shutter opened, and flash itself would not appear in the final exposure. I found this exciting, but I was never willing to risk the 120 film to try it.

Now for the process of how I did this.

setup shot first.
DAy  175 setup shot
I have a special trigger cable that allows me to trigger my camera using my Pocket Wizard Radio transceiver. In this case, I used my Sekonic flash meter with built in transmitter because I only own 2 Pocket Wizards. Setting everything to channel 1, I press the test button on my meter. This will fire the camera and flash simultaneously, the problem is the flash is so fast that the exposure is over before the shutter ever opens. Pocket Wizard worked around this by having the camera trigger receive the input on channel 1 and then transmit on channel 2 allowing the camera to trigger all flashes on channel 2 allowing everything to sync properly. In my case I left everything on channel 1. The flashes fired charing the ball, and then the shutter opened when the glow in the dark ball was at its maximum brightness.

What I did, was basically simulate the "M" mode used for flash bulbs to allow me to do phosphorescent photography with a digital camera. The most interesting part is, I came up with my exposure settings out of nowhere; and I was right on 1st shot with no adjustments to ISO, aperture, or shutter speed.

Just for fun! Let's set my flash trigger to channel 2 as intended.
DAy  175 setup shot

what a mess!

until tomorrow,

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