Who needs Photoshop when you have a headlamp?Posted: December 8, 2012
Most people looking at this photo would be excused if they thought it was some type of Photoshop trick. Other photographers might think that I used some sort of HDR or tone mapping method. Both would be wrong.
Read on below the image….
Remarkable Light | Flinders Chase National Park
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All it took was a headlamp.
My idea was to try as many different techniques to capture these Remarkable Rocks in Flinders Chase National Park so that I could get images that took a different spin on the familiar. Well at least familiar for the inhabitants of KI as Kangaroo Island is affectionately known. The colours of the sunrise were starting to pop, but I knew that because the rocks were backlit, they would be dark and I would lose all detail. Sure I could try to bring this back using photoshop, but this generally brings a huge amount of noise into these dark areas. I also could have done an HDR, but to be completely honest, I’m terrible at it. Not the technique of bracketing exposures, but I don’t really know what to do to blend them in a way that I like/reflects what kind of images I like to create.
Light-painting the rocks using my Black Diamond headlamp. It’s not eh cheapest headlamp, but not the most expensive either. I actually really love it.
I set up the camera on the tripod, framed the shot and added a neutral density filter so that I could extend the shutter speed. This was so that I would have enough time to evenly paint the light onto the rocks. I started the exposure using my wireless remote (it was set on bulb, so when you hit the remote it opens the shutter and won’t close until you hit the remote button again) and then took a few steps to the right and began to paint the rock.
Why did I walk to the right?
Well, just like many other photographers have figured out before me, front on light isn’t always the most dynamic. Often lighting from and angle, side lighting, or even backlighting creates more dynamic images. I wanted to rocks to match the dynamism of the sunrise.
How did I know “how much” to paint the rock?
To be completely honest, I had no idea. I was just playing around with a technique I had thought about using and was interested to see the results. The final exposure was for 104 seconds.