One of the most interesting aspects of tutoring at The Image Academy is when we come across amazing photographic talent that transcends both creative and technical boundaries and we are presented with some incredible and inspiring images.
Robert Bradshaw, an Image Academy photography student is such a photographer and it is a great privilege to have his work published on our website.
Robert has his own words below, which will give you an insight into the images above and what went in to produce these unique and incredible photographs .
Thank you Robert for allowing us to share these, they are remarkable and a true inspiration to others.
Hope all well for you.
Please find attached my final images for this assignment. Further to my email below, I have now received the components to allow the final image to be taken. I have thoroughly enjoyed this assignment, but totally stressed out at the same time trying to figure it all out! I have talked about each image which I have submitted, however the reality is that on two of the images, I could have easily given you a dozen or more but simply could not decide which one to send over, an impossible task really because after the trial and error process is ironed out, the results just keep on coming but each image looks so different! I had many different outside images of painting with light, but I was not happy with them and they did not reflect my style of Photography so I found other ways to fulfil the criteria. Anyway on with the images:
Image 1: Poker Cards and Chips
The image was compiled for a friend whose new poker room is very basic and I wanted to give him something to cheer the room up! The top of a Maglite torch was removed which exposes the bare bulb, this was then (in total darkness) moved through the cards which were blue tacked to the kitchen table. Exposure time 8-seconds for the playing cards and a separate shot captured was taken to illuminate the chips and then layered in Photoshop. He loves this picture and has been put on a canvas and is now pride of place on his wall in his poker room. Over 300 attempts taken to get this image how I wanted it. I have received fantastic comments for this image and people have no idea how it was captured and argue the whole thing was done inside of Photoshop. See the shot which shows the set up also.
Image 2: CD Colours
Absolutely enjoyed doing this image and working out why something so simple should just work, which didn't! 30 second exposure with again my Maglite, this time with coloured gels put over the end and then working at a very low angle went through each gel in 10 second slots, changing gels very quickly. Major problem was that the Maglite was simply putting too much light on the image and the whole thing ended up being blown out, even at F16. Solution, attached my Tiffen variable ND filter at 8-stops at shoot at F11. So that's total darkness, with an 8-stop ND filter! Results were stunning, and hardly any work on Photoshop other than cropping etc. Each attempt when the solution was found was so different so I have given you three. Hardest part of this was getting the water to stay perfect globules on the CD, solution Rain-x. Smeared that on, wiped off, and presto, water stayed perfect. We have many different images and it really is just a matter of opinion, very subjective this one.
Image 3: Spitfire
This shot originally started out as an apple! However I have a good collection of solid metal pewter war planes which are around 18-inches across, and have no moving parts and very heavy. I decided to use my Spitfire and the image composes of 4-separate images merged inside Photoshop. First shot was to light paint the plane with my Maglite torch at 15-seconds, second shot was to capture the light trailing over the wings, which was achieved using a fibre optic child's lamp which changes colour and darken off the base as it was spilling light, third shot was capturing the spinning propellers, achieved using a 5-second exposure of me very quickly spinning them with my hand and not allowing it to stop otherwise the propellers were captured static which ruins the shot, this shot proved very difficult and took over 50-attempts alone, 5-second exposure with my Maglite in one hand on the propellers and spinning it with the other, whilst not being in the way of the shot!, fourth exposure was the tip of the propellers which whilst spinning did not look right, so a single shot and cloned on in Photoshop with a 50% opacity. So four exposures three using a Maglite and the final with a child's night lamp, simply amazing what you can achieve with very little. Again in total darkness on my kitchen table. This shot collectively took over 500 attempts, but I am very pleased with the result, the biggest and most difficult part of this was learning how to trail the fibre optic over the wing.
Image 4: Vodka bottle and glass.
After the components came for me to make the required lighting rig for this, I knew how to set the shot up, but not how it would came out. Had total fun doing this once it was set up. Used Speedlite flash with diffuser to illuminate the glass and bottle prior to the 8-second LED exposure. I got literally dozens of different takes of this shot I could keep, this one is truly impossible to give you one which I think is best as there was simply so many and all look completely different as there was no way to duplicate the way in which you held the LED lighting rig. I set the LED's to fade between colours and the LEDs are on the lowest setting as they gave out so much light. Eventually switched to F16 so that the LEDs did not bleed into each other, black back ground to ensure nothing was lit from behind and I went through 300 shots. The only way this shot would work was if the LED's were not plugged in, so purchased a 12v power pack which houses 8 AA 1.5v batteries (see picture). The whole thing is completely portable and I look forward to using this on other images for people. I don't think this shot would look out of place at a bar. The first flashed image was then layered onto the final image and blended again so it all looked as one image as the LED's put a slight shadow on the foreground detail.
Image 5: NOT SUBMITTED. Martini Sparkler.
Many attempt to get this right, and I eventually captured this shot, but after careful consideration I deemed this as not Light painting (well, not enough) as the sparklers were lit and the camera did the rest. It has to be said, than many Martini glasses were harmed during this shot, turns out, Martini glasses do not like to be subjected to three sparklers being lit inside them at once! Still a good shot, but not painted enough so ultimately rejected for this assignment. Enjoyed doing it though and my son thought I was crazy to waste perfectly good sparklers like this!
Enjoy Mark, and I look forward to reading your comments in due course and look forward also to my next assignment, which I hope were not as taxing as this! Thank you.