Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pool of Light - and a Snoot

Today I played around with a snoot I made following some simple DIY instructions I found on the internet.

As usual, I first tried it out on a willing volunteer to get the lighting Just Right...

Spotlight on Teddy
Teddy in a Pool of Light

After trying it on myself once to make sure the light wasn't too intense, I moved on Patient Henry...


Pool of Light
Henry: "Umm... I think you need to aim that snoot a bit higher."

Yes, dear. I think you're right.

But we've already taken your fair share of pictures, so let's give Zachary a chance.

Zachary?

Boring Lighting
Zachary: "Feeling a bit washed out, Mom."

That's because I wanted to show everyone what the lighting looked like without the snoot and without much flash, keeping in mind I raised the exposure (brightened things up) quite a bit during post-processing.

Now let's give the snoot a try...

Pool of Light
Zachary ALMOST in a Pool of Light

Rats... one more try...

Pool of Light
Zachary in a Pool of Light

Ta-Da!

Dog Blog Post #1858


At The End Of The Day the boys curl up with Teddy in a Pool of Light.


Photography Assignment


Daily Dog Challenge 1366. "At The End Of The Day"

Our Daily Challenge - July 29, 2015 - "Pool"


Any time I try something "unusual" with the lighting, I test it first on a stuffed animal, like Teddy, above.

That way I can fuss around with the intensity, distance, and location without needlessly firing the flash at the dogs.

When I'm happy, I then take a shot of myself with my head at the height the dogs' heads will be - something like this...

Body Double
Less-than-complimentary selfie of the Photographer

It makes for some really lousy pictures of me, but gives me peace of mind that the flash isn't going to hurt their eyes.


Snoot
The Snoot!

Flash is the L-shaped bit of plastic on the right, the tube is of black construction paper held together with a ponytail band around the flash head and a paper clip, which is hidden under the tissue, which is held over the open end of the snoot with a rubber band.

While it was a fun experiment, I'm not completely satisfied with the result.

I'm not sure if I should have:

a) raised the camera higher - to make the "pool" more obvious
b) not used a tissue on the end - to make the light more pronounced
c) positioned the dogs more perpendicular to the light source - so less of them is showing
d) all of the above
e) none of the above (i.e. something else)

The other problem is that, for all shots except the ones of me and Teddy, I was holding the flash in hand, up in the air, while trying to point the end where I wanted the pool of light to be.

This is kinda like holding a large Mag-Light (off) and hoping you have it pointed in exactly the right spot before you turn it on.

Let's just say that accuracy was lacking today.

I think I need to add some sort of swivel tripod clamp for my flash to my wish list.

The shots of Teddy and me had the flash/snoot sitting on the floor, just as you see it above.

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1 comment:

The Green Dogs said...

The dogs always look good, but you and Teddy have stolen the show today! I would try option B, without the tissue on the end, to add more contrast. The tissue is acting as a diffuser, and a spotlight that isn't what you need. It's a neat idea, though - if I ever can afford a flash for my camera, I'll give this a go. :)