Monday, July 2, 2012

Living Statues 2012

As I promised you (and even before exam season is over) here are the photos from this year's Living Statues Festival in Rehovot.

This year I worked with a wider lens and stepped up closer to get more of the scene in. Less tight portraits though. The real fun was my lighting setup which is shown below...

Nights of the Living Statues:
2011 | 2012 | 2013

Remember the post about last year's festival?  This year the city gave the event three days. I came on the first day and from what I hear the performers did get a bit tired by the third day.

 Typical crowd at this festival. The street also goes up a hill allowing this nice angle at the mob.

So this year I had a completely different light, and the difference is dramatic. Especially in the amount of time it took me to get these photos to look good. The idea was to light the statues from the side using the flash off-camera.

You may be wondering if I set up a light stand every time I stopped to take a picture. Well, not exactly... Here is my beautiful (sound activated) light stand:

My assistant, art director and girlfriend had to run around holding the monopod with the SB700 on it all night long. ("Hey are you through yet `cause I'm getting tired of holding this thing...") I'm sure people thought she was part of the exhibit.

Some of the performers actually came from other countries to participate.

Oh and I do have a couple of unedited pictures for you guys. The first is from this roman soldier

Left: in Auto mode. Right: in M mode
I accidentally pushed the mode dial to Auto when I took this picture. The exposure is 1/5 sec which makes it blurred, the built in flash fires to make it flat and unpleasant and it was just so bad I had to show you the difference. The picture in M is at 1/60 with the flash coming from the side. If you still like to `just put it in Auto' just think about this...

This is the final version (different pic) where you can really see the lighting from the off camera flash doing its job. It especially makes the background go black, which is what I wanted in these pictures (as you see above, the background is ugly old buildings).

Left: Shutter speed at 1/50 Aperture f/4.0. Right: Shutter speed at 1/200 Aperture f/5.6
A short lesson in backgrounds: usually you want the background to appear (so people don't look like they're in space when they are really at a party or something) but here the background is distracting and ugly. The character is lit by the flash (which measures light via TTL) and when I change the shutter speed it makes a dramatic change on the background, but no effect at all on the flash (the extra stop down in aperture makes the flash work a little harder but because it is going sideways that has little effect on the background).

One more word of praise for my lightstand: She was in the opinion that this photo would benfit from some tight cropping. The box and stuff in the background is distracting and unattractive, while her expression and the reflection behind her is much more powerful up close.

This is one of those times I am happy to have a lot of megapixels to throw around.

Light dancers. They put on a whole show. More pics in the album link below...

This centaur creature was fairly impressive, but my flash caught his attention. It didn't taste as good as it looked I guess.

As promised, lizard girl from last year returns... this year as a street light.

Those are the highlights. For more pics, see the full album.

As always, comments, requests, and well phrased criticism is welcome...

Nights of the Living Statues:
2011 | 2012 | 2013

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