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Archive 2011 · DUI Shoot Advise
  
 
Ray Still
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p.1 #1 · DUI Shoot Advise


Looking for any advise, suggestions on 12/14 will get the opportunity to do a multi agency 25-30 different Law enforcement DUI campaign shoot. It will take place at night on top of the Lewiston Grade outside of Pullman, WA.

Talking to my friend that is a Washington State Trooper the plan is we will have to of the digital Highway 6ft reader signs incorporated into the group shot. The DOT is bringing out a bucket truck in which I will be in to shoot above the group.

My Plan is Large umbrellas with the strobes to try to get as even and broad lighting as I can, Problems I may face we will be up about 3000 ft looking down on the city of Lewiston possible lighting pollution from the city lights.

Also it will be cold in the low 20,s-mid teens not sure how that will effect my strobes or portable power battery life (Lifeline) 100AH battery.

Any thoughts suggestions appreciated.

Attached is an image from last year I did not shoot this the guy that did really screwed everything up big time I was given all the images to try to re-work real pain just full of noise etc.
Anyways just an image to give a concept of what I will be shooting except it will be a different location

Ray Still







Dec 10, 2011 at 06:38 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #2 · DUI Shoot Advise


Do you have to shoot at night-night or can you shoot at dusk? How many heads are you planning to use? There are a lot of tricky things to consider in this set up, can you shoot different plates and layer them in PS or is it an all in one shot kind of deal?




Dec 10, 2011 at 07:18 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #3 · DUI Shoot Advise


There are a lot of elements to this, in addition to the questions Micky asked get up there with a friend, a car, your gear and do some testing. If you are going to do the same kind of layout depth of field may be a real issue.

Lithium batteries do well in the cold. I hope you have a lot of flash power, there are some good examples with 2 or 3 strobes and PLMs on the rob galbraith site but at this distance bare reflector may be the way to go.



Dec 10, 2011 at 08:46 PM
Ray Still
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p.1 #4 · DUI Shoot Advise


Thanks guys appreciate the input, I was thinking on the same lines blending in the sign readers and the background lights of Lewiston as I have a hunch different exposures and f stops are going to be needed to pull this off. We are going to start setting up around 2:30pm but it is dusk by 3:45 (due to being so close to mountain time zone)

I will bring 7 heads with me, I figure I will utilize at least 5 of them. I'm calling on my real job accounts in the area so I will head out there from Seattle on Monday, I pland on scouting doing some test shots on Monday and Tuesday late afternoon through early evening

Ray Still



Dec 10, 2011 at 09:06 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #5 · DUI Shoot Advise


Nothing specific on lighting, but on posing/staging:

Try not to let anyone stand in the "fig leaf" position or nearly that as most of them are in your example photo. Hands hanging at the side, thumbs in their belts, arms crossed, etc. are all better ideas.

Also, try to avoid having anyone in reflective gear in a flash-lit shot. As you can see from the two outside guys in your example, bad things happen with reflective clothing.

Good luck.



Dec 11, 2011 at 03:07 AM
Sheldon N
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p.1 #6 · DUI Shoot Advise


Agree with Brian O on the posing and reflective clothing.

In this kind of shot, I'm not sure that I would push a huge amount of light into the image. If you wait until it's dark, then your are stuck with the "pitch black deer in headlights" look. Glancing at a map, it looks like you've got a roughly westerly view towards Lewiston, which will probably give some nice color if the skies are clear. I'd shoot the main frame just after the sun sets, giving a dusky look to landscape. You'll probably need to digitally blend a second exposure for the sky or use ND grads to hold back the sunset. You would use flash to balance the backlighting from the sky, but without overpowering the image. If you can keep the shot locked down on a tripod, you could then even shoot a second exposure after dark to bring in some city lights in the background (align layers and use "blend If" to only allow the lights to show through). Due to the differences between the power of city lights and the power of the DOT reader sign you'll probably need two different exposures to blend that part too. Ultimately ends up to be a bit of a composite shot, but if you can get the main landscape and group in one exposure, you've pretty much got it.

Cool shoot to be involved in, and the troopers are a good group. I got to shoot our local sheriff's office squad photo recently (also here in WA state). We did a fun themed shoot since they are the "graveyard shift".








Dec 11, 2011 at 04:10 AM
Ray Still
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p.1 #7 · DUI Shoot Advise


Sheldon

Very cool image awesome concept, I appreciate your suggestions
I'm really pushing to start the shooting at dusk, the problem is that for the agencies the DUI is usually a night time occurrence during the holidays so they want to stick with that theme. Earlier in the day at a different location I will do some individual agency detachment shots
Thanks again for the input

Ray Still



Dec 11, 2011 at 04:42 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · DUI Shoot Advise


If you shoot bracket 0, -2, -4 sequence at a high enough fps, you could be able to get the first exposure with the strobes, and the next two frames to fire before the strobes recycle ... so you have something to work with for the headlights, police lights and reflective plates/decals that won't be so blown.

You could also remove the personnel from the scene to shoot the cars with / without various lights on ... but, being in the bucket your registration might be better with the FPS approach rather than shots taken minutes apart.

+1 @ minimizing reflective clothing if possible.

Also, you might want to consider how you are going to utilize the front row of cars headlights ... even rim lighting with them all on, no rim lighting @ all off or maybe just the two outside cars on. It's a hodge podge in the image shown, with some on, some off, some seen, some not.

Edited on Dec 11, 2011 at 05:27 AM · View previous versions



Dec 11, 2011 at 05:15 AM
Ray Still
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p.1 #9 · DUI Shoot Advise


Thanks Rusty I'm going to have both my 5D Mark II and my 1D Mark III in the bucket with me the 1D Mark III will give me that rapid fps

Ray Still



Dec 11, 2011 at 05:21 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #10 · DUI Shoot Advise


The 5D II should be quick enough also, unless you've got some "wicked awesome" full power recycle times. Just make sure that you setup your sequence for your first shot to be 0 so you don't underexpose your strobe shot.

I assume that your MK III is setup the same as my MK II N with the hi/low where the low restricts it to THREE frames to keep your bracketing in sync ... a nice feature to have.

You should be able to make some test shots on an earlier night to get a feel for how much bracket adjustment you want dialed in for headlights/light bar ... my -2, -4 is just a SWAG that should give you something to work with in PP. Might help also with the city light pollution issue in PP.



Dec 11, 2011 at 05:32 AM
 

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rico
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p.1 #11 · DUI Shoot Advise


PW MultiMAX allows cyling through different zones. I combine this feature with camera bracketing to fire different lights (or no lights) in rapid fashion.


Dec 11, 2011 at 07:47 AM
Mark_L
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p.1 #12 · DUI Shoot Advise


Nice idea with the rapid framerate to cheat the strobes.

Ray, please post the result and how you did this - I'd be interested to see it.



Dec 11, 2011 at 01:49 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #13 · DUI Shoot Advise


Another thing you might do with the FPS is to use it (no strobe) to capture all of the lightbar lights as they alternate ... aperture stopped down to create some really clean stars.

+1 @ zone lighting if you've got it.



Dec 11, 2011 at 02:14 PM
RobertLynn
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p.1 #14 · DUI Shoot Advise


Please post the results, I'm realy anxious to see it.


Dec 11, 2011 at 10:01 PM
Ray Still
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p.1 #15 · DUI Shoot Advise


Thanks again guys for all the input, just talked to my State Trooper friend, no pressure at all for this gig he just told me the National Transportation Board will be looking at this shoot for the start of a National program argh!!!!, as well as a news station from Spokane and Lewiston will be there during the shoot.
Good times ahead really excited and pumped for this gig will post results

Ray Still



Dec 11, 2011 at 10:46 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #16 · DUI Shoot Advise


Ray Still wrote:
...just talked to my State Trooper friend, no pressure at all for this gig he just told me the National Transportation Board will be looking at this shoot for the start of a National program argh!!!!, as well as a news station from Spokane and Lewiston will be there during the shoot.


Yeah, no pressure at all. Best of wishes.



Dec 11, 2011 at 11:39 PM
ukphotographer
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p.1 #17 · DUI Shoot Advise


Ray Still wrote:
Good times ahead really excited and pumped for this gig will post results

Ray Still



Any results yet ?



Jan 01, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Nozzleforward
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p.1 #18 · DUI Shoot Advise


Yeah! How'd it go?


Jan 01, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Ray Still
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p.1 #19 · DUI Shoot Advise


Thanks everyone for the interest has to how the shoot went, I think the best way to describe it was an overwhelming learning experience that has really prepared me for the shoot I will do in June for the 4th of July DUI campaign

Lesson learned
1) I need to take a much more directive role in posing and placing the subjects
2) Know beforehand exactly what type of equipment is being supplied by the DOT such as in this case I could not even fully expaned my tripod inside of the bucket truck
3) Have a bull horn to call out instructions to the group.
4) Tell the news channels I really need to get this shoot underway
Overall all the agencies are happy with the outcome even though I am not.
Maybe being too hard on myself but the group shots suck no one to blame but me.
The individual portraits came out pretty good at least I can say.

Just an FYI does anyone know that flashing police swat lights trigger off strobes as fast as they can recycle, I learned this the hard way.

Anyways here are a few images from the shoot,

Thanks again and Happy New Year
Ray Still























Jan 01, 2012 at 11:03 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #20 · DUI Shoot Advise


Ray, I think those turned out great.

Of the group shots, I like the second one best due to the interesting hills in the background; it's too bad the motors are missing from the shot. I like that they're all standing (more or less) at parade rest. There's a cohesiveness to them all standing in the same pose, and it shows off the gear on their duty belts.

Your individual shots also came out very nice. The first one nicely showcases the car, with the tricolor lights showing, and the WSP Flash & Shield on the door perfectly captured.

That Lewiston sergeant has more gear on his utility belt than Batman!



Jan 01, 2012 at 11:15 PM
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