Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | People Photography | Join Upload & Sell

  

Archive 2012 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice
  
 
friscoron
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice


I've seen this type of shot a million times, and have always wanted to shoot it. It's just never worked out for me to pull it off. One other time I could have gotten this shot, I didn't have my tripod with me. So as I was doing an e-session last night at dusk and the guy mentions this shot to me as we stand above Lakeshore Drive in Chicago, I think: "Yes! Finally!" I hustle back to my car for my tripod, and come back to set up the shot.

First, I set the exposure for the streaming tail lights, and on this shot here, I settle on 3 secs exposure, ISO 250 and f/20. I vary from 13 seconds exposure to later settling at 6 secs, f/18, ISO 200. I use a Nikon SB-910 at full power on a stand about 8 feet from them. LumoPro LP160 behind them for some backlight. I hold an SB-900 about 12 feet from them and fire it off about 5-6 times at full power during the exposure.

As you can see, this shot just isn't close to epic. For one, the light on them is just not powerful enough. I have a couple of AlienBee Einsteins with portable Vagabond power that I can use for this shot. I want to go back and get it again.

So I think I can get the light right using 2 of my 4 Einsteins and then using the LumoPro LP160 for a backlight. My question is about the streaming tail lights and headlights for those of you who have done this shot before. More cars are coming toward than away from us, so I don't know if there's anything I can do about the headlights turning into like a river of light. Any suggestions on that?







Here's the original SOOC from a shot just before this one, but lighting was exactly the same:







Edited on Sep 23, 2012 at 04:17 AM · View previous versions



Sep 21, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Doug-S
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice


Ron - I'm not so sure you need more light going into them. Just my opinion! I think you could solve the lights coming at you by just changing your angle and/or repositioning them so they block the oncoming lights but not the tail lights.

Doug



Sep 21, 2012 at 03:35 PM
andyjh
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice


I think light on them is fine, but your slow shutter caused the motion blur on her arm/hand. Unliess that's his neck upon closer inspection!


Sep 21, 2012 at 03:37 PM
ScooberJake
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice


Agreed, it doesn't look to me like you need more light on the couple, they are bright enough. The black shirt is the problem, makes shots like this really tough. I think your main light on them needs to be higher, you can see form the shadow it is way too low.

What is the purpose of your third light? I think the fact that you popped it multiple times is why you are getting the ghosting on the girl's arm.

Also, if you shoot this a little earlier you can get some color in the sky, maybe a little more fill on the couple and the foliage.



Sep 21, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Steve Wylie
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice


Ron,

I agree with the others about not bringing any more light on the couple. I like what you have here. I like the bit of separation that illuminating the foliage on the left brings. You can't put more light on the girl without blowing the shirt. I like the happy accident of the car headlights between their two chins. If anything, I'd tone down some of the lights via masking or gradients. I'd use a gradient to darken the pavement at their feet. I'd use the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom or the Dodge/Burn tool in Photoshop to take a bit of light off the seat of her jeans. Lastly, I'd go down to the pixel level and clone out the ghosting on her arm or any other place it might be. Point is, I think this capture is too good to "do over".

As for your main question about headlights vs. taillights, I'm not aware of anything you can do to remedy this, except to consider the possibility of shooting at a time when there are more cars going away than coming toward you. But frankly, I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Steve



Sep 21, 2012 at 04:05 PM
elliotkramer
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice


Whenever the subjects are going to be lit independently of the background, location is no longer necessary. This couple could be shot anywhere (or right where they are) and the background (shot separately), added in Photoshop. Interaction between the background and subjects can also easily be simulated. It may be a little more work, but that's how a "perfect" shot can be guaranteed.


Sep 21, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Steady Hand
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice


Hi Ron,

My comments or suggestions below are not a criticism of you, your model, your talent or skill. I offer them in a friendly tone of voice and with the sole intent to help you with a second POV and set of eyes. If you read sincere questions and simple suggestions as "criticism" of you, then you will miss how I am trying to help you.
________________

This image does strike me as being very much like many of the "strobist" photos I have seen posted on this forum.

Why?

Because it looks "flashed." The couple does seem disconnected from the other action or scene. As if the background was pasted/cloned in.

I would prefer to see the couple in ambient light or "part of the scene."

So, I believe "adding stronger or more flashes" is the wrong way to go.




Sep 21, 2012 at 05:10 PM
friscoron
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice



Jake, you're right about the ghosting on the arm. In the end I tried to hold the speed light in the same position to keep from doing that, but I'm trying to fire off as many strobes as possible in the 3 secs. What's interesting to me, is that I fired off at least 3 strobes off my SB900 to the camera right, all at full power, yet if you look at the shadow from the SB910 from camera left, that's what creates the shadow. I'm wondering what's up with my SB900, and maybe that was a huge part of my problem.

I want to re-do it in part to have them in better clothes for this shot. Also, like Jake mentioned, it I shot it earlier, I can get better color in the sky. If I had time to post the original, you'd be able to see how dark the couple were before I start editing the shot. I also want to shoot from a lower angle so they are above the streaming car lights.

I appreciate everyone's feedback.



Sep 21, 2012 at 05:57 PM
no_surrender
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice


Cool concept Ron, even though I know you're trying to replicate something that isn't original to you specifically...anyways, trying something new is what it's all about, right?

Why are some of the street lights green? Did something in your PP render them green or were they green to begin with? Just wondering and for me it's just a tad distracting.

I was a little confused about your settings. So did you settle on a 3 sec exposure or 6??

I hope your re-do comes out fantastic and I'm sure it will!

As far as it looking "flashed"...ummm...well it's going to look flashed when there's an obvious long exposure in the background, right? Maybe play with some gels to make it look less "flashy?" Either way, I'm looking forward to what you come away with and I bet the couple will love it.

Kevin



Sep 22, 2012 at 02:27 AM
 



larhouser
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice


How about tighting up the zoom on the flash so there is less spill on the concrete?


Sep 22, 2012 at 03:43 AM
friscoron
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice


no_surrender wrote:
Cool concept Ron, even though I know you're trying to replicate something that isn't original to you specifically...anyways, trying something new is what it's all about, right?
Why are some of the street lights green? Did something in your PP render them green or were they green to begin with? Just wondering and for me it's just a tad distracting.
I was a little confused about your settings. So did you settle on a 3 sec exposure or 6??
I hope your re-do comes out fantastic and I'm sure it will!
As far as it looking "flashed"...ummm...well it's going to look flashed when
...Show more

Thanks, Kevin! The picture shown has a 3-second exposure. I was talking about the different shutter speeds I was using and it ranged from 3 secs to 13 secs, but I think I've decided on 6 secs when I do the re-shoot.

The green lights you see are traffic lights. I shot when that traffic signal was green so the cars would be moving.



Sep 22, 2012 at 05:03 AM
friscoron
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice


larhouser wrote:
How about tighting up the zoom on the flash so there is less spill on the concrete?


Good call. I know the flash was zoomed pretty wide.



Sep 22, 2012 at 05:03 AM
no_surrender
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice


friscoron wrote:
Thanks, Kevin! The picture shown has a 3-second exposure. I was talking about the different shutter speeds I was using and it ranged from 3 secs to 13 secs, but I think I've decided on 6 secs when I do the re-shoot.

The green lights you see are traffic lights. I shot when that traffic signal was green so the cars would be moving.


Wow, can't believe I didn't pick up on that!
How soon are you planning the re-shoot?

Kevin



Sep 22, 2012 at 05:09 AM
friscoron
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice



Hard to say. I shoot in that location a lot; in fact, I'm going there this afternoon. So I may try this with a different couple then.



Sep 22, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Strobo
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice


"My question is about the streaming tail lights and headlights for those of you who have done this shot before. More cars are coming toward than away from us, so I don't know if there's anything I can do about the headlights turning into like a river of light. Any suggestions on that?"



IMO the shot would be more successful with more ambient light, less strobe, and less focus on the background. You're shooting at f20. Try using a longer lens and a much wider aperture. That'll throw the background lights more out of focus and bring attention back to the couple.

You might also want to consider shooting earlier during blue hour (just after sunset). You'll still have some ambient light along with the twinkle of night lights. The sky colour will be a rich blue and you'll only need a touch of flash. You'll also have an easier time balancing ambient with flash, and have more options on how dark or light you want the background to appear.



Sep 22, 2012 at 05:52 PM
ThreeStone
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice


I've never tried this version of flashed foreground/ambient background, but I'm wondering why you need to flash more than once. Wouldn't it be possible to set your strobes to illuminate the foreground with a single flash, thus eliminating any ghosting?

As to the oncoming headlights, I think I'd try doing a second shot at a slower shutter speed (maybe 2 secs.) to try to catch some individuality from them, then just blend that layer in to replace the blown out part. Might look even more artificial - can't be sure as I've never done it quite like that, but it could just work.

Bruce



Sep 22, 2012 at 06:56 PM
friscoron
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Streaming tail lights and ppl kissing -- need advice



Okay, I keep getting this about the lighting on the couple. Everyone sees my finished product and assumes the lighting was acceptable, or okay, or whatever. It wasn't. They were horribly underexposed. You can see below SOOC.

Nice idea about the headlights. In this case, I was moving the tripod around, pretty frustrated, so it wouldn't work. If I got the lighting right and kept the tripod stationary, it would totally work.

Here's the shot SOOC:








Sep 23, 2012 at 04:02 AM





FM Forums | People Photography | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Reset password