Dustin Off the ‘Ol Light
“I’d like a photo of the Speedmail in front of the old terminal at night.” A simple enough request from my client (who is simply the nicest guy) which we had talked about before and which I had scoped out a few years ago. Easy peezy I thought, what could go wrong? I’ve light painted for decades but I’ve done very little if none in the last five or so years so I thought I should brush up. I headed to KelbyOne and watched my buddy Dave Black’s lighting Painting classes to get my mind thinking about light painting. Then I contacted Dave (such a great guy) and told him what I was thinking and what light recommendation did he have. “The Larson Electronics 5″ should do the job nicely” (he was right, it did). With my homework and notes and light in hand, off I went to work.
What could go wrong? We had checked out the terminal the previous night and that’s when I found that they had installed new “bright as the sun” lamps to illuminate the new fueling terminal. Egads! It was nice and romantically dark in front of the old terminal previously with this neon “Welcome” dude all in red that was going to be part of my background. Now I had EVERYTHING in the background lite up like daylight. “Not to worry, I can block the actual light fixtures with the plane,” I told the client. After 19:00 the 4E Speedmail taxied over to the terminal and with little trouble getting it parked where it blocked those horrible lights. One of the things I like to do is get the “base” exposure when working with extra lights, be it flash or a Larson Electronics. Shooting with the Z6 / Z24-70 on the Robus / BH-55, it took a bit of time to get it just right to block those lights. It was 24 degrees so the client saw the first exposure (the bottom one) and thought that was pretty cool. Then he hopped back in the car to stay warm. After about 40min and many exposures later, I got the top photo which was the best I was going to get this time out. It is by no means the best possible as those bright background lights made a long exposure and good light painting painful. The client though when he emerged from the warmth of the car to see the final photos was ecstatic and that’s what matters. I’m already planning the reshoot, I will do better next time.