A few people have requested the BTS information on creating the Avenging Angel photo. So, I’ve created a quick and dirty shoot to explain the process.
First of all, the inspiration came from Light Painting Photograph Contest Winner May 2020. The difference is that I broke this up into two images whereas the inspiration is one long exposure.
Tools I used:
- Two Flashlights, one of which I covered with red transparent vinyl
- Black Fiber Optics
- A stencil using free clipart which I made out of cardboard. The stencil area itself is about 7×10. The piece of cardboard is about 11×16. I would recommend using a larger piece of cardboard as to have a little more freedom to play around with.
First Image: The wings
Focus on the model and then put in manual focus.
Dan was approximately 12 feet from the camera itself.
Place the stencil in front of the camera. I used a light stand with clamps. The stencil completely fills the frame.
I situated myself behind the place where Dan would stand (which was marked by a concrete paver I painted black). With a remote trigger and timer, I used the fiber optics tool with a flashlight with red gel over it and painted to my heart’s content. It’s a long exposure and a lot of work to get what I wanted. I will be thinking about coming up with a better and quicker way of doing this. (The black stick in front of my foot was used in a later step, described below)
This is the result of the light painting:
Second Image: Dan in costume
I first tried to use a DIY portrait light and it failed utterly. So, I decided to use speedlights. I set up speedlights on either side of him and one on the camera.
He rested the sword on the black stick(mentioned above) to keep it steady. I put the camera on timer and used a remote trigger. The speedlights would fire and then I’d go in and light up the sword with black fiber optics and a plain flashlight (nothing covered over it).
This is the result:
Combined Final Image:
I then combined the two images in Photoshop Elements using layers and a layer mask to get the final result.
An accidental BTS shot. I look awful and surprised. I must have hit the remote trigger twice — turned it off and accidentally turned it back on which fired the speedlights after 10 seconds. Note: As you can see here, Dan has the sword resting on the black stick.