Last week I got to do something really different. It was so different that it dragged me out of my blog-writing slumber. Yep, it's been a year since I wrote anything on here. You thought you were done with me. Not so fast.
Now, if you follow along on my Facebook page you might have seen that I got a job to photograph some restaurants at the airport that were constructed by Trinity TransCon. Well, that finally got on the schedule for this past Friday. One condition though, was that we needed to photograph the spaces after they closed. That meant a very late night at the airport. We finally got the restaurant I was really looking forward to shooting - The Salt Lick. It's a cool-looking bar-b-que place with a big open fire pit in the cooking area. This was going to be fun. That is until we got there and found the doors locked and no way to turn on the fire or any lights (no lights!). Wow, so, my job just became photographing the place with none of it's built-in lighting (at night, remember).
So, let me tell you how I created this image. (You will see the original image lower on the page.)
Fortunately, I had just bought a video training series from an amazing architectural photographer in California named Mike Kelley. He has a technique for creating very distinctive images using some pretty simple equipment and some useful tricks in Photoshop. The main idea centers around selectively painting areas of the scene with light from a handheld flash. All of those individual photos get combined into one finished image by overlaying the lit areas. The technique is something that gives you full control over lighting every part of your space without needing tons of lighting. All it takes is a way to remotely trigger your camera and something to fire your flash remotely. (A great tool for remotely triggering your camera from your tablet or phone is called CamRanger. I actually use this cool thing and a free app on my tablet. I use PocketWizard Flexx TTs to fire my flashes. I have tried the cheap flash triggers and been really disappointed. PocketWizards just work every time.) OK, enough of the commercial, let's look at where I started. Below is the base image I started with (and what the space actually looked like). Amazing, isn't it?
I first started by lighting the wood ceiling in multiple places like this.
After I felt like I had covered all of that area, I worked on lighting the sign.
I knew that I need to get some light on the stainless hood too.
I also knew I needed some more light on the wood and stone in the front.
Finally, here is a quick animation showing how I stacked it all together (along with the rest of the editing) - 13 photos total.
So, there you have it. That was my first attempt at light painting. I was happy to have a solution for the situation I ended up in. Now, I am not going to say I did the best possible job at it, but I am very pleased with the result. I have a ton to learn in using this method, but I definitely plan using it more in the future.
Keywords: Airport, Contruction, DFW, DFW Airport, Fort Worth, Restaurant, Salt Lick, Terminal A, The Salt Lick, Trinity TransCon
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Let's get this Icelandic blog on the road. Bon voyage.
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