Monday, June 30, 2008

The Wizard Shot

I am frustrated. I have a shot that I have been planning for some time that I am having difficulty doing.

Paul and I are working on a book project. At the present we have three themes to shoot: Urban Shadows, Hands and Genre Works. We are discussing adding one more.

I had a very difficult time with Hands and only came up with an approach almost by accident when I noticed the design on the curtains made from an old bed sheet over my garage window. Some of us don't take much. After several tries I finally arrived at one that I can live with and was ready to go to the second shot.

That almost also was a fluke. A co-worker gave me a round paperweight several years ago as a Christmas present. The weight tied in well with the design on the garage curtains and I came up with the following set up.

I want to hold the paperweight in my hand. It is a blue sphere about four inches in diameter and to light the weight with a flash placed between my hand and the weight.

I took an old Vivitar 252 electronic flash, removed the flash tube and put a six foot extension between the guts and the tube. A few shots zeroed in that it would work so I prepared the rest of the props. Well all except the gold medallion that I wore back in the seventies, my hippie period, that I cannot locate.

I set up the camera to be tripped by a PocketWizard and the Vivitar to be tripped from the camera via PocketWizard. A SB800 set to optical slave is to provide light to give additional form.

Everything is great except that the Vivitar only trips about every tenth or fifteenth time. I have changed settings, replaced batteries, examined the connections, all without success. Keep in mind that I am wearing a very heavy wool turtle neck sweater under a robe for this shot. Not exactly the type of set up in the Summer in Houston that you want to wait for the flash to fire.

I will have to try it again but man am I disgusted But I do want to do this shot.

I am attaching one of the test shots. This is the sphere lit from below with the modified Vivitar. Imagine this being held in my hand with the flash tube below the sphere and me in the "wizards" oufit behind it. Yeah, that is why I have to do the shot.

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