Sunday, 15 September 2013

And a star to steer her by

Click to enlarge
This particular post is in response to one of +Inara Pey's "For the Few," a homage to flight in Second Life. I decided to do the same for my favourite activity; Inara provided the inspiration, I provided the image and John Masefield provided the words: 

"All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."

And while not a tall ship, the Patchogue II from Jacquleine Trudeau, is certainly elegant enough to suit Masefield's "Sea Fever."

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Challenge: Windlight

Ocho Tango: soft and hazy
So  +Strawberry Singh, the mistress of windlight settings, wants to know how the rest of us use windlight in our images in her latest Monday meme.

Do you use windlight while taking pictures? If not, why not? Sure. I experiment with them a lot as well as having all the bells and whistles turned on: advanced lighting, ambient occlusion and so on. Usually though, I leave local lights turned off – I want to be in complete control of the light.

When taking a closeup snapshot for a profile picture, which windlight preset do you use most often? I don't often do portraits. I think my profile pic is more than two years old (and really kind of sad - it was an experiment) I do shoot a lot of images of singers and performers, but then, I usually follow the same pattern as when I am doing landscapes - it's all about the mood.

Which windlight presets do you use for full body portraits? Pretty much the same answer as the last question.

If you do landscape photography, which windlights do you use for that most often? Ah, here we go! My final images are almost always in black and white, so there are a few things going on in my head when I am working. First is “what is this going to look like without colour? So I tend to favour windlights that don't have strong colours to begin with: It's gonna rain, Amsterdam, Dusty Bright. Mainly for me, controlling the light is all about setting mood, so I am most concerned with contrast, shadows, clouds and intensity of light. For that, there is no substitute for just playing, especially with the haze level.

Ocho Tango again, after the fog lifted

Do you have any tricks or tips that you could share for using Windlight effectively? Not really sure if this is a windlight tip, but one of the biggest pains for me is spending 10 minutes experimenting and getting my camera angle and windlight synced perfectly, only to move or hit escape and bounce back to default. Pick up a copy of HUD CAM or the pushpin hud to lock your view down.

Have you created any windlights that you would be willing to share with us? Unfortunately no. I experiment a lot and rarely use the same settings twice. I can share a bit of advice I learned through RL photography, though; try to previsualise how you want the final image to look. Not so much in detail, but in terms of how the light will convey the mood of the scene. Then work towards that image. Easy, right?