Something to try for fun

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584
Name
Pete
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#1
A long time ago when I was a young engineer, I needed something photographed in the prototype workshop. So we booked a session with the company photographer who would come over to take pictures.
Everyone was just getting into these rather expensive cameras, OM1n, Pentak ME super and the like.
The company photographer would come along with his large format 8x6, thats large format, put his camera on a tripod (this was a car manufacturers prototype workshop), hit the shutter then wander round the engine bay randomly firing off an electronic flash.
His contact prints (8x6) would always come in an envelope in the internal mail labelled "Photographs do not bend" which my boss at the time would always say "Yes the do" flex the envelope a few times and then chuck it on my desk.

So heres the thing and the challenge, I asked him about the wandering around with the flash, he said "Open the shutter, flash it, see where the shadows are, flash them, just keep walking till you flash out the shadows" That was quite a revelation at the time
I used this technique with film cameras, even macro with reversed lenses and I never got a bad photo. I have even used it when I couldnt afford a dedicated macro flash in digital.

Give this technique a go and post it, take your flash off the camera, stop the camera down and light paint your target manually with the flash, even using amything to tone the flash power down or even change some colour!

Something to try over the rainy season perhaps?
 
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76
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#3
Well, that's new one on me but I can see how/why it would work. i've been looking for a new challenge so maybe learning a few new techniques might be the way forward. I'll keep you posted ........ :)
 
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10,776
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Garry Edwards
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#4
To be pedantic, the actual size will have been 8 1/2 x 6 1/2" (whole plate).

But yes, an old technique that everyone used to use. Electronic flash though? possible but very doubtful, far more likely to have been flashbulbs, they were hot, a bit dangerous and very expensive, but the early electronic flashes had very low power, took ages to recycle and weren't used early on by pros.

Much more recently, I've used light painting, with a small torch, for artistic nude photography.
 
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159
Name
David
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#5
I have been aware of the technique for many years but have never needed to use it yet. It was explained by a police photographer who had to photograph traffic accidents. If it involve a large truck at night a single flash will be of little use so he used to open the shutter and walk around flashing as described above.

I did take a photograph in a workshop recently for which this technique could have been used but I opted to use available light and combine 3 exposures which worked fine. I used ISO 3200 which is fine in a modern camera but would have been difficult with film.

Dave
 
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2,146
Name
Kev
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#6
Many years ago in a photographic magazine there was an article about a photographer in the USA who used that technique at night to photograph towns.
 
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Pete B
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584
Name
Pete
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#7
To be pedantic, the actual size will have been 8 1/2 x 6 1/2" (whole plate).

But yes, an old technique that everyone used to use. Electronic flash though? possible but very doubtful, far more likely to have been flashbulbs, they were hot, a bit dangerous and very expensive, but the early electronic flashes had very low power, took ages to recycle and weren't used early on by pros.

Much more recently, I've used light painting, with a small torch, for artistic nude photography.
He did this in the late 70's/early 80's so electronic flash it was.
 
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