The other night, Sian and I went down to dinner and we did something we rarely do nowadays. We took a few photos. For the fun of it.
We weren’t shooting for a wedding, or a corporate event, or a client wanting to show off their fancy property…we took the camera to do some good old fashioned light-on-sensor-gimmickry. And it was great.
In the last few weeks of writing, I have been telling you all how we have had to move and we are living in a new place – but I am yet to show you our new abode: The Almond Casuarina.
This is the biggest of the two pools on resort. Just under the bridge is a swim up bar, and it is a lovely place to chill out on a Sunday when you have the time. The beach is off to the right, and the main restaraunts and bars are within that warm, fuzzy glow on the left. It is a lovely hotel, albeit MUCH smaller than the Village, where we used to live.
Sian is great at times like this. Everyone was sat down enjoying their meals, whilst I tinkered with my camera, setting up tripods and light stands, and she watched on with patience and anticipation. I then asked if she would mind standing on the bridge like a lemon and holding a flash up in front of her face.
She of course had no objections.
After playing about at this pool for five minutes or so, we wandered around to the next one for the shot I was after.
This pool is on the other side of the building, and I wanted to play here for two reasons. One – it is always very quiet in the evening, so long exposures are doable without upsetting anyone, and two, it is not very well lit. Despite what this 6 second exposure tells you, around the pool is actually quite dark, and that’s what I wanted.
Because the shot I was after was a little different to the one you see above. What I wanted to do was shift my colour space dramatically, so that the water glowed a golden orange rather than that misty blue. This would mean shifting my white balance to a much warmer temperature – but I needed my subject, in this case Sian, to remain ‘true’ in colour. I also wanted to get the effect of a calm, oily surface on the water and catch some splashes in the pool that she kicked up.
Solution to all of these requests? Flash.
A few months back, James very kindly bought me a set of coloured gels that I can stick over my flash gun. If you haven’t heard of or know James, go and check out his blog. He is awesome. Anyway, the point of these coloured gels is that I can shoot my flash at Sian and not only illuminate her in the darkness, but by using a different coloured gel, the colour of the light hitting her will change too.
Bare with me on this…
When I ramp my white balance to a very warm 9000k, the scene becomes very, very red. So, to bring Sian back into the correct colour, and not leaving her looking like a sunburnt beetroot, I hit her with a powerful blast of flash, shooting a deep blue colour. The blue negates the red of the scene, Sian looks normal, and I get that burnt orange on the water’s surface I was after.
I also asked Sian to kick up some water just before I blasted the flash to catch those little splashes in the air…It is not perfect, but in the twenty minutes of playing, we got to use a little bit of new kit, I got to tell you all some photography nerd-ary, and I got another dazzling picture of my hot wife.