Sunday, May 6, 2012

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

     Rain is one of the worst things that could happen when I'm in a photography mood. Yes, I know.  Some photographers like them.  They provide contrast, shiny greens, water droplets, grit on the city, and the clouds make for better lighting.  All I can think of is, "My expensive camera better not get wet!"

     I was upset that I had to cancel my trip to Daejon to scout for some scenes, when it rained the whole weekend.  This just put me in a gloomy mood where I can't think of other things to do but whine about it.  I was chatting on facebook with a fellow blogger friend of mine, when I mentioned my complains.

"Oh, but I love the rain.  It's beautiful!  You should take pictures of it."
"Nope!  I would not dare risk exposing my expensive camera to water... unless I'm getting paid for it."

     Canon EOS 60D isn't that expensive when compared to other photographer's gear.  But I kept emphasizing its value 'cause it cost me more than 3 months of my salary and I have my growling stomach to prove it.

     But that small talk I had with my friend got me thinking of a video I saw once.  It's about portrait under rain.  Since I still have a lot to learn about portraits, and I have a lot to learn about flash photography, and I have a lot to learn about taking pictures in general, I got curious that night.

Light Testing
First step was to test how the TTL works.  Surprisingly, the additional info from this image gave me the idea of how the rain would look like.  It was a very informative test shot.
     I'm glad there was a tent-like place built just a few meters across my room.  It's a good place to keep my gears dry from both ends.  My room or that tent.  In this situation, I had to rely on my Carl Zeiss 80-200mm.  It's not a portrait lens but I need the telephoto to keep it out from the rain.  These times, I'm a little glad I opted to take the "package deal" when I bought my camera.  It included a weak tripod, but a tripod nonetheless.  My flash was mounted on it.

The problem with setting the lighting is balancing is for the portrait and the rain.  That, along with having no reflectors, single flash unit, night time, makes it a nightmare.  I got the exposure I want for me.  But that lead to slow shutter speed that made the rain look like sperm swimming up!

     Still a bit rusty, I forgot how TTL works.  This session took a lot of hits and misses through many many unnecessary shots.  But I managed to work with the flash off-camera.  I don't have triggers and I don't think I could justify its prices.  So TTL flash photography it is.

You better work this time!
I finally found how to work with the lighting.  Got myself exposed the way I wanted to, the off-camera flash working as it should, and the rain captured quite nicely.  But I find it a bit different from what I expected.  It's far from the images on the video.  But I'm not imitating it.  I just got the idea of it.  Then again, I'm not getting the effect I want to either.

     When I thought I had enough, I uploaded them on my computer to check out how I'm doing.  There were some okay shots and I'm beginning to understand how to accentuate the background using the rain.  I was fortunate that it wasn't pouring out that time.  But then I want to get the effect I saw on the video.  2 hours passed and the rain came in heavy.  I had to work quickly.  Not just because of the rain, but because it's almost dawn.

I'd say this photo was a success.  No, I don't mean the image was good.  I mean I got the effect I wanted.  I got the dramatic lighting.  I got the exposure right.  I got the rain right.  It's just a matter of working with this set-up, under this conditions, in such camera settings.  All notes taken down.  My only concern is when the rain in front of me is captured.  That, I think, is something I need to look into, before taking a re-shoot of this.  Rain doesn't happen everyday.

     Once again, it's an experience.  A learning one.  I needed to take down some real notes about this.  There's too many to consider with this particular scene.  I need more practice.  Maybe next time, I can come up with better ones.

No comments:

Post a Comment