Photo Notes

December 4, 2009

Projector Blues

Filed under: Film Technique,Lighting Technique — John Siskin @ 10:38 pm

Blue LightYears ago I went to a lecture about lighting, I think it was put on by Kodak. The photographer had these awesome little lights, hot lights, with built in baffles that allowed his to precisely control where the light went. Similar to working with barn doors, but with a harder edge, and more control. The lights had lenses so your edges could be harder or softer. I thought these lights had to be the best thing ever for tabletop work. The only problem was that I didn’t own them.

I had already seen work by Moses Sparks that used a slide projector to project images on top of the human body. You’ll understand that this was in the dark ages before Photoshop. So it suddenly occurred to me that I could get the precise lighting that I wanted with the slide projector. You can see an article about doing this kind of work, with film, at this link.

When I first started working with digital cameras one of the hardest things to give up was the creativity the slide projectors gave me. Because I could control the placement of the light, project color and images, and control the brightness of the light, the projectors were awesome tools. Digital cameras, the several I have owned anyway, can’t keep the shutter open for ten minutes, while you turn on and off timers.Red Light

Recently, I got an upgrade firmware package for my camera that improved the way it works with long exposures. While it is not a ten-minute exposure I can now do a shot at one second, before I had noise problems with anything longer than 1/20th of a second. So I can now use the projector to add special lighting effects to portraits and other shots. Really a great thing!White Light

Please check out my classes

An Introduction to Photographic Lighting

Portrait Lighting on Location and in the Studio

Business to Business: Commercial Photography

Thanks, John

1 Comment

  1. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

    Comment by Paige — June 27, 2011 @ 6:45 am

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