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CLOSED “How'd You Do That?” --- Red Vine Neon Photos

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garthm34 [mostly away] is a group moderator garthm34 [mostly away] says:

“How'd You Do That?” --- Red Vine Neon Photos

This is an example of a newbie thread series that I’ve always wanted!

A “How’d You Do That?” series that describes in step-by-step detail how someone pulled off a particularly interesting capture.

Don’t you just hate directions on how to do something that you can’t understand until after you know how to do it? Or struggling and failing with some technique only to later find that a crucial step was left out of the directions?

So for the many of you who’ve complimented and emailed me asking “How’d You Do That?” regarding my Red Vines photos here it is in mind numbing but reproducible detail. While, I don't think these photos are any great shakes, I think the technique can provide you with some great rainy day fun. :)

First, what the heck are Red Vines anyway? – Red Vines are best known in the States as a strawberry flavored red licorice. Click here to see a picture, Red Vines Pic.

I'll describe and walk you through two slightly different versions of Red Vines. The Green Neon and the Yellow-Red Neon versions as they use slightly different techniques.

The RED VINES - Green Neon Version

Red Vines, Green Neon

Click here to view Larger Version.


RED VINES - Materials Photo Figure #1

Red Vines Setup Part 1

Click here to view Larger Version.


There are four steps to creating the shot. 1.) the Staging, 2.) the Lighting, 3.) the Camera Setup, and 4.) the Execution.

I. The Staging - what you'll need

1. An LED Wand. As you can see from the LED Wands in the above picture I kludged together the wands from LED light bulbs, a hollow tube to thread the thin wire through, which is then attached to a battery holder with batteries. Primitive but it works.

There are two versions of the wands. The bottom wand (LED Wand Large Bulb) is what I used in the Red Vines shots. The LED Wand small bulb I've used for smaller glasses, like the Blue and Yellow Martini glass shots in my photostream.

While there are LED wands that you can purchase on the Net they were way too large for my purposes. So I made my own.

2. The Red Vines Container. Of course you can be extremely creative here. I’ve used large jars, martini glasses and wine glasses, etc.

3. Black Foam Board. The empty Red Vines container is sitting on a black foam board. There is also a black foam board as a backdrop.


II. The Lighting
The photo is taken in a completely dark room. This is long exposure photography.


III. The Camera Setup
The camera is on a tripod and shot with a Nikon D300 and 50mm f/1.8D lens. I set the lens on manual and focused on the container. I used a Nikon MC-36 remote electronic cable release; you can use your camera’s self timer. I set the delay to shot for 15 seconds so I could get ready (turn off the light, and get in position etc.) and after some experimentation/ trial and error I settled on a 15 second exposure for the shot. Here are the specifics for the Nikon D300 Red Vines Green Neon Shot:

Nikon D300
Nikon Lens: 50mm f/1.8D
Exposure: 15 sec
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Program: Manual
Metering Mode: Pattern
Shutter Speed: Bulb (allows remote control cable release exposure)


IV. Shot Execution
I wore a black, long sleeve tee shirt and black glove and taped the tubing of the wand with black photo tape (setup figure #1) so there would be no reflection off my hand or the wand from the LED light. Then it's just trial and error experimentation moving the wand in a circular motion, as seen in the capture.


The RED VINES - Yellow-Red Neon Version

Red Vines, Yellow Neon

Click here to view Larger Version.


RED VINES - Setup figure #2

Red Vines Setup Part 2

Click here to view Larger Version.


The four steps for the Red Vines, Yellow-Red Neon shot is the same as the Red Vines, Green Neon shot above with the below noted differences.

I. The Staging
Same as the Red Vines Green Neon.


II. The Lighting
The room is black except for the 4-way LED flashlight (setup figure #1). For the Red Vine, Yellow and Red Neon shot I used the red bulb of the LED flashlight. I placed the short "snoot" over the front of the LED flashlight. The snoot (setup figure #1) is a piece of non-shiny black paper cut and taped with black photo tape (setup figure #1) to make a cylinder that slides over the front of the flashlight. The snoot is to keep the camera from picking up stray side light from the flashlight and to focus the beam a bit. For this shot I used the short snoot, peeled off one of the layers from a Kleenex and put it over the front of the snoot with a rubber band.

I set the LED flashlight with snoot attached in the clamp of my Ultimate Support bike repair/ maintenance stand (setup figure #2) and pointed it at the Red Vine container. This light was coming from the left at approximately a 250 degree angle. Of course you'll want to experiment to get this to your liking.


III. The Camera Setup
Same as the Red Vines Green Neon.


IV. The Execution
Same as the Red Vines Green Neon except I used no gloves during the actual execution. Also, there is no black photo tape around the tubing of the wand for this shot. I wanted some ambient light to reflect off my hand and the wand. This creates the red fog like light seen coming out of the container itself.

Red VInes is an example of Light Painting. Here's how the pros do it. Some Flickr resources.
1. Painting with Light ala Aaron Jones...
2. Light Painting - The Real Deal
3. Painting with Light
4. Light Painting
5. Light Paint


That's it. Thanks to my buds Owen (Stargate001) and Car (carshamus2) for looking this over and providing feedback.

Enjoy
.: garth :.
Originally posted at 8:12PM, 5 March 2008 PDT (permalink)
garthm34 [mostly away] edited this topic 65 months ago.

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~ CarLee Photography ~ says:

Garth thank you so much for sharing your talent with us, I must say I am impressed, not only with the end product, but with the effort you go to in making your wonderful shots. I am sure everyone will appreciate reading such an honest account of what you went through to get "THE SHOT" :) Car
75 months ago (permalink)

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j_wijnands says:

Well... I certainly am very impressed with your detailed description. I'm wondering though, would people here also be interested in something less elaborate? Perhaps I'll write something on the usage of a small foldable reflector.
75 months ago (permalink)

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grantbrooks72 is a group administrator grantbrooks72 says:

Well done garth! that's what this group is all about, what a fantastic thread! we are one lucky group to have you....
75 months ago (permalink)

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Stargate001 is a group moderator Stargate001 says:

Garth
Great to see your thread up here my friend, you've done a wonderful job with this, it's just brilliant

Regards

Owen
75 months ago (permalink)

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Kerri Afford says:

Thanks Garth great Idea for helping all of us learn new stuff :-)

j_wijnands, sounds interesting please tell us more :-)

cheers
Kerri
Originally posted 75 months ago. (permalink)
Kerri Afford edited this topic 75 months ago.

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SallyT. is a group moderator SallyT. says:

Hi garthm34
You certainly put a lot of work into this image. I like the green one best. You've also put a lot of work into this thread. Thank you for that. Case studies make interesting reading as well as providing a source of useful tips and advice.
Originally posted 75 months ago. (permalink)
SallyT. edited this topic 75 months ago.

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garthm34 [mostly away] is a group moderator garthm34 [mostly away] says:

Thanks for all the comments and kind words guys! I for one know that 9-months from now when I ask myself, how'd I do that again? I'll have reminder directions. LOL

@j_wijnands
A small foldable reflector sounds intriguing and is something I think I'd find very useful for a number of types of shots. Go for it.

If I may make a suggestion if we pursue this:

- We might consider standardizing the title for consistency e.g. "How'd You Do That? - (subject)"

- Grant, perhaps you could put the title and URL link to the these "How'd You Do That?" write-ups under the Groups Description via the Admin feature. This way folks might access it more easily in the future.

Really looking forward to others contributions over time. There are a number of pics from folks here that I'd love to know - how'd they do that?

.: garth :.
74 months ago (permalink)

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~ CarLee Photography ~ says:

Garth, does my standing on a railway line in high heels to get the sunset rail shot count for " How'd ya do that?" LOL :) Car
74 months ago (permalink)

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grantbrooks72 is a group administrator grantbrooks72 says:

We will have to take a look and see : P
74 months ago (permalink)

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~ CarLee Photography ~ says:

Grant.........ha ha :) Car
74 months ago (permalink)

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garthm34 [mostly away] is a group moderator garthm34 [mostly away] says:

I'm with ya on this, Grant. I want to see pictures of the high heels, sunset and rails complete with arrows and labels. :)
74 months ago (permalink)

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~ CarLee Photography ~ says:

Garth....aint gunna happen lol :) Car
74 months ago (permalink)

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