This image was the first image I shot with the Kick light. It took a while to work out how I wanted to light the church, which is where the famous war poet Wilfred Owen spent much of his time before the outbreak of war. I set two kick lights up on lighting stands, at a very shallow angle to the gable end of the church. I started off with a clear sky but cloud moved in and filled the sky with orange so I eventually opted for blue to contrast that tone, giving a 30 second burst at low power to retain a rich saturation.
The other lighting in the foreground was made using a kick light on the go pro pole. I ran through the spectrum giving short bursts (10-20 seconds) of each colour until I reached red in the middle, and repeated the procedure for the other side. The lights were set to 1% brightness, again to keep the colour saturation. I did try the same using the light’s rainbow function but preferred to be in control of the colours so I did it manually. I’ve cropped the image to get rid of some empty sky but it’s otherwise straight from the camera. I was quite impressed with how the colours merged together. It’s something I’d like to try again.
I created a time lapse video to capture the making of this image. If you haven’t seen it, check it out below.
This image, of a boathouse beside a Cumbrian mountain lake was lit using all four kick lights. I started with two set up on mini tripods on the ground behind the ruined wall on the right, casting their light onto to the side wall of the boathouse, just to add a highlight to it’s edge. The colour was sampled via the iPod’s camera from a test shot on the camera’s screen. This enabled me to match the light pollution coming from the nuclear power station at Sellafield. I’ve not used that feature before, it was nice to feel like I was being accurate but I was just showing off really and the match was surprisingly good. I then placed another light within the ruins to the right, just to give them a bit more of a glow.
I lit the foreground using a Kick Light on a pole again. Firstly adding some fill light right to the front, then from a distance of about fifteen metres to the right of the camera, with most light hitting the front wall from a very shallow angle to pick out it’s textures. This image has had some post processing, mainly levels and curves adjustments and some noise reduction.
This image, of a disused rail tunnel was made using three kick lights. I positioned two on a tripod to the rear of where I wanted my silhouette to appear and set them to a warm white. A burst of around thirty seconds added enough back lighting, then I walked through the dark to behind the camera’s position and added some lighting along the walls with a cool white, from a shallow angle, at a distance of around ten metres.
The kick lights really helped me with this shot, allowing me to activate and deactivate the back lights remotely whilst I was posing as the silhouette. That meant I could add light from two angles, and be in the image myself, all in one exposure. I could have used static kick lights on the foreground but that would have meant the camera’s shadow would have been visible. The ability to choose between warm and cool lighting helps add a subtle colour contrast and would not have been possible with other lighting unless I had a helper to pose for me.
The Nuba Embrace
This interesting statue in a field in Berkshire was a bit of a challenge to light. I opted for a very warm colour temperature from two lights at 90 degrees to the statue, one on a lighting stand and one clamped on to a building out of frame. Another light, set to red was positioned on a stand behind the statue.
The aim was to set the lighting to a warm hue, so I could reduce the colour temperature in camera raw. This would offset the orange light pollution and leave everything far less orange. This was one of the features I first imagined myself using when I got the lights and I feel it has worked effectively here. I have posted two versions of the image, one set to the original, daylight white balance, and one processed how I wanted it.
I experimented with a fair few different colours before I went for orange, and straight away it worked for me. I used three kick lights, positioned around the corner, set to half power. I also used my head torch to kick the scene off with a white highlight. The weather conditions meant the water levels were up which made positioning the lights very difficult, so I’m not entirely happy with the image.
This shot gave me a good opportunity to test the reliability of the WiFi connection. I was able to control the lights from the camera’s position with the lights well around the corner. This helped me turn them off to save battery power whilst I wasn’t using the lights and of course, saved me wading back upstream to adjust the intensity- an absolute luxury.
The Middle Barn
Again, this image used all four lights, with an SB 800 and SB900 fired to fill the foreground. Two kick lights were positioned inside the barn, set to red, with another kick light mounted on a tripod to provide the back lighting for my silhouette, and another light in my hand to face away from the camera. These were controlled using the iPod, and given a burst of roughly15 seconds during the two minute exposure. The two flashguns to the left and right of the camera were set to fire using wireless triggers.
I worked the lighting up until I could capture it in one frame, then left the camera to shoot consecutive two minute exposures to stack into a star trail in Photoshop. There was very little post processing to do.
The Kick Lights really helped me see what was going on for this image, I was able to adjust the brightness of the lights inside the barn until they gave me an even illumination, and was able to turn them on and off during the exposure. This helped me get the lighting right in one single frame, even whilst posing as the silhouette.