I’ve had a picture in my mind for months. The idea was to have a runner dashing through a dark forest with a headlamp on. The headlamp should make a light trail where the runner had been going, and just at the end of the light trail the runner should be visible.
The different types of lights in the picture were:
- available light (not very available though, as it was much darker in the forest than outside …)
- the headlamp – a continuous light source that moved through the frame
- flash – actually two flashes, one on camera right in a softbox, and another one gridded and attached to a tree, as crosslight
The (un)available light demanded shutter speeds of more than 30 s, as I wanted to have at least some depth of field to make sure my runner would be in focus. Thus, I went to bulb. A 10 m flash cable ascertained that I could use rear curtain flash – unfortunately this is not available for Canon’s wireless flash firing. An optical sensor fired the second flash upon the first one’s firing. A flash test shot can be seen on the right (short shutter speed), the final result with the long shutter speed (41 s) is on the left. It turned out that I had to keep the shutter open for about 20 s before the runner turned on the headlamp and started running to make the trees somewhat visible. If it hadn’t been for some stupid lanterns lighting up the walking path close by I could have used even longer exposures.
While I like the result there are lots of things I would like to play around with at the next attempt. And then I’d also like to solve the riddle of the additional light trace that appears above the middle section of the main light trace. So far I haven’t figured out what that can be.