Jun 2, 2010

Hello birdie!

Last Saturday’s shooting trip took me to a nearby castle ruins (for the locals: Ter Elst in Duffel). In the basement I found a setting that looked promising: the broad dynamic range of the light would be perfect for another HDR trial. I set up the camera on a tripod, moved some pieces of litter out of the frame, and shot the usual –2EV, 0EV, +2EV exposure sequence to later feed into Photomatix Pro.

Already while shooting, I realized that the lighting of this scene was lacking ‘something’. I decided to try adding interest to the pile of branches below right. Not entirely by coincidence, I had packed a hotshoe flash. I put a full CTO gel on it (to simulate fire), added a radio trigger, and slid it inbetween the branches.
As I was busy going back and forth, firing some test shots and adjusting the position of the flash, this curious visitor stopped by.

At first, I did not want to move much. All I could do was zoom in to the maximum and grab a couple of ‘closer-up’ frames… But the dove seemed unperturbed by whatever I was doing in there, so I got back to business and continued my experimenting.

And then in one of the shots in a bracketing series, it happened!

This is the kind of fortunate situation you cannot plan for: you only hit it when you’re really lucky (and try often enough). It also meant the end of my shooting in the basement: rather difficult to beat the magic of that moment!

Gear notes: D700, 24-70/2.8

Click on the image(s) to see a larger version

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