Fake it ’til you make it!
neil posted in Travel on July 30th, 2009
I already knew what Limekilns looked like from the photos taken by other climbers, collected on UKClimbing. This meant I had ideas on how to light it. I’m a sucker for the whole “shaft of light through hole in tree cover” thing and I wanted light with direction and none of that greeny light that comes through leaves. So the first thing I did was rig up my nuke-stand. This was three speedlights running full beans, each zoomed to 50mm and aimed in a spread to cover the wall. I hoisted this as far into the sky as I dared working at over 90 degrees to the sun. This gave the image above, with the impression that the sun is off to the left and coming down through that opening. The giveaway that it was’nt the sun is the hard edge to the shadows and the angle of Dave’s shadow on the wall (its a little above him). Meanwhile using shutter speed I had control over the shadows cast by the main light.
Then it all went a bit McNally. Climbing at Limekilns has had a rather poor relationship with the landowner, who has greased holds and put up bat boxes to lure the protected species to the crag. A shame because the crag seemed kept very well with no litter and the village benefitting from hungry and thirsty rock-fiends. This and the recent arrival of “Hotshoe Diaries” gave me the idea of a torch spotlighting a climber on the crag in the middle of the night. I did’nt have night, or a powerful torch, so I faked it. Torches aremuch more powerful than deep night anyway that the real scenario would probably either blow out the climber or under-expose the crag. My night was created by two flashes side by side firing through the dead tree in the foreground of the top image. This gave fun shadows and a light I could turn blue by setting my white balance to tungsten. I then CTO’d my SB900, snooted it and brought it in close to give the spotlight.
After screwing around with an umbrella, which did’nt pan out, it was sunset. The clouds were going a fun red colour however the light was no-where near the crag. So it seemed a good time to fake a sunset. Two lights hoisted to 12ft with CTO’s on each and a single SB800 with no-gel controlling the shadows from close to the camera axis. Thats why Fraser’s face does’nt go to black in the image above.