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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,931

    A photographic challenge (for me not you but I need advice).

    This past weekend I photographed a charity walk organised by my neighbour. That's fine I took a 100 or so photos over to him tonight to use and he asks me if I would help out on the night walk in November.
    The walk will be 50km (30 miles) through the local forests starting at 9 pm and finishing no later than 9 am. If it's a clear night with a moon it will be alternate black and lit areas within the trees or if it's cloudy it will just be black. Walkers will of course be wearing head torches.
    How the heck do you photograph something like that? Time exposure will simply give lots of snail trails of light and flash will blind the competitors and ruin their night vision.
    Any suggestions?
    We are going to try some shots at night in a couple of weekends so he can use them on his web site.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Bay Area, California
    Posts
    1,546
    Hmm... Only solution I can think of is a fast prime+powerful diffused strobe on board.

    OH OH!! Buy a bunch of strobes and umbrellas and line them up along the path then have your assistants run them to the front as the walkers pass BRILLIANT I SAY!
    Nikon D90, D40 Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 | Nikkor 35mm f/1.8
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    667
    Are you (and the assistants) also part of the 50km walk? Might be an idea to find the best spots along the route
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    117

    Infrared?

    No clue if this actually works with people shots, but maybe infrared is an option? On a night hike, the people's body heat should give a good contrast to the nighttime forest.

    Since a plain Nikon DSLR won't do you any good there, maybe look for a bargain on eBay - some poor homeless D70 (or D40) that would be willing to part with its IR filter in exchange for a new home?
    Stefan Hundhammer
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    here's what I would do:

    Clamp the flashes to trees along the path.
    Set them to low power setting.
    Use a high enough ISO to also get ambient light in.
    Use slowish shutter speed like 1/60 or 1/30. Flash should freeze the subject with a little bit of sense of motion.

    You should be able to illuminate the walkers as they pass by while preserving the ambient lighting.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    270
    If you can use a vehicle or a bike to get to accessable spots on the trail you could move in ahead of time and set up your lighting for when the groups come by. with some experimentation you can see the light levels you need to catch that nightly feeling without blowing things out.

    An idea is set up some reflectors at ground level (I use those car windshield shades) and the torches may provide enough light to use a faster shutter speed.

    Hope it works out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Delfgauw, The Netherlands
    Posts
    2,207
    Quote Originally Posted by shshsh View Post
    No clue if this actually works with people shots, but maybe infrared is an option? On a night hike, the people's body heat should give a good contrast to the nighttime forest.
    Interesting idea, but this sollution will give some unwanted (or not) effects when shooting pretty girls in cotton clothing
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    Posts
    110
    Look at the area before hand to sort where you might get the best shots, lower power some flashes and gel them. This should stop you from wrecking there night vision, also most head lights these days are LED, which is very close to daylight.
    I would guess any street lighting around will want a warming gel anyway, but you'll need to look into that further.
    Stephen: Another kiwi bumming around Aussie welding shit up missing home....

    Bloggy thing

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,931
    Thanks for the tips.
    Just to clarify most of the tracks are through the National Park near where we live. There is no vehicle access and no ambient street lighting. If the weather is like it is at the moment (it's dusk) then visibility will be measured in inches rather than yards. Hopefully come November it will be somewhat warmer and drier.

    The event starts near those TV towers at 9 pm then traverses that hill about half way up travelling towards the camera, goes around under the camera to picture left, crosses the ridge and than goes along the back side of the hill to end up back at the start no later than 9 am.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    Posts
    110
    The pop of a flash should not be to bad on their eyes as it's just to fast for them to react.

    Since they start and finish at the same place it would be logical to base yourself there so you have two cracks at them. A few pre race shots and on the start line. Do they have one of those? Then a run up the track a little bit for the action shots. Maybe an on camera flash for around the start area, then an on and off camera for up the track.

    Hell a simple infrared trigger with the gear preset might even work up the track. Or do you know any hunters that might have a trail cam?
    Stephen: Another kiwi bumming around Aussie welding shit up missing home....

    Bloggy thing

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