Saber in the Rain

In this post, I describe how I experimented with some toy photography!

Two nights ago, I shot Saber and her Motored Cuirassier along the corridor outside of my place. I ran into some difficulties as I had to one-man this shot. However, this made me come up with some solutions that worked.


Saber in the Rain by the Art of Mezame

For this shot, no multiple exposures were involved. This was all done in one singular shot.

Here is a list of equipment I used for this shoot:
1. Sony A7RII + Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L (on Metabones IV) with a Pixel 77mm variable ND filter
2. 3x gorilla pods
3. 3x Z96 LED lamps
4. 1x 580 EXII (fired manually)
5. Water beaker with a spray nozzle
6. Saber and her Motored Cuirassier

2016-05-20 23.02.33


I mainly needed to capture the ‘rain’ in the scene to create a dramatic environment for Saber to be in.

The only way to capture the rain is through using my speedlight to have the scene lit from the back. Firing off the speedlight from the front would certainly light up the toy, but won’t necessarily light up the ‘rain’.

2016-05-20 23.05.57

Poor Saber.

The shot needs to be lit well enough to avoid overexposure, and to do this, I had 3x Z96 LED lamps to light up the scene. Since they are weak sources of light as opposed to a speedlight, and I had no assistants or access to additional speedlights (fine, I ran out of batteries), I had to use the following settings:

Shutter: 6 seconds
Aperture: f11
ISO: 100 (to reduce noise)
Camera mode: Self-timer

Why 6 seconds?

This amount of time allows me to fire off the speedlight multiple times from different angles to light up Saber and the detailed edges of her bike. It also allows me to capture the rain.

Why self-timer mode?

I had one hand on the speedlight, and another hand on the beaker with water. I could grow another hand to fire off my camera using the Sony remote app but I am no mutant… :\

2016-05-20 23.02.50

I propped up the camera with a gorilla pod which was left flat on the ground.

To further avoid overexposure, I had a variable ND filter placed on the lens to allow the 6 seconds of exposure to work. This is especially useful since I had the speedlight firing off multiple times.

Lightroom 6.5 (clarity is fantastic for rain shots) and Photoshop CS6 were then used to clean up the image further and for enhancing the image with some dramatic lighting and touch-ups (dodge/burn mostly).

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