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Flour Power

 Guest Post By: Jeremy Lusk

The story of this shot is definitely more about getting it done with what you have, rather than getting it done the way you should.

Photo By Jeremy Lusk

I'd just come out of a rough time after breaking up with my girlfriend, and wanted to capture the expression of expelling the negative emotions from within. Flour seemed like a good way to do this, but for obvious reasons I didn't want to throw the stuff all over my house. I chose a spot under the highway nearby and headed out one night with my two flashes.

This being a self-portrait, there were a few challenges. The first was focus. It was dark under the bridge, so I used a small flash light to light myself, then triggered the auto-focus and test shot with my little Canon IR remote. I marked my spot on the ground, then set the lens to manual focus to keep it locked there.

For all the shots after I'd go to the camera, hit the 10-second self-timer, then run to my mark, grab some flour in each hand, and wait for the blinking light to turn solid so I knew when it was about to fire. This was easier said than done, however, and it took me 15 shots or so before I finally got the timing right throwing the flour.

The lighting was fairly simple. Two flashes, one was radio triggered from the camera, the other was slaved to fire when it saw the first. The flashes are positioned directly behind my back, one facing towards each hand. There's nothing lighting me from the front except whatever spill was bouncing off the illuminated flour and maybe a little bouncing off the concrete wall behind the camera.

When I checked the camera and saw this one I knew I had my shot. Post processing was just some light colour correction and adding a little colour to the flour. Then off it went for the world to see, and it's since become my most viewed photograph of all time.

Like I said, this was the cheap and dirty way to take the photo. I now have an intervalometer, which would allow me to snap a shot every few seconds without having to go back and press the shutter each time, and a dim constant light source on me would have let the camera refocus for each shot. But if you've got an idea you're committed to and just a little bit of cleverness, you can achieve your vision on any budget.

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