Weeks 11-12 FMP: I think I am getting GAS (gear acquisition syndrome)

Continuing with Event Horizons, the recycling centres part of my Final Major Project, I have now acquired a transmitter and receiver and a new lens. Experimentation is still the main word of the day while I try to finalise my methodology and achieve greater consistency in terms of quality. I must now keep in mind an overview of how each composition may fit into the jig-saw that is to be the ‘set’ of project images. However, the overview is only just starting to emerge and I realise that there will be many adjustments/tweaks to the conceptual arrangement before finalising a publication and an exhibition.

Using the speed light flash unit with a receiver has advantages and disadvantages. It does what it says on the tin and can successfully light up a dark place. It is enabling me to see places that have hitherto been only partially lit by the camera’s internal flash and torch light. With little processing colours emerge that have not featured strongly in my previous images. One or two appear to be gaining attention (likes and comments) on instagram.

What I have not yet mastered are the correct settings with three modes and several levels of intensity. I am tending to favour the lower (i.e. less powerful) end of the illumination. Directing the flash beam is another area to pin down in relation to the desired end result.  Pointing the speed light  through the same aperture as the camera is restrictive. Unfortunately using the flash is getting rid of the interesting effects of natural and street and car lights coming in through the apertures and bouncing onto the inner walls of the containers. 

Some technical details are eluding me with this equipment. It does take a time to be ready with the receiver attached and does not always want to flash into the areas I am interested in. Having checked and double checked the connections on the speed light and the camera and that the batteries are all working, I am a little mystified and will have to research further and then rehearse using the equipment at home before venturing out on a wasted journey.

Health and safety wise I am very aware of the need to be vigilant and not use my camera or flash when the containers are being used by members of the public. I can envisage shocking and traumatising someone who is depositing waste. They will not be expecting a sudden flash and light damage (temporary and possibly more permanent) to their eyes.

I will be engaging the support of an assistant to point the beam of the flashlight from an aperture on an alternative side to that of the camera, ensuring it is not pointed directly at me and that no one else is using the facility at that time. That way I may be able to reconstruct some of the effects I achieved with natural light before. With the duller days of winter now here, strong beams of sunlight are few and far between. 

Despite not being very pleased at losing the effect of natural light entering the container I am liking the tunnel effects through light exiting and the colours I am able to achieve with minimal post-processing.

Sarah Newton 2018, Event Horizons series with flash
Sarah Newton 2018, Event Horizons series with flash

 

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