Digital Composite – Week 07

Digital Composite – Week 07


Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the most productive week for me. Along with being sick all week, my photo shoot certainly didn’t go to plan. Not that I should be surprised – it’s the lecturer from this very subject that continues to remind us that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. And it will happen at the very last minute.

I was helped out by a professional photographer friend of mine for the night shoot I did this week. It was partly because he was only available at night that I chose to go with a night shoot. In retrospect of course, I should have done something with much more light available. After discussing the look I was going for, we did some test shots in Angel Place in the city.

Multiple exposure

The shot above are done with a separate flash. It was a long exposure image, and several held poses were ‘flashed in’. Whilst I really like this effect, it has its own meaning and isn’t something that really fits with my concept, so we moved on.

Now, dressing your friends up as protesters and having them run through smoke in the middle of the city isn’t the brightest idea, so here is a little ‘thank you’ to my willing volunteers: Jonny and Kate.


To achieve a photojournalistic, in the moment type of shot, we tried following the action with the camera as my models ran past. This gave the effect of blurring the background, whilst the subjects stayed relatively in focus.

Action shot

And then we tried adding some smoke.

...with smoke

After doing this many times, I decided that we really weren’t getting the effect I was after. Whilst it really did capture some movement and excitement in the shot, it wasn’t really expressing a strong stance from the subjects and therefore not conveying the idea I wanted – that these people are possibly someone that should be feared.

So I returned to the original concept of doing something that sits somewhere between a posed shot and an action shot.

Posed, with smoke

The end result was much closer to what I originally had in mind, but still lacked the power I was looking for. The stances come across as being forced and the smoke has more of a ghostly effect. This is of course because of the night shooting.

So whilst I learnt a lot from doing this shoot, I’m going back to the last-minute drawing board. I’ll be doing a late afternoon shoot this time (I like the long shadows we managed to capture in the above shot), so I can get more of a billowing, flare-like smoke.


Image: Stefano Rellandini

I found this image of an Italian protester that really captures so much energy that I love. Whilst this isn’t as ambiguous as I plan my image to be, the separation between foreground subject and background is fantastic and something I will keep in mind for the re-shoot.

This one I found from an old blog post is possibly closer to what I’m going for…

Image: AP via BBC

In this instance, the break between foreground and background is created with water, but it’s just as effective. The pose of the protester is also a lot more open to interpretation, which could be useful for my concept.

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