Friday, 3 February 2012

The Raven

I'm going to finish the week with an adventure.

While I had the Phase One Achromatic+ back on loan I decided to do an animal shoot.

I have long had a fascination for Ravens(Corvus corax), the largest member of the Crow family

They crop up not only in the bible but also in Norse mythology, where Odin had two Ravens, one called 'Thought', the other 'Memory'

Ravens are incredibly intelligent, reputed and can even be taught to talk...Really!

But where to find a Raven?

I got in touch with Vanessa Blackburn at Corvidaid, a charity which cares for injured members of the Crow family.

She was more than happy to help but she was not sure how 'Mavis' the Raven would fare, as this was her first big moment as a 'star'

Whats more how would we get her to the location?

Watch the video and see what happened.

We were working right next to a road which had more traffic than we had anticipated, but the location was worth the juggling act, though the warning triangle did come in useful, bear this little trick in mind if you are going to try something like this, for the sake of safety.

I lit the shot with a single Elinchrom Quadra, bare bulb, triggered by Skyport (Lithium Ion batteries for this versatile flash are on the way I hear....)

Without any form of modification it gave off just enough light to give the stark look I was looking for.

The 55mm Schneider lens, with its leaf shutter, was a dream and perfect for the shot, enabling me to get just the right level of ambient light to flash ratio.

It was filtered with a Lee 87 Infra-Red filter which means the only thing hitting that sensor is infra red light(I had the holder on upside down just for good measure.

Interesting to who uses this great filter system, everyone from Joey Lawerence to Diego Huerta.

But this of course means you cannot see anything through the camera which means my tethered set up, made from Manfrotto bits and pieces was the tool for the job.

In case you missed it I did a video for the Manfrotto School of Excellence which explains the set up in detail

All in all it went very well, though if anything the BTS video(shot on the ultimate BTS camera diminutive but super quality Canon XF100) perhaps makes it look easier than it was.....


Libby said...

Really nice shot Drew. Yes I had read about Joel L using the Lee system. I just didn't know about him using IR. Interesting.

Thanks for posting the video. That handler is great and is truly attentive to her keep for sure. -Libby

Unknown said...

Thanks Libby

It was an unforgettable shoot

Do check Lee filers out



MW said...

Hi Drew,

nice shoot. The Raven is beautiful.

I'm using the lee setup too. But I didn't understand what you meant be using it upside down?
The filters can slide in both directions. So where is the difference?

The Schneider lens can "do" 1/1600th of a second as sync speed.
But can the skyport/quadra too??
I use Quadras as well and was wondering what max. sync they can provide.
MF is VERY interesting...

Kind regards,