Monday 18 February 2013

Multi day (or week!) time lapse of forced rhubarb growing

A while since I have much to talk about.

I have been shooting a new little short about forced grown Rhubarb in Yorkshire.

Forced growing is where is crop is grown in optimal conditions where it would not ordinarily grow.

In Rhubarb's case this is in sheds, illuminated only by candlelight.

This called for the Canon C300, shooting at 10,000ISO (I still can't get used to such seeing such big numbers with ISO....)

I shot lucky enough to shoot with Zeiss CP.2 lenses, which are really special.

They make a bigger difference than you may think but I will be talking about this when the short is finished....if it ever is fully finished.

I say that because I wanted to raise the bar a little by including a time lapse sequence of forced Rhubarb growing, which looks set to take some weeks at this rate.

The initial idea was to shoot in one of the Rhubarb sheds in the infamous Yorkshire rhubarb producing triangle.

There were challenges with this though.

It would have meant leaving a camera running on the mains in a shed for a few weeks, which is heavily watered, humid and has to be in total darkness.

So no lights, at all.

I considered flash but needed a way to power it in a wet environment.

Whats more it is a working environment and could have been knocked by an employee.

I could have pulled it off but it would have been a mission.

The deciding factor was that I would be in now hay be able to monitor the equipment or the results.

So I chose a different route.

To do it in my garage at home.

Firstly I needed a total dark environment.

So I bought a blacked out tent on Ebay for £25.00 and pitched it in the garage, covering it with a black background just to be sure.

By keeping full darkness the Rhubarb will have yellow leaves and vivid pink stalks.

Next up which camera to use?

I chose a sacrificial Canon 5D Mk1(still an excellent camera), with a Canon 'L' series 24- 105 F4.0 set to 58mm, as I have just forked out for a pair of shutters in my Mk2's, time lapse kills shutters.....

Now how to power it?

Years ago when the camera was new it came with a Canon ACK-E2 AC adaptor.

God's knows what I did with mine but I don't, so once more onto Ebay, where I got one for £20.00

I'm using a Canon TC80-N3 taking a shot every 20 minutes.

I mounted the camera on a Manfrotto 003 light stand with spigot as this is too low for a trip and works pretty well.

The set is lit with an Elinchrom 600RX head on minimum power, which is totally overkill but it is mains powered and I don't have to worry about batteries etc if I go away for a day or two, mounted on Manfrotto 5001b light stand

I am going for dramatic lighting so I'm lighting the Rhubarb from behind, reflecting the light back in from the front with a couple of Chimera Liteshapers.

So 3ish days and 200 frames in this is what I have to show for it. Not much in the way of growth from the shoots but note how the Rhubarb bulb appears to 'breathe'

Will this project work?

I really don't know.

This time lapse does not look like it will be ready for the BVE show where I will be talking about this project, but means the project will be subject to a 'recut' if it does work.

Someone pointed out this is quite a time investment  if it does not work out.


But the knowledge will be applied to other projects.


Libby said...

Well if anyone can pull this off it's you, that's for sure. I have seen controlled timelapse done over a period of a few days but never weeks. It will be interesting to see if you get any weight shifting on the camera mount although you're very low here so maybe no issues. Because of the light head, any minute light leak should be no problem. Elinchrom Drew? Really?? LOL. Time investment, yes. But you just never know about some things until you try.

BVE - is that the Broadcast Video Expo? That's the end of the month I think. Will be interested in hearing about that.

Good luck and much success!

Unknown said...

Hi Libby

Thank you very much.

The truth is I fail all the time, I could easily blog about all the things I try that do not work.

Like my 'Forest' series.

I have shot a total of 9 shots for the series.

Two have been dropped in the trash, never to be seen.

But I love trying, no matter how often I fail.

I think I should be ok with the camera mount but we shall see.

Looking forward to BVE.

Will hopefully share a little of the experience.

Best Wishes


Libby said...

I was going through some experimental stuff I have shot over the past 2 months and last nite dropped 2 entire folders into the trash. This the name for my blog "Oh No" Studio LOL. But we make the decision on things worth trying and move on it. Sometimes the move is to proceed, sometimes not.

I've made you the Quote Of The Day on the blog with this "But I love trying, no matter how often I fail." In this business, you need to learn the art of self forgiveness and embrace what is learned even if it's miniscule.

Look forward to your future antics ;-) Kind Regards, Libby

Unknown said...

I also love shooting but the picture shoot by you with camera Canon C300 are stunning. The light focused by Chimera Liteshapers is also represent great photography skills in you. Above all, all the pictures are impressive. Creative portrait photography

Unknown said...

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