David & Myrtille is a duo of French photographers, based in Paris : David PairÃ© and Myrtille Vardelle are two professional graphic designers who have been working for several years in the publishing field.
In july 2011, they decided to explore photography in what they like the most : Cover Arts. In a creative style, their images capture different universes, from romance to thriller.
I took a long afternoon nap and I knew, from the moment I woke up, that I had done a mistake. I knew I was heading for a long sleepless night, so I decided to make something worthwhile of it and, since I was in no mood for work, I decided to play with fire (literally).
I’ve always wanted to take a pic of a match as soon as it starts burning but, since I couldn’t figure out how to do that, I tried something different and this was how I ended up with “… is contagious”
Camera : Canon 5D MKII mounted on a tripod centered on the matches
Focus : Manual Focus using live-view, I always use live view focus for critical focus
Lens : 70-200 L F/4 at 200mm
Speed light: One speed light at the left of the matches about 1 meter away at 1/64 of its power
Picture Settings: Shot in RAW, Flash White Balance, F/11 at 1/160 seconds ISO 400
Why I picked up these settings? Well at 200mm you can expect the DOF to be thin and focus will fall out very quickly so I needed a relatively high F number to keep everything in focus including the flame and smoke. I also needed a high shutter speed to freeze the action when the match is picking up fire.
If it was a one match setup the speed light would have probably been useless but, in my cases, I needed something to light the matches and I doubt the fire light alone would have done that.
First, since I was playing with fire, I wanted to take some safety measures so transparent the plate is filled with water in case a match falls or anything.
Second I needed an easy and fast way of lining up the matches, so I used a small recipient (the black one) and filled it with salt. Of course sand would have been great but it was past midnight and salt did a great job.
I set everything on a black piece of cloth that is used for background, and set my flash on the right one meter away, finally all I had to do was plug the matches in the salt.
Taking the shots
I started by taking a few shots to get the flash settings right and this is a full picture of how it looked with all matches off and speed light power set to 1/64, I was satisfied with the results.
The rest was easy… Set the camera to continuous shooting and used a remote trigger. Basically the camera was shooting continuously from right before I lit up the first match till everything was off again.
There is no editing done for the picture apart from square cropping and sharpening, other than this it is straight out of the cam.
I often measure my shots by my frustration level, basically how many times I had to shoot or how long it took me before getting the shot I wanted. Well, in that case, the frustration level was pretty low.
I actually shot only 3 sets (a total of 36 matches burned) then picked up the picture I liked the most cropped it, sharpened it and the job was done. I could have easily picked 5 or 6 others out of tonight’s shots but I guess I will stick with that one for the moment.
First shot taken at 1:30 am, shot and tutorial ready by 4:30am. If you ask me that’s a night well spent …
Our photographer of the week is Serge Ramelli, a french photographer living in Paris. Serge does commercial work and teaches photography, Photoshop & Lightroom.
His influence are photographers like Joel Grimes, Moose Peterson and Jean Michel Berts. Serge has been doing a lot of HDR, but over the last couple of years, he finds that just using Lightroom with one good expose raw file gets a more natural and “punchy” result.
One of his most interesting photography series is an urban landscape series called “Paris cinema”, where he takes photos of Paris in beautiful lights. He’s been doing it for 7 years now and his collection consists of over 200 beautiful photos.
Sadly I can only share with 10 pictures of those in this post. I leave you to check out his website for the full dose of HDR photography.
Kai Michael is a fine art photographer based in Bellingham, WA. His images, although highly altered in digital postproduction, begin as either medium or large format film negatives.
Much of his influence is drawn, conceptually, from a fascination with the reconstructive nature of memory, and formally, from the Color Field and Lyrical Abstraction movements
I leave you to enjoy 10 of his selected pictures that can be grouped into 3 main series:
- Constructed Horizons series: Â These are constructed landscapes. Everything located above the horizon is not native to the original image, consisting of either walls or surfaces. By substituting the skyline with a finite surface, the image fluctuates between the physical and the infinite
- Homes series: A study in the absurd, all of the windows have been removed.
- Untitled – ultrachrome from film
For his full work, don’t forget to drop by his website.
Swedish still life and advertising photographer Niklas Alm started exploring the world of photography as a kid in his parents darkroom. Since 2001 he has been working with both editorial and advertising commisions, winning awards in Epica Awards, New York Festivals and Sony World Photography Awards among others.
His passion for creating interesting environments and images with a character of their own is seen in most of his work as he mixes his analog set design with the computer generated.
His clients include international brands such as Adidas, Amnesty, Bosch, Lucky Strike, Toyota and Samsung.
I leave you to enjoy 10 of his selected work, for his full portfolio, you can drop by his website.
Also below is a video of Niklas, in full action, during one of his projects for the Swiss Los and in collaboration with Anton Thorsson