Photographs by Mitchell Alcala

348/365: Sparkling Christmas

Today a photo came together that’s been in the works for a while now.

A few months ago I had a photo shoot with my friend Amanda, and she told me about a photo that she wanted to take. She wanted a picture of her blowing glitter at the camera.

We decided to wait till the Christmas season to get a photo because thought it would help add an element to a Christmas photo.

After a quick look around, I found that the Christmas tree in Willard is probably the best tree on campus, so I had her meet me there and we started taking some photos.

To get this photo, I first exposed for the bokeh in the background. Once I had the camera settings locked down, I brought in a flash to the camera left that was shooting through a umbrella softbox.

I got the flash set so that Amanda was nice and exposed, and then I had to figure out what to do with the glitter. I wanted it to pop out at ya, didn’t want it to blur out to nothing and look like little specks of glitter.

I placed a bare flash to camera right, pointed parallel to Amanda. I didn’t want any of the light to spill onto her and mess up the exposure. I zoomed the flash head as far as it would go, then used a black cloth I have to act as a gobo on the edge of the flash.

The bare flash to the right is what makes the glitter specks really come to life.

To make this photo a little better I would have liked to have a 1.8 or 1.4 lens. I think a narrower depth of field would have really made the glitter interesting, but with the equipment I got I was happy with the outcome.

Hope everyone’s finals are going great!



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