Wednesday, April 02, 2008

In the thick of it

A firefly takes off

Have I been away too long? Have you missed me? My work schedule here has been quite hectic. And here I am in the middle of it, the BBC wildlife magazine office is in the city (I should go drop off a portfolio, right?). The brilliant Tim Flach has an exhibition here soon. Ben Osborne is going to speak at the uni soon talking about filming for Planet earth. Can I move to Bristol, you think?

In other non-news I put my Wildlife photographer of the year 2008 entry together. I am a lousy photo editor. S who has been helping me with the book will attest to that. I make the classic rookie mistake of getting attached to images that I really like or worked for. I forget about the viewer sometimes. So doing it in isolation, without third person perspective, this year made it quite hard. But I did use what folks on the blog, on Flickr and in person have responded to most. I leaned hard on S's judgments from when we put the book together. I did take some 'risks' though, this is still about personal vision.

For all those folks who hung around through the long silence, here's my entry, with that one image that I have been holding onto for so long. It'll be out in the book, so I guess I'll let the world see my baby. You've seen most of the other images at some point or the other.

PS: A wallpaper (image of your choice) for the first person to reconstruct how the never seen before firefly image was taken. People who've had explanations directly from me, don' t spoil it!


Madhat said...

long exposure with a flash (looks like it was placed overhead, tilted a little towards the camera) at the end?

It is a beautiful picture. Hope you win!

Natasha said...

Very very close, I'm impressed!

The flash was at the other end of the stick. Left and same level as the camera, slightly tilted towards it. But since it is a ring flash it can be a bit confusing, it's light 'footprint' isn't the same as conventional smaller flash-heads.

So you can email your prize wish to me sir and it shall be fulfilled!

Madhat said...

Ah! ring flash! that explains everything... :)
So, you held the stick in your hand, waited for the firefly to come closer and then clicked it? How long did you have to wait and how many pictures did you click before moving on?

emailing you...

Natasha said...

Aha, no that would take too long and won't happen. The twig is clamped to the side of a table. The firefly was caught, used for photography for a day and then released. It was placed on the twig, in the dark, the shutter opened when it started glowing and walking. Then closed near takeoff when they start to open their wings. The flash is synced to the rear curtain. Then on, its a song and a prayer.

Lets just say this has take two years. I don't know an exact number but its near a K or more. :)

FĂ«anor said...

Hiya! That's an astonishing shot of the jugnu! How are things in Bristol? I guess you've arrived during one of the lousiest winters we've been having in England for a while. Any chance of stopping by London? The weather seems to be improving now. (And thank you for back-linking to my post on historic fraud in science.)

Natasha said...

Thanks. Bristol's been fun, the weather while not entirely ideal has been only cold, not too wet here. The change is refreshing, I'm beginning to enjoy temperature occasionally.

Your post was lovely, and jaw dropping so off course I would share it.

I will visit London at some point, amn't sure when. Next weekend is one plan.

Madhat said...

Hmm.. so this was indoors and not outdoors as it look like. Nice trick!

Madhat said...
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ASHOK@IISC said...

The image with spider and its shed will be best for your book cover.

Steve Bodio said...

Stunning. You should do more black and white--- loved the running mongoose and viper.

Natasha said...

It will be in the lead up but is not 'secretive' enough for the cover.

@ Steve
Thanks. I would be happy right now to just shoot, anything. My camera's have been mute for weeks now.

It's a different feel all together doing B/W on digital. The D70 does not have a B/W mode, so everything goes through a colour stage which changes the process somehow...The images still work, but choosing the colour is an editing not a shooting decision, oddly altering the process.