View Full Version : Shooting ice scuplture
12-16-2009, 10:11 AM
Got a little "event" coming up this weekend - Local council have commissioned ten ice sculptures and will have them dotted around town ready for the general public's enjoyment on Sunday. I was planning on hitting the trail early, perhaps around dawn... Haven't decided on using the 5x4 or 6x6 yet, although I will probably take some bananas just in case there are any 6'4" 300lb security ;)
Any hints or tips ?
Should I consider using a flash ( with or without gels) ?
Would filters be of any use, or should I leave them at home ?
12-16-2009, 10:17 AM
Polarizer for controling reflections, perhaps?
12-16-2009, 10:42 AM
IT is a lot like glassware. Best results would be a black background and backlight, not that you would have much control over either.
12-16-2009, 11:49 AM
I've only tried to do this with 35 mm gear, but format won't matter. It's very tricky. Lighting is especially crucial. The whole thing is very high key, so you really need controlled lighting combined with the right film and development technique to maximize highlight separation. No, I haven't quite figured out how to do it yet myself. The opportunities to practice this sort of thing don't come up very often, and I haven't the practice.
12-16-2009, 12:09 PM
Polished ice, like water, tends to "pipe" light and create a sort of fiber optic, internal reflection effect. Using that, you can probably get the sculptures to glow in various colours by bringing an illumination source in contact with them. The illumination can be gelled, of course. The effect of glowing from within should create more of an eye-catching effect than illuminating from outside (e.g. with a flash), which will proably just give specular highlights and surface reflections.
If you can speak to the sculptors in advance, perhaps you could get them to make a recess in the bottom or side of their work, into which a light source could be fed.
12-17-2009, 01:25 PM
Unfortunately, I had no part in commissioning the sculptures so I'm kinda stuck with what ever the local.gov has ordained. I'll take a flash gun that I can use off-camera along with the polariser filters. Sounds like some coloured gels might be worth taking as well.
12-17-2009, 01:36 PM
I think you should just use the "natural light" that is there and take your tripod with you, and forget about flash... The one time I visited an indoor icesculpture festival here in the Netherlands, everything was nicely lit... I bet they do they same thing at your place, for maximum effect.
Using flash will only ruin the atmosphere.