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The Elegance Network: Browsing Becky Perry: Out of the Mists
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Becky Perry
Becky Perry: Out of the Mists

Please welcome the lovely (and very leggy!) Becky Perry to Restrained Elegance!

One of the differences between still photos and movies is the way light is brought to life. In stills, it is often given a presence by lens flares and subtle reflections. In movies, things tend to be a lot less subtle- light is given presence by making it visible, using a metic ton of haze. It is so common-place that we don't even notice it. Don't believe me? Do a quick Google on "Doctor Who stills". Getting on for half the shots have it, and those that don't have diffusion in front of the lens to give subtle spread (it's called halation) to light sources.

I'm a fan of the look, but it is surprisingly hard to replicate effectively in still photographs unless you have some big wide open spaces to play with. In moving pictures we're so used to the effect that the set could be smoked so much you can barely see across it- but if you see the same shots in a stills context, it looks over the top. (Those Doctor Who still frames have been carefully selected to look good as stills, not just as a 1/25th of second frame.

This is one of the times I decided to be brave and try to bring some of that aesthetic to our stills. And while there are a few shots where it has gone over the top, overall I really love the way they turned out. Our dungeon is a small space as they go (very few film or TV sets would be in as small an area), but the fact that there's relatively little air flow really helps control the spread and density of the haze- it is easy to overdo it for stills, but you also still need to have SOME haze hanging around. It tends to stratify, too, which leads to much model amusement and Ariel mockery when Hywel does the "wafty wafty haze" dance, flailing my arms and a clipboard around to stir up the haze and keep it from separating into layers.

Next time I want to experiment with some tighter beams of light, too. Oh, and I must use the hazer more for videos, too, when the light's right!

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