This week I’ve not been very well, horrid cold with cough and incessant sniffing – you know the sort of thing – I even had time off work (quite unusual for me).  But I still wanted to post a picture this weekend but didn’t have anything recent.

Yesterday at work the ten thousand Microsoft Operating Systems Group (OSG) team members took to the soccer field to spell out a huge 12th man tribute for the Seattle Seahawks.  I was actually asked to stand on the roof of one of the buildings overlooking the field to take some pictures, but as I was off sick I couldn’t be there.  That was going to be my planned picture!

So here I was Saturday morning with nothing.  Also as it was raining outside and I still had the cold, I wasn’t going out, so I needed to shoot something indoors.

Being a little anally retentive I actually have a list of photo ideas that are categorized (yes I know this is nuts) into photography genre’s and locations.  So I hit my list and found and idea that I’ve wanted to do for a while – shoot a lightbulb with it’s filament lit up.

The goal is to have a lightbulb floating in the air with no visual support but with the filament hot.  I mean how hard can that be?  Well it appears the answer is “not very hard at all”.

To set up I placed a pop-up black backdrop against a wall, and attached a lamp holder to a light stand.  I plugged the lamp holder into the ceiling light that has a dimmer switch, that way I could adjust the power on the bulb so it wasn’t too hot.

Then I took a load of pictures.  I played with the dimmer and the exposure setting to get the best result – this took around 10 shots.  The image looked great but it was a little boring.  So I grabbed a single speed light and put a blue filter on it.  The speed light was shot at the backdrop with a little kiss of light on the bulb and the result was much better.

Now I had the bulb element.  Next I unplugged the bulb and suspended it unlit from the light stand and took some more pictures.  This got me the bulbs screw-in connector.

Finally it was time to hit Photoshop.  I selected the best filament picture and the best screw connector picture and blended them together.   The finished result is the image below.

This sounds like a lot of work but the whole exercise took less than an hour – from set up to pack away – this included the time needed to create the finished image in Photoshop.

So this is my picture for this week.


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