If cleaning up after a flour session seems like a crappy job, how about the mess after doing a session with colored pigments.
With flour being kind of a specialty with Ben, I asked him for a few tips about using powder as a creative tool:
- Tossing powder with our hands turned out to be the best method for getting a nice impact. It had just the right mix of randomness, speed and pattern
- For a nice spread, we used a dustpan… it creates the more smokey texture you see on some of the shots
- Impacts are what give that particle feeling, or else things become very smokey. IT takes a bit of practice, but try and time your shot to the micro second right after the powder hits the model. By the time you get it right everything will already be a big mess.
- This is a really crucial one: Don’t mix pigments and water, everything becomes extremely colorful!
- As far as lighting goes, Light your pigments from the side to make it pop! Lighting from the front makes the entire image look flat and uninteresting while lighting from the back means that your subject will be unlit!
Two quick fun trivia items, if you were wondering: The slo-mo effect in the video was done with a Nikon D800 and the Twixtor After Effects plugin. And it took over 2 hours to clean up the space post shooting (yet to be more true to reality, “Cleanup took weeks… ! Those pigments just keep appearing every which way!”)
For lighting diagrams and a more detailed account of the shot, visit Ben’s blog.