These images are not particularly in any order. And certainly, they look quite bad online. The actual print versions are fine, although there has been issues with the "dark skies" ones.
The location is a beach called Uphill, North Somerset. About 1 O'clock in the morning. I used a wide angle (12-24mm Sigma.)
There is a mathematical formula (Often aided by a phone app) called the rule of 500. You take your focal length (Say 12mm) and you divide 500 by it.
This gives you a basic time of exposure (In this case, 41seconds.) This prevents the stars blurring as the world rotates. It may seem a very short time, but it is evident in many exposure, so - unless that is what you are looking for - must take that into account. You can adjust ISO and aperture accordingly.
Orion was in the skies, and more importantly, there was no moon. I played with the (plentiful) light pollution, and created many images. There are a few where the light pollution is not evident, and some where I've allowed it to overwhelm the image.
My final selection is a personal choice. The light pollution is not overwhelming, and creates a nice silhouette of the surrounding bay. I also like the fact that the street lighting casts a shadow of myself over the entire landscape, while still maintaining the starfield.
The exercise here was to explore light, and the way it can be used within the studio environment. Rogue (Her modelling name) was the willing participant.
I used several techniques here. Both traditional, and more experimental.
These were created by creating a 15 second exposure in a darkened studio, during which, traditional studio flash was fired at the beginning of the exposure. The model was wearing a cloak, with coloured LEDs attached. As soon as the studio flash fired, she was instructed to flap her arms...
Numerous exposures were made, with a few making it to the final cull.
This was more long exposures (with studio flash firing at the beginning), but this time, I took a light and waved it behind the model.
One such effort made the cull.
The rest of the images were modifications of normal studio lighting techniques. I used various methods to create different moods, from romantic to erotic, to moody.
"Polorised" light is a concept I have been familiar with since my teens. I was pleased to find that the 6th Form at Weston College had a rig to show students the effect of polorised light.
I borrowed the rig, and modified it to work with a camera. (see photo)
The "Rig" from the 6th form is in the middle of the image. The light that came with the rig was too low powered, so I used one of the lights in the copy room to get any reasonable exposures. I then removed one of the glass plates and fitted a Circular Polorising filter to the front lens of my camera. For most of the shots, I also fitted extension tubes to allow me to focus closer.
Placing various pieces of plastic between the static sheet, and the polorising filter, showed the stress patterns in the plastic. By rotating the filter on the lens, you could alter the patterns, and it also had the effect of changing the "Background" colour from white, to black.
From these, I culled down to 11, then the final image, as shown.
The section "Polly" utilizes the long exposure techniques mentioned earlier.
The basic concept is to have a darkened studio, take a 15 second exposure with the studio flash firing on the initial trigger point, or on occasion, I'd fire the flash simply by pressing the test button during the exposure (The 3rd image on the top row is an example of this.). The model is then instructed "To go crazy" with various light sources.
In this series, we used a cloak with LED lights on it and also some light sticks. I also used an assistant in some of these images to wave the cloak.
"Plasma" is a series of images based around those popular (in the 90's) "Plasma Balls."
For the uninitiated, they are clear globes, which pulsate "plasma" randomly - or directionally if something touches the plastic.
The first image in the "cull" is taken through a crystal ball (See other series), the rest at various ISO / shutter speeds. The final one was simply adjusted by playing with the colour temperatures.
I was lucky enough to get the Northern Lights while in Iceland. I had done my homework (Tripod, etc.) but I wasn't expecting the intense cold - -20 degrees!!!.
Again, apologies for the Web destroying the quality of the images.
I shot several with people in them, to show the movement involved with the long exposures, but settled on a more traditional image (Icescape / Northern Lights)
There is evidence of the fact that I broached the "500" rule" in the slight elongation of the stars, but it was always going to be a compromise.
From a technical point of view, "Green" Aurora is lower atmosphere (60-100 miles) when particles from the sun react with Oxygen and Nitrogen. Red aurora is rarer, and is when the particles from the sun reacts with Oxygen at higher than 150 miles. There is also a link to the fact that the human eye sees greens better...
Here are the culled images, and the final one.
I am having issues printing these for exhibition, but online, they are adequate.
"Moon" is a form of print for the blind. Everyone has heard of Braille, but Moon preceded it, and rivalled it. It is still popular in some fields.
This "Moon Book" is of an Arthur Conan Doyle Story.
The "Moon Book" series is an exercise in two points.
Cost was minimal. ANY DSLR could have been used. And the light was an economy LED light (About £15)
Lighting (from the LED light) was used to create moods, textures and abstracts It worked exceptionally well with such a fomr - with the "Moon" writing standing proud. I turned over some pages, to provide concave, instead of convex patterns.
Another "Real Person" shoot, using differing techniques.
In this series, we created with:
A light bulb waved behind the model during a long exposure. Generic portrait lighting, "playful" 80's style lighting, and the cloak / long exposure lighting, as used in other sets.
The one different technique I used was for the multiple exposure ones.
I would make a 15 second exposure (with the flash firing in the initial phase). Then turn the flash units down, and repeat during the exposure. Some worked, some didn't.
The skies above Iceland. Akin to the "Uphill Skies" but with lots less light pollution. Again, Orion is magnificent, and features highly.
At one of the stops, I used passing traffic to light paint the foreground, and on a couple, you can see the dotted lines from a passing aircraft.
My personal favourite is the one of the log cabin, with the merest hint of the Northern lights coming up.
Same rule of 500 is relevant again.
This was a series of images, again utilising different techniques.
Helen was a less experienced model, and had recently had some trauma in her life, so I took a series of images designed to build her confidence and empower her. We used some of the "light bulb behind her" style, and the swirling light stick, and, ended on a moody boudoir style.
A series of these images (From fragile - empowered.) was entered as a series in an international portrait award, and it received a highly positive review for the approach and technique.
Well. Here goes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.