/ Northern Lights surfing

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NeilMac - on 13 Dec 2016

How would this be shot? Long-ish exposure with a remote flash to the left of the surfer? Amazing shot!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-14/mick-fanning-surfs-under-northern-lights/8117668
Mike-W-99 on 13 Dec 2016
In reply to NeilMac:

Two shots merged?
tspoon1981 on 13 Dec 2016
In reply to Mike-W-99:

http://www.redbull.com/en/surfing/stories/1331833703633/mick-fanning-surfing-under-the-northern-ligh...

There's a short video, you may be able to get a better idea of how it was taken.
Mike-W-99 on 13 Dec 2016
In reply to tspoon1981:

Thanks. What my poor brain can't comprehend is how they captured the aurora at the same time. Whenever i've photographed them I've always needed a long exposure.
In reply to NeilMac:

You could do it two ways:

Either as a composite day and night shot layer masked together (this would certainly be the easiest).

Or

Use a powerful flash (something like the portable Profoto monolights) to 'freeze the action' of a long exposure.
Durbs on 14 Dec 2016
In reply to James Rushforth:

Yeah - this I think.

Isn't it a flash (perhaps one of many) sitting over the wave centre-left? Full-power, high-speed, rear-curtain flash to freeze the wave and surfer after the long exposure.

Great shot. The planning, execution and vision are excellent.
robal - on 14 Dec 2016
In reply to Durbs:

I concur...
Robert Durran - on 14 Dec 2016
In reply to Durbs:

> Great shot. The planning, execution and vision are excellent.

Very fake looking though..........

HeMa on 14 Dec 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:

yes and no...


I remember Grant Gunderson shot a very similar kind of pic some years ago. And like this one, it was about skill shooting the pic, not photochop skillz.

http://fstopgear.com/news/2008-04/grant-gunderson-wins-ski-salt-lake-shootout#.WFGafSN94y4
Solaris - on 14 Dec 2016
In reply to Durbs:

> Isn't it a flash (perhaps one of many) sitting over the wave centre-left? Full-power, high-speed, rear-curtain flash to freeze the wave and surfer after the long exposure.

Exactly what I was thinking, but I agree with Robert about the overall look.
Fraser on 15 Dec 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:

I think it only looks fake if you don't really understand how the final image can be achieved technically without any 'fakery'.
Mike-W-99 on 15 Dec 2016
In reply to Fraser:

I agree. I've now read up on the technique used and finally it made sense.
Robert Durran - on 15 Dec 2016
In reply to Fraser:
> I think it only looks fake if you don't really understand how the final image can be achieved technically without any 'fakery'.

People have explained how it could have been taken with a single exposure and no photoshop trickery - I understand that. To me it looks fake because it is clearly not naturally lit; the actual scene could not have looked anything like the photo and, as a result, I just can't summon up any emotional response to it. Each to their own though.
Post edited at 08:57
johnjohn - on 15 Dec 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:

Fanning must've been pretty much surfing in the dark and you get no sense of that. Not sure how a picture could communicate that, mind.
Robert Durran - on 15 Dec 2016
In reply to johnjohn:

> Fanning must've been pretty much surfing in the dark and you get no sense of that. Not sure how a picture could communicate that, mind.

There appears to be a moon. So something that looks like realistic moonlight?
Fraser on 15 Dec 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:

I think you should maybe clarify your use of the term 'fake'. To me, it means false, untrue, something like that, whereas what you probably mean is 'unnatural' which is no doubt closer to the truth. It's obviously not naturally lit, assuming it's a single image. When I saw it, my reaction was 'nice image, I wonder how he did that?' [technically]
Robert Durran - on 15 Dec 2016
In reply to Fraser:

> I think you should maybe clarify your use of the term 'fake'. To me, it means false, untrue, something like that, whereas what you probably mean is 'unnatural' which is no doubt closer to the truth.

Fair enough. Unnatural then!
Fraser on 15 Dec 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:

I genuinely wasn't looking for an argument or trying to be picky (apologies it it came over that way), more wondering if that's what you really meant and if you saw it in a quite different way to me.
Robert Durran - on 15 Dec 2016
In reply to Fraser:

> I genuinely wasn't looking for an argument or trying to be picky (apologies it it came over that way), more wondering if that's what you really meant and if you saw it in a quite different way to me.

No problem. I agree "unnatural" is a better word - and as such, the photo doesn't really do anything for me. I do also agree that it is of interest how the photo was taken.
johnjohn - on 15 Dec 2016
In reply to thread:

...it's a nice image but a surfer can't see waves without mindsurfing, and this doesn't connect to my experience of night surfing. But I guess my surfing is to Mick Fanning's what the lights of Saltburn pier are to the aurora borealis. Hey ho.
AGilmour on 15 Dec 2016
Solaris - on 15 Dec 2016
In reply to Fraser:

I'm happy to agree with "unnatural" rather than "fake". It's a technical tour de force, and in lots of ways I wish I'd taken it, but why does it look unnatural?

Well, I think, in no particular order: 1) it's knowing that the Northern Lights part of the image would have required about 10 secs exposure, if not a bit more (which, surprisingly perhaps, is quite a bit for shooting the Lights), but the wave was shot at ?ca 1/250th. This means that to my eye there's an imbalance in the movement between the reasonably sharp, "frozen" wave, and the blurred N Lights which, unlike waves, move quite slowly when they are relatively unintense - as here.

2) The light sources: moon + N Lights should be backlighting the waves, but they're front lit from an obviously different source.

3) The very bright reflection on the crest of the wave of - presumably - the flash, and the reflection on the water is too intense, dominates the balance of light across the image (in the wrong place), and holds the attention. If that light weren't there - impossible without PSing it out, I suppose - then the image would have more balance.

Fascinating picture to admire technically and to think about.
greg_may_ - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to NeilMac:

Video of the same shot I think - or very similar - skip to the end for it.

http://www.vimeo.com/198866740

Looking like a very high power light cast from the shore onto the wave and surfer - luckily quite a close in break too!
ads.ukclimbing.com
cousin nick - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to greg_may_:

In similar vein: a great wee film with surf, aurorae, snow and a hobbit hut......

http://www.northofthesun.no/

N

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