This blog post is my homage to a photographic era of yester-year, the days before anyone had even heard of a little program called Adobe Photoshop, back when making a digital scan of your photo meant purchasing THOUSANDS of dollars in special equipment.  This didn’t mean people didn’t do crazily creative things to their images, Man Ray was creating images like his one titled “Kitty” over 60 years ago.

Kitty by Man Ray

Photo by Man Ray circa mid-1900s.  Think about doing this one without photoshop.

Obviously special effects for the sake of the effect don’t make the images better, but in the world of creative expression every tool has power, and this post is all about creating images with three simple tools.  A camera, a lens, and a flash.

The Challenge!

Here’s the challenge, I’m going to post three images, each one was created in-camera with only limited cropping and color correction in Photoshop.   If you think you know the techniques I used to create them then post your guess in the comments!  To make it fair I posted a full equipment list I used for each image.

Image One

Hint – I did not use a fog machine and color effect was created in-camera.

Full Equipment List:

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM, Elinchrom 300RX Monolight, Rotalux Midi Octa by Elinchrome (53″), Pocket Wizard Multimax 32 Channel (2), additional ambient light (regular ceiling light bulbs) were on.

Image Two

Hint – The subject is parallel to the back of the camera so a large aperture isn’t enough to create this effect.

Full Equipment List:

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 50mm 1.2L, Elinchrom 300RX Monolight, Rotalux Midi Octa by Elinchrome (53″), Pocket Wizard Multimax 32 Channel (2)

Image 3

Hint – This was created with one click of the shutter.

Full Equipment List:

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 50mm 1.2L, Elinchrom 300RX Monolight, Rotalux Midi Octa by Elinchrome (53″), Pocket Wizard Multimax 32 Channel (2)

Test your Camera IQ!

These results would be pretty easy to accomplish in photoshop, but pretend you’ve never heard of Photoshop and explain how I accomplished these inside the camera… it’s not very hard by the way!  Just label your responses 1, 2 and 3.

Once enough people get it right (could happen quickly) I’ll post a full explanation.  Good luck!