Spot Blogging

Today I stumbled across a little Rogue spotlight I bought about a year ago to attach to my Speedlite; I’d only tried it out once before forgetting about it. At the time I wasn’t very interested in what it could do as I’d also bought a small softbox and got way more into using that than this little thing. So after coming across it again, I decided it was time to play around with it and commit more to learning how to use it.

spot 1a_Snapseed

The detachable spotlight also came with a sample gel filter to put over the spot for color effects; it was an orange one, but I’d definitely like to get more colors at some point. I stuck the gel on the spot and ended up doing the bulk of the shots with it in. The results were interesting – I actually used the orange gel on the shot above, but edited a black and white version also to show the spot effect without any color distractions. Here’s the actual shot using the orange filter:

spot 1_Snapseed
Pretty damn warm – believe it or not, I actually REDUCED the color in this shot when editing. That’s some serious orange.

Apparently this came with three different grids to create tighter or wider spotlighting, but I could only find two. Figures. Of the two, I much prefer the wider spot to the tighter one, so it’s the main one I used.

spot 2_Snapseed
The spot/gel combo didn’t do much to wash out the wrinkles in the backdrop, so I added a texture to the photo in an attempt to camouflage them

I thought that shot might be lacking a little, so I added some more filters to it in Snapseed, just for the hell of it:

spot 2a_Snapseed
Totally cancels the effect of the orange filter, but I thought it gave the shot a spooky vibe

But I still felt the shot was missing something, so of course I ventured over to Pixlr to play with it further. I discovered recently that if you access the “adjustment” tool in their Express editor, there’s an “upload image” option which allows you to superimpose another picture over the one you’re editing (more hours of fun on the way, as is the norm any time I discover something new) so I gave that a go by uploading the same image over it, enlarging it a bit and reducing its opacity, then throwing in some light leak, smoke, border and texture filters to finish it up:

spot 2a_Snapseed_pxr
Even spookier!

I really like the movement in this last one, and in spite of my itchy photoediting fingers I forced myself to keep the adjustments to a minimum (so hard for me to do):


I’m sure you could get this entire effect using software after the fact, but it’s great fun to experiment with vignetting effects and filters right in the shot. Taking thousands of photos a month using one’s self as the subject does get boring (believe it or not, yep) so any time I run across something new that makes the actual taking of the photos more interesting (taking the photos is never my favorite part) I’m all for it. Plus, I do believe the more you ‘get right’ in the actual shot, the better – it just feels better in the final result.

Seriously considering zipping right over to Amazon and buying those other filters. Loads of colors for $30 and totally worth it. But it’s way past my bedtime and I have a busy day ahead, so the sooner I get off this computer and force myself to get sleepy the better. And I know I still need to share pics from as far back as a week ago (Christmas Eve) but I get so excited about my newest shots that ones I took previously and failed to upload right away sometimes get lost. I’ll get them all shared soon though; once work starts up again I won’t have so much time to take photos and get backlogged.