Smoke & Shadows

During our Cornwall trip, John and I attempted to get a sunrise and sunset in on a daily basis, but the weather wasn’t always playing along and towards the end of the trip it seemed to have decided that we had had enough sun and it was time for us to get a little wet. After setting up camp and heading through a forest to the nearest village in order to find food we knew that we had made a mistake not taking torches as it was getting dark, and a trip back would be pretty interesting in a Blair Witch kind of way.

On the edge of this woodland area was an old church, pretty much just the ruins left due to an arson attack in the early 90s. I commented it was odd that all churches seemed to be built in graveyards, but we thought it was a great opportunity to have a little fun, especially as the drizzle had dampened out spirits (and quite literally dampened us).

It just so happened that John had a little steel wool for us to play with, and a new acquisition by way of some smoke pellets which we hadn’t quite found suitable place in London to try out yet. After a few failed attempts at using these I figured that long exposures simply weren’t going to work, so we broke out the flash and mounted this nearby – instantly better results.

Each smoke pellets last around 30 seconds to a minute, and I played around with different poses over this time period. Towards the end of one of the stints I decided to do a Platoon move and drop to my knees, hands raised. Unfortunately I landed on one of the used smoke pellets and my left knee, which is getting in a poor state due to the amount of bruising it receives from various UrbEx trips, suddenly developed a haematoma and was sore as hell. Luckily it was only a small one and the blood within quickly subsided.

For the shot above I combined two exposures; the first with my standing normally as you see in the middle of the shot, and the second of my shadow with hands raised…we are in a church afterall.

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