Low Light Plasma Ball Shots

Joined
Jun 20, 2013
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101
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Memphis, TN
Need help. I tried over 100 shots and just cannot get it the way I want. I used a 24-85 f/3.5 and a 50 f/1.4 lenses. I wanted something glowing, with the base partially lit, and the edge of the inside of the sphere really glowing. Not sure if it is even possible but used a gamut of shutter speeds from 1 sec up to 1/200 and ISO's from 100 up to 4000.

#1
9146916199_24a7b6a12e.png
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KOP_8713 by kopacko, on Flickr

#2
9146918387_a931f11452.jpg
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KOP_8705 by kopacko, on Flickr
 
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Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
101
Location
Memphis, TN
I did. I don't like to Photoshop these style shots. I did not think about the HDR shot. It might be tough with all the moving electricity, no?
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
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Sydney Australia
Yeah it probably would be but it might even lead to a cool effect. That is why I was thinking of layers. That way you could hide and show the portions that you want.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
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10
Location
Louisiana
How bright is the room? The ball looks better in lower light, but makes too great a constrast between the ball and the background for camera capture.

Maybe lots of light in the room and increasing shutter speed to darken both the ball and background to a good point? Flash could also work, but it (and bright room lights) may give bad reflections on the ball's glass surface.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
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4,001
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UK
I cannot think how you are going to be able to capture what you want without having to use layers in some form. HDR after all is layers combined so I cannot see how it would be that much different to combining the shots you have.

If it really has to be a single in camera capture then perhaps experiment with multiple exposure mode?

If you want the inside of the globe really glowing then you may want to try a longer than 1 second exposure so the plasma is hitting the globe all over. Problem with this is that you are going to get a blurred image, however it might just add to the effect of the glow required when added to another layered crisp image

The two images you posted could be combined quite easily on masked layers as they are pretty much the same size. You could apply clipping curve layer or try different blend modes and opacities to produce the look you want in the plasma ball - I would not supply an example as they are your copyright images so it would be wrong without permission

The problem area may be the base and background as I assume you want both black with maybe a spill of the colour on the top of the base. Most likely this would need to be masked first to get the background black and second to allow some glow effect to be applied wherever needed on the base
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
101
Location
Memphis, TN
How bright is the room? The ball looks better in lower light, but makes too great a constrast between the ball and the background for camera capture.

Maybe lots of light in the room and increasing shutter speed to darken both the ball and background to a good point? Flash could also work, but it (and bright room lights) may give bad reflections on the ball's glass surface.

The room was completely blacked out. I tried the higher shutter speed with various light amounts and it just got more and more faint. The little flashlight I was using to bounce light into the ball didn't work either.

I cannot think how you are going to be able to capture what you want without having to use layers in some form. HDR after all is layers combined so I cannot see how it would be that much different to combining the shots you have.

If it really has to be a single in camera capture then perhaps experiment with multiple exposure mode?

If you want the inside of the globe really glowing then you may want to try a longer than 1 second exposure so the plasma is hitting the globe all over. Problem with this is that you are going to get a blurred image, however it might just add to the effect of the glow required when added to another layered crisp image

The two images you posted could be combined quite easily on masked layers as they are pretty much the same size. You could apply clipping curve layer or try different blend modes and opacities to produce the look you want in the plasma ball - I would not supply an example as they are your copyright images so it would be wrong without permission

The problem area may be the base and background as I assume you want both black with maybe a spill of the colour on the top of the base. Most likely this would need to be masked first to get the background black and second to allow some glow effect to be applied wherever needed on the base

Thanks Tony. You are welcome to do any magic you have as I am having a hard time visualizing what you are describing.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
101
Location
Memphis, TN
I am uploading the 86 photos I saved from this attempt to a Flickr album. I will share it on here in a few.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
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4,001
Location
UK
Hope that this may help and that it is somewhere near what you are aiming for. Bear in mind that this is just one way to get the effect and you may want to play with the ideas to get the exact result you are looking for. I only spent about 10 minutes on this (I could be going in the wrong direction :biggrin:) you will do a much neater job and change the look to how you visualised :smile:

This is what I came up with and a brief description follows:
Plasma-globe-copy.jpg
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Layer Description:

Layer 1
darkest exposure

Black background - select the globe and the base using tools of choice. You could use elliptical + polygon or even better the dreaded Pen tool.
When you have your selection click to add a Curves adjustment layer and drag the curve black point to make background absolute black

Lighten base - Drag your last curve down to make a duplicate layer. Paint out the globe on the mask leaving just the base. You will have to zero the curve from the last adjustment then make new adjustments lightening the base to requirements

Bright exposure Lighten
- add the lighter image as a layer and either mask out the black surrounding or delete the black background. Set the layer mode to Lighten

Duplicate Gauss blur - this step is optional and is intended to ad a diffuse glow to the globe. Drag the Bright exposure Lighten to duplicate the layer and apply a good dose of Gaussian blur - you will need to experiment with this a little to get the effect. Set layer mode to Lighten and reduce the opacity to taste , I used about 65%

Enlarged blur - This is to give the effect of light spill on the base and will require some time to get just right. Duplicate the previous gauss blur layer then select the layer CTRL+T and drag the handles out to enlarge this image - try about double. Set the layer mode to Lighten and paint with black (on mask) areas around the base and in the globe that you do not need. Adjust the layer opacity to desired level for light spill

Some ideas: Add other images, try rotating the plasma tendrils, experiment with layer opacity etc
 
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Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
9,953
Location
Clearwater, Florida
Perhaps a reflector low and in front to illuminate the base a bit. With a slow enough shutterspeed to get some ambient light but not to slow to blur the action in the globe.

This of my son a few years ago at 85mm and 1/125

ion-M.jpg
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A fun one.

1307-2-M.jpg
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Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
101
Location
Memphis, TN
Very nice!
 

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