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Candlelight Tango
1st PlaceCandlelight Tango
gyaban


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Candlelight II (Basic Editing)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Canon EOS-5D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Date: Sep 27, 2012
Aperture: f/18
ISO: 100
Shutter: 87 sec
Date Uploaded: Sep 27, 2012

[Oct. 3rd, 2012 11:39:10 AM]

The idea of this image comes from an illustration. I really loved the concept, and decided to recreate it. On a side note, I believe this is a good example of why editing restrictions are not compatible with what I like to do (and the reason why I don't enter such challenges a lot): this image is still very far from the result I had in mind, despite my countless hours of work. Creating what I want is often simply impossible with "Basic (or even sometimes Advanced) editing": it's not that I particularly love editing, it's simply that there is no other way to get there.

Sculpting the dancing candles was a bit messy, but I like the result. I had to put the candles in hot water to melt the wax a bit, bend them carefully (I broke like 8 of them before succeeding), then my wife created the legs and arms with metal wires and paper. Of course, the whole thing was covered with wax, using other candles as a source.

For the photo itself, it was done using a long exposure (87 seconds) in a dark room:
1) Cover the lens (with a dark sheet of paper). Open shutter (bulb mode of course).
2) Position a flashlight behind the candle on the left, remove the cover from the lens, then create a trail in a smooth gesture (The flashlight was covered with several diffusing sheets and a yellow gelatine.)
3) Cover the lens again.
4) Position the flashlight behind the other candle, remove the cover, then similarly, create the other light-painted trail.
5) Trigger flashes, to create the main lighting of the scene.
6) Put the cover on the lens again, and light the wicks of the candles.
7) Remove the cover and put it again very fast, to not overexpose the fire (handheld shutter ;-) ) Close shutter. That's it!

For the fully edited version of it, I added some flying wax bits, some flames in the light-painted trails, and corrected many little things here and there. I like it much more than the DPC version, the difference is really huge in my eye.

Thanks for all the kind comments and votes!

Statistics
Place: 1 out of 46
Avg (all users): 7.5893
Avg (commenters): 8.9130
Avg (participants): 7.3214
Avg (non-participants): 7.6786
Views since voting: 4311
Views during voting: 322
Votes: 112
Comments: 63
Favorites: 24 (view)


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AuthorThread
05/13/2014 11:11:14 PM
Wow. That final edited version, what a masterpiece. Just wonderful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/08/2012 12:36:01 PM
This image immediately conjures to my mind childhood's four magic words, "once upon a time..."
The magical castle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast springs to life and perhaps Lumière finally gets his own intimate and romantic dance scene in the ballroom when a beautiful candle casts a spell over his heart. The match sticks provide elegant supportive characters. (I'm skipping the "expert" version of this image and waiting for your 3-D special edition...;-)...). I like the sense of adventure and fun.

Message edited by author 2012-10-08 12:36:57.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/08/2012 09:21:16 AM
This image is spectacular in my book. The effort to create this image astounds me and it's nice to know that it was appreciated and recognized with Blue! Congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/08/2012 04:07:41 AM
Words fail me how you go about and work creatively and overcome every challenge in editing, photography and themes/ideas for challenges. Great work. Always inspirational to look at and enjoy your work
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/07/2012 08:42:18 PM
Your creativity is seemingly unsurpassed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/07/2012 04:38:19 PM
Truly amazing and inspirational!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/07/2012 03:40:07 PM
btw, this is a rare case for me, because i love your edits in general, but the Basic edit version is my more favored between the two. I feel the fully edited has more "fire" so to speak and it looks brilliant. I just like the whisky-ness of its less edited brother

Message edited by author 2012-10-07 15:41:06.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/07/2012 08:15:45 AM
Congratulations,the edit is just wonderful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/06/2012 07:36:25 PM
You are a true artist, I love the creativity you always come up with. Looking at the fully edited version I see why you would rather be able to complete the image you start. Great image/
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/06/2012 08:20:48 AM
Most excellent job. What a team you and your wife are. Instant fave, as I highly admire what can be done in basic editing with lots of creativity and this is super!

I like the red tips of the unused matches and the bits of smoke from the used ones in the flickr version. The flame effects are cool there but I like the softer look of this. Just a little windsept effect would be perfect to get sense of movement. A more natural look, without the flaming trails. Not too much of a good thing ;)

Cheers!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/06/2012 03:51:29 AM
First, I dance tango, so this image really touched a chord. Second, this is BASIC?????? My awe of your vision and dedication continues to grow. Congrats on the blue, Christophe
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 11:34:51 PM
Very creative shot. The one on flickr is pretty cool too. Congrats!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 10:40:11 PM
Congratulations, Christophe. Lovely work that you and your wife produce, you make a great team. Thanks for sharing the link, I can see that the expert one has a bit more vigour and that it is frustrating to have limitations. However your entry had what it took to finish on top.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 09:51:14 PM
What a fun idea! :)

Hmmmm, I like the color of the light on the basic editing shot better than the expert one. But I love the smoke from the matches in the expert. The rest, well I feel strongly both ways. :)

I'm so glad you posted both, however. Whenever I'm working in basic editing, I get annoyed and wish it was advanced. However, I never bother going back and reworking it to see what I could have done. So it was great fun to see the difference and what touches you added.

I think you need to clone your wife, however. She has such talent!! I love the props she makes for you!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 09:18:23 PM
Gyaban.........this "wows" me. Appreciate the description, How-to's...Jim In Rhode Island
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 06:31:24 PM
WOW Christophe, that is such an incredibly detailed setup and shot - you and your wife are an unbeatable team!! Congrats as always :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 04:20:51 PM
This is a tremendous work, Christophe. Your and your wife's dedication produced an amazing final product. Félicitations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 01:35:40 PM
as a tango dancer (amateur) myself I can testify that this is a pretty good pose! :) Congrats, Christophe, having done this within basic rules is pretty darn impressive.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 12:30:27 PM
Originally posted by markwiley:

Excellently imagined and executed. With a minimal amount of wax you have captured the angle and position of the arms and legs so well it is easy to imagine the movement as they glide across the floor.


I completely agree with this. I've seen your fully edited version and it loses the magic. The basic editing ruleset might annoy you, but you are the poster child for basic editing, imho. Those limits make you shine.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 12:22:34 PM
Basic editing, have to say excellent.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 11:47:29 AM
Fantastic, Christophe! Congrats on another for the virtual pile...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 10:58:25 AM
Congrats on another blue! It's a beautiful image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 10:41:51 AM
Originally posted by EL-ROI:

Congrats on the blue! I just have to ask, do you have a job? Because the amount of time you put into your art must be phenomenal. Unless you work at hyperspeed, I could not imagine you have much time to get the house work done! Cheers to your wife for putting up with your commitment to your art!


Thanks a lot! You are right, this required a fair amount of time (4 evening of about 5h each). So it can be done if you can afford to not do anything else than work/photography/sleep ;-) Also, 2 pairs of hands (and eyes) is a great advantage.

Message edited by author 2012-10-05 10:48:26.
10/05/2012 10:33:15 AM
Excellently imagined and executed. With a minimal amount of wax you have captured the angle and position of the arms and legs so well it is easy to imagine the movement as they glide across the floor.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 10:17:31 AM
Congrats on the blue! I just have to ask, do you have a job? Because the amount of time you put into your art must be phenomenal. Unless you work at hyperspeed, I could not imagine you have much time to get the house work done! Cheers to your wife for putting up with your commitment to your art!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 09:29:15 AM
Fantastic concept and brilliant production of it too! Well done on the blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 09:17:36 AM
I would have ranked your edited version much lower because the trailing flames look ridiculous in my opinion.

But then again, you do this to please yourself, not me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 08:38:46 AM
Great set up Christophe- your passion to get the shot you want is indefatigable!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 07:27:28 AM
The pathos! I can hear the music! Totally adorable.
The edited version is trying to say too much and takes away the candor sliding the image into illustration mode (that you always prefer).
The dancing light above their "heads" is so delicate and still subordinate to the action making the photo to look so real!
Wonderful playing of the matches in their attempt to dance also.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 05:20:10 AM
Two fingers up to the nay sayers who detract from your work saying its Only because of ps, not photography. Well (expletive deleted) me even in basic Christophe is out doing you :). Top work and a glorious image, but damn another technique I'm going to have to study. 10 :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 03:46:27 AM
I'm in awe of your talent, Christophe. Glorious image, must say I prefer this one to the fully edited version. It's so much more gentle and romantic... The fully edited version has a more aggresive touch.
Many congrats on your blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 03:33:51 AM
To me it's just amazing to see this kind of proficiency and dedication. It was my highest scoring image and i'm happy it's yours christophe congratulations!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 03:22:28 AM
Doing this in Basic is CRAZY! :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 03:06:14 AM
Congrats Christophe. An achievement in Basic .
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 02:46:33 AM
Such dedication. I think this rather makes a case for 'Basic' - it sets the bar rather high in terms of technical proficiency and achievement of vision.

So well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 01:49:40 AM
Thanks for sharing how you did it. I'm in awe regarding the care and preparation you put into your shots.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 12:40:28 AM
Originally posted by hesitant:

Wow,glorious! Conrats on the blue


Called it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 12:39:39 AM
I love this photo. Its so creative. I like the fire and smoke from the matches in the fully edited version but I gotta say I like it better without the bits of flying wax. Maybe its because I already know what it looks like without it. Anyway nice job....another blue for the collection!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 12:34:33 AM
Wow a 1 and 3 vote on this? Geez, how did those creep in? Fantastic and I absolutely love the fully edited version too!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 12:11:56 AM
technically speaking, holy crap.. I can honestly say, i hadn't thought of this sortof a setup. Thanks for the inspiration!

  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
10/04/2012 11:20:23 PM
amazing candle sculpture
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/04/2012 08:31:21 PM
Love the humanity of the characters.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/04/2012 06:44:37 PM
This is a very artistic and original idea. It gives me a happy feeling looking at it. I am not sure how to comment on the technical aspects, but i love really like it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/04/2012 04:46:56 PM
Nice whimsey and candle sculptures.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/04/2012 02:25:22 PM
I sure do hope to see this at the top. Great work. Love the motion of the light.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/03/2012 10:12:57 AM
#1
The only creative shot in the challenge. Don't know how you got the awesome light trails in basic (they look too perfect), so hopefully it doesn't get DQ'ed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/03/2012 05:12:32 AM
Bon
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/03/2012 03:04:29 AM
I bet this was a bit of work! I'll see it on the front page with a little help from my 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/02/2012 11:15:16 AM
Wildly creative entry.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2012 02:00:54 PM
What a great picture, for me the best of all. Great idea, nice composition and well executed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/30/2012 08:06:04 PM
Very creative! My pick for the BLUE!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/30/2012 05:00:46 PM
Very imaginative and well executed
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/29/2012 01:18:03 PM
Wonderful tango! 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/29/2012 11:47:17 AM
Best in show award, congrats
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/29/2012 06:03:34 AM
Good image,the light is just the job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/29/2012 02:19:59 AM
My fave and only 10! A lovely couple!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/28/2012 08:58:12 PM
Very imaginative and I like it a lot. I am curious about how you made the legs, arms, etc.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/28/2012 05:44:31 PM
Excellent job for basic!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/28/2012 01:49:08 PM
OMG tooo cute and a beautiful job of light and color!!! WELL DONE
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/28/2012 10:22:27 AM
wow,from my side 10. i hope this will get ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/28/2012 08:04:57 AM
GREAT creativity! Love this shot!
One of my top three in the challenge!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/28/2012 03:10:15 AM
Very creative and quite well executed. Either this is Christophe's work or he's got great competition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/28/2012 02:34:11 AM
Wow,glorious! Conrats on the blue
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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