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Thread: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

  1. #1
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    There will be an implosion of a local power plant on Saturday February 2, 2013 at 7:00 AM...

    http://www.meetup.com/northern-san-d...3632&_af=event

    I have always wanted to shoot an implosion but, there has never been one close to where I live. It is 45 miles (about 72 Km) from my home to the implosion site. It is virtually all freeway so the travel time would be about 45 minutes to one hour. Given that I will need to get there at least an hour and maybe two hours prior to the implosion; that means leaving my home somewhere between 4:00 am and 5:00 am. However, I am used to doing this for fishing trips so that will not cramp my style.

    I was thinking about shooting the implosion from across the bay, which is not very wide at that point but, the opposite shore is taken up with a gated community to which I will not be allowed access.

    All in all, I figure that I will make my final decision when I find out from where I will be allowed to shoot and also when I get a closer ideas of the weather conditions on the morning of the implosion.

    I have a very neat tripod accessory. It is a bar which attaches to my tripod head and to which I can affix multiple cameras. I purchased this, for a pittance, at my camera club's annual rummage sale with a vague idea that I would someday have a use for it...
    I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...


    I have three cameras and an assortment of lenses to use on this bar. I would probably shoot with 200mm, 300mm and 400mm lenses. I use corded releases for the cameras, so I can shoot all three cameras from release buttons that I tape on my tripod handle.

    I just love trying to figure out plans for covering an event. That was one of my favorite jobs when I was a Cinematographer-Motion Picture Director for the U.S. Navy. Getting the maximum coverage from the minimum resources was always an invigorating pzzle to work on. This implosion planning is bringing me back to those days...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 24th January 2013 at 03:31 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    Richard, I trust you are making sure that your wife understands what a wise investment you had made in getting that multi-camera doo-dad when the opportunity arose. I know my wife can be a tad on the skeptical side when I make similar wise investments...

  3. #3
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    Quote Originally Posted by tclune View Post
    Richard, I trust you are making sure that your wife understands what a wise investment you had made in getting that multi-camera doo-dad when the opportunity arose. I know my wife can be a tad on the skeptical side when I make similar wise investments...
    You are so right Tom... However, although my wife and I always share about expensive items that we want to purchase and usually can agree pretty well, I don't usually even mention the "el-cheapo" items I buy - especially at a garage/rummage sale. The bar only cost five U.S. Dollars. And, in fact, I sold a lot more than five bucks worth of my unused equipment at that rummage sale.

    We have a large RV garage that has a lot of storage space and this item doesn't take up much room. If it were in the house and my wife saw it all the time and noticed that I didn't use it often (actually I have only used it one-time; to test it), she would then be suggesting (read: "nagging") me to get rid of it.

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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    I am absolutely consumed with envy, however I trust you will post the best results so all is not lost.

    Can you get into the gated community by explaining you were hired to doing monitoring of the implosion for the strata council, and by the way, could they bring you tea and sandwiches while you wait?
    Last edited by tbob; 24th January 2013 at 11:25 PM.

  5. #5
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    Great idea Trevor. If I wear a hard hat and carry a clipboard; I will be sure to be admitted! BTW: you can go almost anywhere in the world wearing a hard hat and carrying a clipboard except a hospital. To navigate around a hospital, you need a white coat with a stethescope hanging out of the top pocket.

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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    Quote Originally Posted by tbob View Post
    I am absolutely consumed with envy, however I trust you will post the best results so all is not lost.

    Can get into the gated community by explaining you hired to doing monitoring of the implosion for the strata council, and by the way, could they bring you tea and sandwiches while you wait?
    No need to be to envious we are trying to organise a huge volcanic eruption for your visit to N.Z. I know it is not as easy to time as an implosion but we are doing our best.

    Richard I hope it is a beautiful clear still morning and I look forward to you blowing us away with the photographs.

  7. #7
    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    to navigate around a hospital, you need a white coat with a stethescope hanging out of the top pocket.
    I have that!

  8. #8
    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    Quote Originally Posted by pnodrog View Post
    No need to be to envious we are trying to organise a huge volcanic eruption for your visit to N.Z. I know it is not as easy to time as an implosion but we are doing our best..
    Can you get them to hold off on White Island until late February or early March?

  9. #9
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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    Quote Originally Posted by tbob View Post
    Can you get them to hold off on White Island until late February or early March?
    So you already know about the plan.

  10. #10
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    Wow! I just saw some images from the approved shooting location. This looks good. I was wishy-washy about attending the shoot but, have decided that it just may be too good to miss...
    http://www.meetup.com/northern-san-d...1_vm&_af=event


    The only problem will be leaving early enough to be one of the first in line to get into the Park at 5:00 AM. I would expect that it will be plenty crowded and that I would need to be one of the first to get a primo shooting spot... Between 5 AM and 8 AM the temperature is scheduled to be about 58 degrees F. or 13 degrees C.. Not as cold as I had expected... No rain in sight either.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 31st January 2013 at 03:16 AM.

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    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    I trust it does not rain bricks and mortar as we are looking forward to seeing your results provided you don't sleep in.

  12. #12
    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    I think you will have no problem sleeping in; much like a kid on Xmas eve.

    I expect great things on Monday morning.

  13. #13

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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    If you want a good spot, arrive at 4 and be the first in the queue (unless others have the same idea).

    The earlier you arrive and setup the better. Implosions do not last all that long, quite short actually.

    Of course you will want the before, during, and after shots.

  14. #14
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    I was figuring the same as Bobo in that 4 AM would be the right time to arrive and hopefully beat enough looky-loos to get a space to photograph. Then it is the three hour wait for the implosion. A jug of coffee and some breakfast rolls as well as a folding chair and blanket will be part of my equipment. Hopefully there will be a restroom available but, since it is a park, I am sure hat there will be.

    The good thing about linking up with fellow club members is that I can get somepne to watch my tripod and camera while I go potty!!!

  15. #15
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    The implosion went of as planned. The sun had just popped its head over the mountains to the East bathing the left side of the plant in a yellow glow. As the implosion raised clouds of dust, these clouds were turned yellow from the rising sun.

    I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    I shot this using a 70-200mm f/4L IS lens, tripod mounted. RAW, ISO 320, f/5.6 at 1/400 second.
    I shot in low speed burst mode so that I could capture the implosion from start to finish before my buffer filled.
    I felt the burst of the implosion and it set car alarms off in the cars parked across the street to the rear of my shooting position.
    I have many more shots from before the implosion to the wreckage on the ground...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 2nd February 2013 at 05:48 PM.

  16. #16
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    You had great lighting there Richard

    I guess the next one in the series is probably just a cloud of dust though?

    I don't think you could have improved on the shooting, but that blue thing could do with cloning out if you don't mind compromising historical accuracy for art's sake

    Cheers,

  17. #17
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    Thanks for your comment... Funny thing Dave... I must have had tunnel vision... I never noticed that blue scrap of trash as I was editing the picture or when I shot...

    Actually, the "next" frame wasn't a pile of rubble. Shooting even in low speed burst mode (3 FPS) I shot 57 frames from the start of the implosion until there was just a dust cloud. These were somewhere near the middle of the group. I have been too lazy to install the latest firmware which provides longer burst capability. I will do it this weekend...

    I was shooting from relatively close to the plant (I used 144mm for the shots) and my shooting position was to the Northwest. The prevailing winds blew the dust cloud to the Southwest. It was a pretty impressive colud of dust and smoke! I had the camera/lens covered with an Optech Rainsleeve (which is good protection against dust as well as rain) and I was wearing a dust mask as well as a pair of safety goggles. However, luckily, I did not need any of the protective devices either for the camera or for myself...

    What I should have worn was a warmer pair of socks. I was pretty comfortably dressed except that my feet got very cold in a pair of running shoes and cotton socks... I got to the site at 4 AM and the implosion occurred at 7AM. Three hours of waiting for a minute's worth of action and about 30 seconds worth of shooting!. However there was a big crowd there and most of us remarked that the trip was worth it...

  18. #18
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    Nice shots Richard! It's certainly an event where you only have one chance to get things right.

    Three hours of waiting for less than a minute worth of images; now that's dedication. My wife would probably call it something altogether different though...

  19. #19
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Three hours of waiting for less than a minute worth of images; now that's dedication. My wife would probably call it something altogether different though...
    Guess what Manfred? My wife did call it something else!

    Having only one chance for a shot reminds me of an old cinematographer's joke which goes:

    Cecil B. DeMille was shooting this immense and extremely expensive biblical battle scene. In order to ensure that he would get the images, he built three camera towers and had a camera and cameraman on each tower.

    At the end of the scene when all the chariots were smashed to bits. DeMille called up to the first camera man,

    "Tower One - did you get that?"
    The cameraman on Tower One replied, "Sorry C.B., my camera jammed!"

    Not worried because he had two more cameras, DeMille called up to the second cameraman,

    "Tower Two - did you get that?"
    The cameraman on Tower Two replied, "Sorry C.B., my camera jammed also!"

    In a panic, DeMille called up to the third camera man,

    "Tower Three..."
    The cameraman in Tower Three answered. "Ready when you are C.B.!"
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 2nd February 2013 at 09:07 PM.

  20. #20

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    Re: I have always wanted to shoot an implosion...

    Well, Richard, I guess this is one thing to tick off the bucket list and done well I might say! Very nice images.

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