Lance Lewin  

The Souls of 9/11 by Lance Lewin

February 2021 - The Souls of 9/11

About the Image(s)

One of my last compositions captured on film (at the time, as I have recently began shooting film again) in 2003 at the Kennesaw Mountain Park tribute to the terrible and horrific event that shocked our nation, that shocked the world!

For every victim, a Flag was posted into the ground. The rows of flags were perfectly in-line.

My wife assisted me by handling the "shutter release cable" and triggered and released it on my command, while I walked around with a Flash set on full power and shot off calculated bursts. I captured 2 dozen frames at various "times" and this is was the keeper, with one other not shown here.

Color Film ISO-200 F/22 at about 30-40 seconds. Additional illumination was from near by street lights. I shot the piece at about 10:30pm when no one was still around. Post Production: Color Cast correction.

(Set on a tripod; Minolta XD-11 35mm Rokkor-X Glass)

8 comments posted

Jennifer Marano   Jennifer Marano
Such an interesting effect with the flash and the long duration of the shot. Was it wind that caused the blurring of the white stripes? Such a strong feeling of the lives of those unfortunate men and women dissolving into the universe. A very powerful image.   Posted: 02/05/2021 19:51:46
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Hi Jennifer....appreciate your encouraging words. Yes, a open windy field allowed for the ghostly effect. When first developed and reviewed I gasped upon seeing the results on sheets of negatives.

"Points to Ponder", the lesson I come back to often is using Mother Nature (and other man-made atmospheric conditions) for developing dynamic visual narratives (and certain aesthetics) is seen here with Wind and the users fill-in flash. On film we have a grainy feel, but a similar effect may be possible with using High ISO values on digital cameras.   Posted: 02/06/2021 04:13:37

Steven Jungerwirth   Steven Jungerwirth
Lance: i really like this image . . . the motion, darkness (literally and figuratively) and monotonous repetition that seems to go on forever. Even the repeating shadows in the grass.

I didn't follow how this was done - during the 30-40 second exposure - did you fire the flash multiple times from different spots? Or was this a long exposure with a single flash during the exposure? I'm guessing the latter.

I also reflect that this would be so much harder to accomplish with film . . . since you have no immediate feedback as to the adequacy of the exposure. With digital - would be so easy to see/adjust. Your metering was perfect!

I think of long exposures with flowing water along solid rock . . . this is a good reminder to look for other moving objects juxtaposed against something stationary (in this case - the grass and poles). Very well done!   Posted: 02/06/2021 06:39:44
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Hi Steve!! Indeed, with film we have no immediate review so of course the best tool in our bag is "Bracketing". Only two or three compositions were kept out of 30 exposures.

Great questions, Steve:
Actually, not the latter, but former work-flow process you suggested: short diffused Bursts from various locations during the entire Bulb Exposure - experimenting at the beginning, mid and later part of the exposure.   Posted: 02/06/2021 09:08:35
Steven Jungerwirth   Steven Jungerwirth
WOW - glad I asked . . . . sounds like light painting with a flash.

I will look for an opportunity to try it . . . the scene you photographed will be difficult to replicate. Great capture!   Posted: 02/06/2021 09:25:00

Chan Garrett   Chan Garrett
Very nice example of the light painting approach. It wind gives the entire image a great sense of motion which adds to the interest and impact of the image.   Posted: 02/06/2021 13:24:10

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Yes, seems "Light Painting" is all the rage these past 2 years and even more intense the past 12 months mostly promoted through large and small photography clubs, like the PSA for one example....but this technique has been a hall mark for creative compositions for many years - its odd to me to see all this attention to it. Its is just one of many regular tools we have in our tool box.

In many cases through the years we (photographers) just call it "Fill-in" Flash to help (or altogether) illuminate the subject/s. Other occasions the photographer is aware of the sense of Depth and sometimes 3-D effect this technique will give to a composition, you can see this with fashion photography, where the model seems to "pop" out from the background, unique but horribly fake for most serious portrait compositions.

  Posted: 02/07/2021 07:13:42

Dale Yates   Dale Yates
Great image! Very thought provoking. I really like the creativity on this photo. The foreground flag sets the tone for the entire image. Very nice...   Posted: 02/23/2021 12:10:20


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