Even a little chainsaw STIHL has a big appetite!

The caption above  was the inspiration for creating this image.

The shoot was on location so I wanted minimal equipment; I used three canon 580 EX2 flashes powered by external power supplies called the “Black Box” that I find indispensable.

I also used Pocket Wizard TT5 remotes controlled by Pocket Wizard’s AC3 on top of the Pocket wizzard Mini TT1remote trigger.  Using this system, I can control each of the three Flashes/zones from the AC3 on top of the camera with a 6 stop range of adjustment for each flash and get hundreds of full power flashes from the Black Boxes. Additionally, light modifiers (diffusers, scrims, umbrellas, discs, and soft boxes) were used to create the image.

It all came together for a lean, mean set up and a DAM Great! Image.

I knew I had a limited time due to the sun setting and I knew I would need to shoot several exposures of each lighting set up to accomplish the look I wanted.

I visualized the image of the chainsaw having a crispness — especially the black handle and guard.

On the flip side, the lighting on the chainsaw I had visualized was not pleasing to the background because of massive shadows that were very visible and did not look natural for the setting. The solution that got the look I had pre-visualized was to use multiple exposures and specific lighting techniques so that I could create a final iconic image that communicated my caption.

How does that work?  Lets take a look!


Starting with the base exposure this is the image I am going to build upon.

© 2012 David A. Monroe The DAM Imagist















This next layer is of the crisp lighting on the saw that I visualized. I need to create a rough layer
mask blocking out everything I didn’t want to show in the image.

I looks a bit crude but it is exactly what I intended. This gives me several rounds of masking and
re-masking to get the feel right for what I envisioned.















The image below is what the layer above looks like on top of the base image.

Look carefully for the areas the mask changes.















This next layer is an adjustment layer to the background and the saw blade which was made with using a layer mask.
First,  create a layer completely masked and then paint in the areas that need some lightening.















Again as above this is what it looks like with the layer above added to the image.















The final adjustment is an adjustment to the contrast and saturation of the image along with a
gradated vignet within the adjustment layer.

I have adjusted its opacity to have just the right feel.















Here are all the adjustment layers above combined to create the final image.















I Hope this article helps you see there are many ways to create imagery even if you
can’t see it in reality. Using your visual intuition (pre-visualize) you can create DAM Great! Imagery.

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