OK, so I have been silent for about a month, but this Blog is not dead. I am just burried with a whole ton of stuff... So lets talk about something that is fun!
Back in the film days, a guy named Bob Harris from Kodak created this contraption called the Harris Shutter. It was a device with three separate color filters that was used with a multiple exposure on a single frame (3 exposures total) that would reveal unusual color effects at any point where movement was present. This was a rather cool effect on moving water like waterfalls, clouds and trees on windy days to mention just a few. Check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harris_shutter .
The problem with this technique was it was difficult and time consuming. You had to have a very good tripod and a steady hand. If not, the whole shot would become a mess. In digital, however, all of this changes.
Here is an example:
In the digital process, all you need are three identical shots from the exact same vantage point. Here is a step by step set of instructions from shooting to final product. Please note I am coming from a PhotoShop paradigm, but it is a simple process that can be adapted to other programs.
1. Find a moving subject like the waterfall above. Set your tripod and use a remote to trigger it. DO NOT touch the tripod and shoot three (or more) exposures. Make sure that you are shooting at the same aperture and speed. I like to shoot 6- 9 so that I can choose those three that seem to give me the best color possibilities. I will often shoot these about 1/3 stop overexposed. Keeping them a tad light helps later on.
2. After uploading the picture files, I create a folder for the Harris composite. I then will copy my three selections into this folder and rename them to: Red.xxx, Green.xxx and BlueMaster.xxx (xxx being the extension of the file. In my case it is NEF for the Nikon Raw Format). You can name any of the three colors as the master, but for purposes of these instructions, I have chosen blue.
3. I do step 2 in Adobe Bridge, so it is still open at this time. I will then open these renamed files in Adobe Camera Raw(ACR). You can also open .jpg, TIFF and PSD files in ACR. In ACR, I will select all three shots so that the processing I do here happens simultaneously on all three shots. I will tweak exposure if needed and make any color adjustments here. ACR is an easier place to do this and it is non-destructive to boot. Regardless of what program you use, you really need to process these files minimally and identically.
4. After I am finished with the ACR, I will open them directly from ACR into PhotoShop. At this point I will save all three as .PSD files. Now the fun begins!
5. Chose the red.psd and open the Channel Mixer. Click on the red channel. This should give you a black and white image that represents the red channel. From the Select Menu, choose ALL (Ctl-A on PC or Cmd-A on Mac) and then Edit menu and Copy (Ctl-C on PC or Cmd-C for Mac).
6. Now go to the BlueMaster.psd file and select the red channel. Choose the Edit menu and select Paste(Ctl-V on PC and Cmd-V on Mac). You will notice that the B&W image will change slightly.
7. Now, chose the green.psd and open the Channel Mixer. Click on the green channel. From the Select Menu, choose ALL (Ctl-A on PC or Cmd-A on Mac) and then Edit menu and Copy (Ctl-C on PC or Cmd-C for Mac).
8. Now go to the BlueMaster.psd file and select the green channel. Choose the Edit menu and select Paste(Ctl-V on PC and Cmd-V on Mac). You will notice that the B&W image will change slightly.
9. At this point simply click on the RGB box in the Channel mixer in the BlueMaster.psd file and you now have a Harris Shutter Effect image. BTW, be sure to close the red and green files.
10. Save As the BlueMaster.psd under a different file name. Now you are ready to rock 'n roll with the image you have created.
Since you have not overwritten anything, you can try rotating through the three images at the various colors.
From here on in, once I have an image I am happy with, I will process the photo with my standard work-flow. With a bit of experimentation, you can get some really interesting images.
My thanks to my friend Roy Harper for showing me how to do this.
Best to all always,