Behind The Door Competition

I took part in an online competition through Collective ( It was a monthly competition, so I am hoping there will be more I can take part in. It was good to have something to work towards when inspiration and motivation starts running low.

The theme and title of the competition was called Behind the door. Set at 4am, you got to choose the story based around a door. It's a simple concept and I got to use a prop I was going to use just to create a spooky halloween photo.

It was just a piece of wood I got from the garden which I was going to use to create a spooky Halloween photo.

For this I used my original Rotolight (as seen above). I was happy with the end result, but I had to have a second pair of hands to angle it so I didn't get any of the light leak as this really affected the effect I was going for.

I placed the horns on a table with a black backdrop to make sure I was getting plenty of shadow and to focus specifically on the horns and red right.

As it was set at 4am, I wanted to make sure I chose lighting right. I am still learning to work with lights for night time shoots. It's fascinating to me and I feel it's the most difficult to shape the lights in my opinion. This could be why so much of my work currently is quite dark and set at night time or in very low light situations.

I had a small Aperture light in the corner of the room to act as either moonlight or as a streetlight peeking through the curtains. (There is actually a bright streetlight right outside the bedroom window I was using) This didn't quite work the way I wanted and drowned out the red light completely overpowering it.

I also used a motion sensored light which we have at the top of the stairs. This was used for the opening shot as the character walked by. I then used the Rotolight to add highlight for the shot of the character's close up. (FYI- the character is my mum... thanks mum.) And I used the Rotolight for the extreme close up of the eyes.

I then removed the motion sensored light so I could control the lighting with an Aperture light on spotlight. I aimed this towards the door handle, but because the door is white, it bounced the light and I didn't have much space to work with so I couldn't move the light back. I changed the intensity of the light so it was lower, and I aimed it just off of the door handle so the light could just trickle from the sides without being too powerful. I wanted it to look like the light sensor.

There was grain for some of the shots. And I'd be lying if I said that is exactly what I was going for. But I know and understand the settings etc to work around that but I feel the settings I did choose were the best I could currently get. I also didn't mind in the end when I got to the edit. I feel it added to the idea of the storyline.

I did the initial edit, just cutting it together. It fell short of 60 seconds and I feel there wasn't much storyline. So I did go back and shoot some more footage. I spoke with my Editor about ideas to expand the storyline and what effects we could do. He took over and added in the extra shots and put in the effects to make it seem like a nightmare. Then I thought it might be good to reverse everything so it didn't seem real and it that it was all a dream/nightmare. I love it!!! I can see things I would do differently and had I found the competition earlier so I could work on it a bit longer it could have been a bit stronger. But I think these kind of things can really aide your learning, and it's always good to just pick up your camera and create material. Whether it's good or bad!

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