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The Chess Match

Stefan Krause Lets the Chessmen Bounce

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In this FotoTV film, photographer Stefan Krause from Studio community is here to create an exciting special effects photography tutorial.

Krause’s idea comes from a famous Chess games between two players in London in the 19th century. In the course of the match one player had bitterly lost and Krause sets out to capture the losing player and the bitterness and rage he must have felt as he lost.

The idea is simple; the losing player slams his fist onto the chessboard and chess pieces go flying though the air. The demeanor of the player is devilish having lost the match. Krause goes through step-by-step all the equipment and materials that needed to create today’s shooting. Most materials are available at the local hardware store. To create the ghoulish devilish look of the bitter player Krause lights his subject from below and to add to the devilishness of the overall image Krause uses a stark red background to add brilliant contrast to his image. The most difficult part would have to be to capture the chess pieces as they fly though the air and Krause explains how he decided to make his trick work. Using a photoelectric barrier. He builds a little catapult, a mini-version of what circuses uses to make people fly through the air. With this catapult he will make his chess pieces fly through the air and use the photoelectric barrier to trigger the camera at the right moment. The chessboard and some chess pieces are affixed with photo mount tape to prevent them from flying through the air.

After a few test shots Krause’s idea becomes reality and crystal clear. He has created a sinister atmosphere with a bitter and ghoulish chess player who has sourly lost the game. This tutorial is good for photographers who like to think out of the box to get that special shot they are looking for. As most photographers know, where there is a will there is a way, and Krause’s excellent demonstration proves that every photographer can profit from his knowledge.