TAOP: Assignment 5: Planning and Research ? Part 2: Rocks and omen/Ambient harm/Bruising your karma

The next shots are intended to be a contrasting pair.  I want to illustrate “good luck/lucky” and “bad luck/unlucky”.

I’ve looked at some different ideas for good and bad luck – and omens – both in general terms and on a nautical theme.  I’ve found that nautical omens seem a bit obscure and generally abstract in nature – I don’t think they’re especially well known, and those that perhaps are would be difficult to demonstrate in a manner that people would recognise and understand.

Good Luck/Lucky

For the first shot I’m looking at illustrating shooting star(s) – and I’ve got a few ideas on the method for this image.


I’ve shot fireworks before and a good rocket trail could look like a shooting star.  I found this image which – after the photographer rotated it – does a reasonable job at invoking the idea of shooting stars:

  • Shooting Stars

Star trails

A long exposure shot of the night sky would create star trails that could create the impression of shooting stars – although this could look a bit congested.  The image below was done by ‘stacking’ shots.  If I went for this I’d do a single exposure as I want to avoid heavy processing of this nature.

  • Startrail guide

Light painting

Thinking about the fireworks idea I was considering how to get more control of the results (it could be an expensive business letting off rockets and hoping an image came out correctly).  I figured sparklers might yield the best results and that logically led to thinking about light painting.  I found a few examples and so far this is my preferred idea.

Bad Luck/Unlucky

My thinking for the second shot so far is a couple of dice showing ‘snake eyes’.  I’ve looked around for ‘novelty’ dice with just ones on them, with no joy, so I’ll just have to be patient with this shot as I want it to show the dice frozen in time, in a similar manner to what I did with this shot:

Snake eyes? Click to see large on Flickr.

Now, that does actually have the ones up (done by placing them with ones up and throwing them up very slightly as I trigger the flash on a long exposure shot).  Would it be cheating if I used that one, do you think?

Another idea I may look at is somehow indicating the dice were a pair of shooting stars in the second shot.  I’m thinking that will fit well with ‘ambient harm’; the good luck shooting stars actually being the unlucky roll of the dice all along.  I’m not sure how I’d actually achieve that though (I’m open to suggestions, Interwebs!).  This would link the images more effectively and emphasise the contrasted theme.

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