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How to Enter the Ghetto Matrix (DIY Bullet Time)

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Step 11: Ghetto Matrix Operations Quick-Start Guide

Because we were experimenting with open shutter photography ambient lighting was kept to a minimum. Operationally, we used the camera as follows:

Step 1:
Get everything set in place (eg. subject is on the mark, camera trigger person is ready, and graf writers are standing by with light writing implements).

Step 2:
Turn off all of the lights so that it is as close to pitch black as possible. The person on the Ghettro Matrix control box gives a count down to zero and then opens the master switch so that the shutters on all of the cameras open.

Step 3:
The subject (aka person on film you want to see) stands very still in the dark as the people doing the light writing draw imagery and trace the subject using anything ranging from LED Throwies to flashlights.

NOTE: LED Throwie Mod #374
Most of the writing done in our shoot was done with a modified LED Throwie. Make a Throwie and leave one of the LED legs loose (by putting tape underneath the leg creating an offset, but leaving an exposed area on the battery contact surface under the raised LED leg) so that when pinched the LED turns on. You can easily craft something that works using electrical tape. This allows the graffiti writers to quickly and easily turn the LED on and off when writing.

Step 4:
Once the graffiti writers have completed writing they quickly exit the frame and yell "we out hackers".

Step 5:
Before the camera shutters are closed the subject is hit with a single flash from a strobe or camera flash, exposing the subject. If you want to emphasize the light writing instead of the people then minimize or skip the flash all together.

Step 6:
Flip the switch on the control box closing all of the camera shutters. The entire process from Step 2 to Step 6 should only take about 5 - 20 seconds (depending on the amount of ambient light and desired result).

Step 7:
Look at camera display of resulting shot. Based on the preview image you should be able to adjust the writing, exposure time, subject position, and lighting quickly and re-shoot.

Step 8:
Repeat till dope!