Multi day (or week!) time lapse of forced rhubarb growing

A while since I have much to talk about.

I have been shooting a new little short about forced grown Rhubarb in Yorkshire.

Forced growing is where is crop is grown in optimal conditions where it would not ordinarily grow.

In Rhubarb's case this is in sheds, illuminated only by candlelight.

This called for the Canon C300, shooting at 10,000ISO (I still can't get used to such seeing such big numbers with ISO....)

I shot lucky enough to shoot with Zeiss CP.2 lenses, which are really special.

They make a bigger difference than you may think but I will be talking about this when the short is finished....if it ever is fully finished.

I say that because I wanted to raise the bar a little by including a time lapse sequence of forced Rhubarb growing, which looks set to take some weeks at this rate.

The initial idea was to shoot in one of the Rhubarb sheds in the infamous Yorkshire rhubarb producing triangle.

There were challenges with this though.

It would have meant leaving a camera running on the mains in a shed for a few weeks, which is heavily watered, humid and has to be in total darkness.

So no lights, at all.

I considered flash but needed a way to power it in a wet environment.

Whats more it is a working environment and could have been knocked by an employee.

I could have pulled it off but it would have been a mission.

The deciding factor was that I would be in now hay be able to monitor the equipment or the results.

So I chose a different route.

To do it in my garage at home.

Firstly I needed a total dark environment.

So I bought a blacked out tent on Ebay for £25.00 and pitched it in the garage, covering it with a black background just to be sure.

By keeping full darkness the Rhubarb will have yellow leaves and vivid pink stalks.

Next up which camera to use?

I chose a sacrificial Canon 5D Mk1(still an excellent camera), with a Canon 'L' series 24- 105 F4.0 set to 58mm, as I have just forked out for a pair of shutters in my Mk2's, time lapse kills shutters.....

Now how to power it?

Years ago when the camera was new it came with a Canon ACK-E2 AC adaptor.

God's knows what I did with mine but I don't, so once more onto Ebay, where I got one for £20.00

I'm using a Canon TC80-N3 taking a shot every 20 minutes.

I mounted the camera on a Manfrotto 003 light stand with spigot as this is too low for a trip and works pretty well.

The set is lit with an Elinchrom 600RX head on minimum power, which is totally overkill but it is mains powered and I don't have to worry about batteries etc if I go away for a day or two, mounted on Manfrotto 5001b light stand

I am going for dramatic lighting so I'm lighting the Rhubarb from behind, reflecting the light back in from the front with a couple of Chimera Liteshapers.

So 3ish days and 200 frames in this is what I have to show for it. Not much in the way of growth from the shoots but note how the Rhubarb bulb appears to 'breathe'

Will this project work?

I really don't know.

This time lapse does not look like it will be ready for the BVE show where I will be talking about this project, but means the project will be subject to a 'recut' if it does work.

Someone pointed out this is quite a time investment  if it does not work out.


But the knowledge will be applied to other projects.