Theme: Light Painting
Torches and lasers at the ready, week 5 of our 52 week photo challenge had us painting with light!
The rules are simple: Interpret the theme using digital photography on any device. Only minimal editing allowed.
...and God said, "Let there be light!"
The absence of light is darkness and in darkness, photography would not be possible.
The function of a piece of photographic equipment to capture a moment in time is totally reliant upon its ability to record light. Whether it is the light sensitive emulsion on 35mm film or the image sensor in a digital camera, the purpose is to record nuances and differences in the refraction of light bouncing off the things we put in front of the viewfinder.
The photographer's skill comes with the choices they make in deciding what will be in front of the lens, at what specific moment in time and the equipment used to capture the moment.
Obviously you don't use brushes to paint with light, instead you control the ambient light so that it is very dark, then using other light sources like torches, lazers, candles etc, you manually apply the light to the object. In this instance, 'apply the light' means shining the light onto the surface of the object while the camera is set on a long exposure. So you are painting with light by building up layers of brightness on the object during the long exposure.
Light painting is not your everyday photography.
It requires a dark space where you can control the light. A walk-in cupboard/ small room works well, or you can shoot at night and darken a normal room with blackout curtains etc.
The brightness of your light source will affect your shutter speeds. For example, the shots where I used the lazer pen were exposed for 15 secs whereas the other shots without the laser were exposed for up to 30 secs. This is because the laser is much brighter than my torch. Either way, those exposure times guarantee you're going to need a tripod. Finally, a great deal of patience is required because trial and error is needed to learn the best way to use the light, camera settings and props.
Since you are manually moving the light around the object, there is a lack of control of how the final image will turn out. You never know how the light will refract and bounce off surfaces. Like last week's challenge of double exposure, it is not until the camera processes the image that you see your result.
I really enjoyed photographing with this technique. I think the low key tones are very beautiful, and create a quiet, mysterious mood- something I will definitely be working with in the future.
- These images are only possible with a camera that can release the shutter very slowly.
- I used gaff tape on my torch to darken the brightness. I cut a tiny hole in the tape to let a small beam of light through so that I could direct it onto smaller surfaces.
- Don't have a DSLR? Try the app Slow Shutter Cam, you can play with light trails and long exposures.
Ready to give it a try?
- June 2018
- May 28, 2018 Yellow: Week 21 of 52 Photo Challenge. May 28, 2018
- May 21, 2018 Organic Shapes: Week 20 of 52 Photo Challenge. May 21, 2018
- May 15, 2018 Movement: Week 19 of 52 Photo Challenge. May 15, 2018
- May 7, 2018 Frames: Week 18 of 52 Photo Challenge. May 7, 2018
- May 1, 2018 Street: Week 17 of 52 Photo Challenge. May 1, 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- Feb 26, 2018 Leading Lines: Week 8 of 52 Photo Challenge. Feb 26, 2018
- Feb 21, 2018 Can you learn to be Creative? Feb 21, 2018
- Feb 19, 2018 Black and White photography: Week 7 of 52 Photo Challenge Feb 19, 2018
- Feb 14, 2018 Photo Challenge Week 6 of 52 Feb 14, 2018
- Feb 5, 2018 Photo Challenge Week 5 of 52 Feb 5, 2018
- Jan 29, 2018 Photo Challenge Week 4 of 52 Jan 29, 2018
- Jan 21, 2018 Photo Challenge Week 3 of 52 Jan 21, 2018
- Jan 19, 2018 Photo Challenge Week 2 of 52 Jan 19, 2018
- Jan 19, 2018 Photo Challenge Week 1 of 52 Jan 19, 2018
- Jan 15, 2018 Top 5 Tips to Organise your Photo Files Jan 15, 2018
- Jan 7, 2018 52 Week Photo Challenge Jan 7, 2018
- December 2017
- Nov 22, 2017 Calling all Creatives Nov 22, 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- May 20, 2017 Smartphonography Workshop Coming May 20, 2017
- April 2017
- Mar 29, 2017 Upcoming workshop Mar 29, 2017
- September 2016