Well, at least for this photo. I’ve been looking forward to a long exposure to pop out of the app and it has arrived!
Just a few years ago, I learned how to light paint and simply haven’t done enough of it. Have you done any light painting? Do you know what it is? Let’s take a second and discuss briefly.
Ok, so all photographs are light painting if you want to be critical. You simply won’t have a photography (Graphing of photons), if you don’t have light. Now that we have that out-of-the-way, let’s talk about our version of light painting.
The best way to start is with a clean, black canvas of an exposure. The best place to start is somewhere that is already dark, but believe it or not, you really don’t have to have pitch-black, can’t-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face darkness, as your camera setting will knock down a ton of light very easily.
So given that the exposure assignment for the day was f16, 30 full seconds, and an ISO of 400, it was a perfect day to practice light painting. The subject was landscape, so I cheated a bit and used my Eiffel Tower I picked up years ago during a visit to Paris. I plead that it was part of a landscape. (Ok, lame, but what do you do? I hopes to head out to the lake with some lights and see what I can do, but that will have to be later.)
Ok, so I have my tower in my dimly lit studio and fire off an exposure; completely black. No surprise there. But, I know I’m ready to paint.
I set my camera for the Rule of Thirds composition, auto focused on the tower, switched to manual focus (Or the camera gets really pissed trying to focus later!), and released the shutter.
I started off my painting with a full flashlight and a little penlight. I used the flash light to blast the scene for a few seconds and then turned it off. I changed over to the penlight to focus on details before going for some squiggle ribbon flair. I kind of liked the first one exposure, so I could have said, “Done.” I’ve found with these assignments, it’s fun to push a little further and see what else you can do.
Well, unfortunately the next few sucked honestly. The flare squiggle were annoying at best, so I went for clean and simple. I found that I liked the highlights I was getting around the base of the tower; they reminded me of the ground lights around the real tower, so I kept working with it. After about 6 attempts, I found this exposure and decided it was good for this assignment.
It was nice to light paint again, it’s been a while and I certainly need to do it more. There is just something about that non-directional look that’s interesting.