Monday, October 19, 2009

Painting with light -- cool photography effect

Photography class homework from last week:






This technique is so much fun! We were supposed to play with shutter speed to show motion, and these do that, though not in the way I think the teacher expected. I was looking around online for inspiration and I discovered "light painting," wherein, in the dark, you use flashlights and other light sources to "paint" on the darkness. That first swirl photo up top is an example of that, as is the word WRITE two posts ago.

But what ended up interesting me more came from a side note in a how-to video. The photographer said that if you wanted a person to show up in the photo too, to shine the light on them while the're in frame -- kind of paint them with the beam of the flashlight. So that's what the rest of these are: long exposures (13-20 seconds) in full darkness, with the subjects "painted" with the beam of a flashlight.

Have your subject freeze while you're "painting" them to minimize blur (though you may want some blur). For the double- or triple-exposure effect, paint one pose, then turn out the light while your subject moves to the next pose, then paint again. Obviously, you need a tripod for this, or at least to set your camera on a ledge or something.

This would be the perfect technique for faking ghost pictures, which I fully plan to do. If you have fun subjects like kids or friends in costume you could do some awesome stuff. I'm sure I'll try more! Meanwhile, this week the assignment is: reflections. Hm . . .

11 comments:

Ron Smith said...

I remember seeing things like that once when I took some...

Uh, nevermind.

Those are way cool. I love the dog pic!

And your husband's face is priceless in the last one.

TeresaD said...

Those are beautiful! I'd say you're definitely on your way to Master-Class Photographer :-)
I came by to comment and say, I won your book Lips Touch in the Twilighter's Anonymous Wolfpack Trivia! I'm so excited! Thanks for such a great prize!

storyqueen said...

These pictures are amazing. Make certain you post the faked ghost pix. Cannot wait to see those!

Shelley

Realm Lovejoy said...

That looks so fun! Makes me want to try out photography!

a cat of impossible colour said...

Cool!

Flemmily said...

That last one cracks. me. up.

Amber Lough said...

Wow. The one of your dog looks like the dog from Harry Potter...Hagrid's pet. Can't remember it's name...anyway, very cool pics!

Katie said...

I must say, this is so much fun. I loved your light painting of WRITE. You're making me wanna take a photography class.

Suzanne Young said...

That is so cool. The last picture with Jim reminds me of something out of Evil Dead 2... only with a cute baby.

:-)

justsomethoughts... said...

nice shots.

that does look like a lot of fun.

Laura said...

Very cool. I'm going to have to show my husband those -- he's into photography.

I doubt you'll remember me in the slightest, but I was at Wordstock. You gave some great advice when I asked what to do when a writer is bogged down. I finished "Lips Touch," a week or so ago, and I've been meaning to look up your blog and tell you what a lovely book it was.

So here I am, telling you what a lovely book it is. I'm glad I was able to hear you speak.