// Posted by :Logan Runyon // On :Thursday, June 5, 2014


Alright, hey! Been a while since I have been active here but now I'm back and want to share my most recent photography experience. I'm playing around with something that is new to me called light painting.  I've known about light painting for a while but never really had a reason to try it.  I realized I needed something new to shoot and didn't want it to be boring.
Ok now I realize that you may not know what light painting is.  In its simplest, it is opening the the shutter of your camera for seconds in pitch black and literally painting in the subject with light.  It is no different from flash photography other than flashes stay stationary, sync up with your camera shutter, and you would need many monolights or flashes to do a shot like this. This shot was done with one monolight and a beauty dish attachment. The shutter on my camera was opened up for 30 seconds as I walk around the car and illuminate the areas I want to appear. There is a lot of trial and error involved and it is helpful to have an assistant or a remote shutter to keep thing moving. Otherwise there will be a lot of running, tripping and mistakes made from trying to do too much at once. Below is my first test with just a normal flashlight and a quick walk around.

The problem I see with a flashlight like this is the light is not soft enough. It is very directional and because of that you can see zig-zag light trails. So i didn't spend much time trying to light the car this way.  You can see i didn't really light the ground around the car or the garage behind.  From here i switched over to a monolight I have.   I knew it would be a much softer light and I conveniently have a battery for it, which is essential for on location shoots. If I ran an extension cord out the garage door you would see it in the shot as I walked around the car and risk tripping.
The next problem i ran into was the monolight has illuminated numbers on the back and there is a cooling gap in between the monolight and the attachment. I had to tape over those so it wouldn't look like it does in the next photo.
As you can see the green ghosting and white ghosting up in the right corner.  This is what I stopped with a little electrical tape. Also I decided i didn't like the pattern in what i was painting the car in.  This was the fist shot i did where you could see the background and also decided i needed to close the garage door. As you can see, trial and error. even with the final shot i did, after editing i see some things i would like to change.  It is all a learning thing.
In the nest shot I was getting closer to the image i wanted but i felt i needed to shine a little light over the top of the car to help separate it from the background. But the first time my light was a little too high and you can see the lights in the window. Also I just happened to open the car door to shut the garage and thought it may look nice with the interior lights on.


I still needed to separate the car from the background so i just simply squatted lower. By the way I should mention, it helps to be in shape for a shoot like this.  The up and down, back and forth is a real workout. I was thankful it was a cool night.
I wish i hadn't bump the tripod.  The framing in this shot was my favorite, but i didn't notice in the small dslr screen and it was so dark i couldn't really see the camera. My tripid is too easy to move.  This week i should receive a new tripod that is much more stable and some other useful gear.

If anyone wants to know, my camera settings were 100 ISO, f8, 30 second exposure, and a 50mm lens on a crop sensor camera so the equivalent of 50x1.6= 80mm.

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