Long Exposure Light Painting Photography
If you really want to learn your camera’s settings, I would suggest you try light painting. I first learned about light painting from my mentor Caryn Esplin. You can see some of her light painting projects here: http://www.carynesplin.com/light-painting/
She often references another master of light painting, Dave Black. Check out his creative lighting gallery: http://www.daveblackphotography.com/creative-lighting-portfolio/
Light painting is long exposure photography with a light. You can use a light pen, or a flashlight, or a… lightsaber? Yes, even a lightsaber. As long as it produces light, you can control the shadows and create some incredible imagery.
Outdoor Light Painting
Ponds add a nice reflection. I used two custom sabers for the above shots. To learn more about these Kyberlight custom saber, visit my product photography post.
The image below was created using a bike wheel wrapped with a string of lights. The axle was placed on the ground, and someone spun the wheel one revolution. This image was a shutter speed of 2.5 seconds with aperture at f/11.0 and ISO at 100. In Adobe Lightroom, I changed the tint to blue.
In the next image, I lit Cory’s face with my iPhone flashlight. Again, this is a long exposure, so I then took the bike wheel, and I held it by the axle and spun it in the circle while he held a Doctor Strange pose. I would love to sometime do this with steel wool to really get the portal look.
Now this was a fun image! Click on the small thumbnail below to see the original image. I had Vlad grip the lightsaber in place directly in front of a speed-light. So there are two speed-lights in this image. The one in the back providing the back-light, and one to the left with a green gel.
Now what really makes this image something is that I did not edit any of it in Adobe Photoshop. Nope! This was all done in Adobe Lightroom. How you ask? I had the pleasure of meeting Steven Hatch, he is an incredible photographer with one of the most positive attitudes. He showed me how to use Lightroom in a whole new way, especially taking advantage of radial filters in Adobe Lightroom. That is how I created this lightsaber effect. For a little over a decade I have created lightsabers in Adobe Photoshop, but I never would have thought I could do it in Adobe Lightroom!
I suppose the above image is not exactly light painting since the images were not taken with a long exposure, but they are still fun!
Here is a light painting with an actual subject in the image. I love the texture on the wood. If you look closely you can even see some stars.
The image below has a funny story. See that light coming up from the pond? Remember Vlad from the lightsaber shot above? He accidentally dropped a maglite into the lake. To our surprise, it lasted all night. You could even see fish swimming near it.