Day 133 – Chasing the Dark – Part 1

Monday night was camera club, and we had a fascinating talk by a chap called Andrew Whyte all about chasing the dark. Andrew is a full time photographer, has www.longexposures.co.uk – if you want to see his work.  I have seen his light painting photos online before and it was great to see how he started out, how some of his ideas were created and more.

Andrew spent the evening talking about

  • Light painting with cars
  • Light painting
  • Star Trails.

He also showed us some amazing photos, his DIY equipment. The best thing about the evening was that he did not just show off his best shots, he showed us what his photos were like in the beginning, how he progressed and how he then edited and composite images in Photoshop so you realised how the images he created were possible. He also told us that he had a cheat sheet online which could help us with the settings … so as soon as I got home, I found it – long exposure, helpful guide.

I had a great time …  I was amazed at how much I knew I already as I have tried some light painting in the past … but I feel inspired to do more. I desperately want darker evenings and summer has not even arrived, but I have added some stuff to my wish list, and I have even had a go at making my own light holder inspired by one of is photos…. and this is what I photographed last night at 11pm in my back garden – my location is limited as I don’t want to go out photographing at night on my own.

Anyway imagine this:

  • 1 old paint roller
  • 1 lighting stand to which I attached the roller and used it as a stationary pivet
  • 1 camera on tripod with a 30 sec timer on a 2 sec delay
  • 1 set of 99p store multi colour battery lights
  • 1 piece of pipe insulation … a screwdriver to make holes in it
  • 1 piece of dowling – as the pipe insulation was floppy

And then I created these:

Light Painting - 18-250mm lens, at 18mm - ISO 200, F8, 30 secs
Light Painting – 18-250mm lens, at 18mm – ISO 200, F8, 30 secs

A compete circle … I took the light stick and carefully rotated it round to form a circle … OMG it worked… you can see than I wobbled a bit as I went round several times and you can see that the blue led lights are not as bright as the red, yellow and green ones but it worked…. I can draw a circle with lights. Thank for Andrew giving me the confidence to have a go, with my own handmade equipment and 99p lights 🙂

Light Painting - 18-250mm lens, at 21mm - ISO 200, F6.3, 30 secs
Light Painting – 18-250mm lens, at 21mm – ISO 200, F6.3, 30 secs

So I experiment … by rocking the lights pack and forward I could produce a semi circle … I did not always stop at the same place and you can see how many times I went back and forth if you look closely… but what a fun shot. It was be a great way to get children and young people into photography. I changed the aperture this time as I wanted to see if a wider aperture would let more light in… and you can see stars in the sky above.

Light Painting - 18-250mm lens, at 21mm - ISO 200, F6.3, 30 secs
Light Painting – 18-250mm lens, at 21mm – ISO 200, F6.3, 30 secs

Annoying when I change the aperture and refocused I had zoomed in slightly…  so managed to loose the top of my circle. Anyway in the above I got hubby off the sofa and made his come and spin my light … I stood in front of it and froze for 30 secs and I managed to capture my silhouette …

Light Painting - 18-250mm lens, at 21mm - ISO 200, F6.3, 30 secs
Light Painting – 18-250mm lens, at 21mm – ISO 200, F6.3, 30 secs

I tried again… this time I moved during the 30 secs so the light kind of passes through my arms in places and I also turned a torch on aimed kind of at me, but not wanting to capture hubby behind and turned it on for about 2 secs of the exposure… the lights a bit harsh but it shows that I was there.

Next … I want to try this on location somewhere… and I need to need to go somewhere with more space so I can use a fixed lens, and I need to make something to cover the lens mid shot … thanks to Andrew for the inspiration… I have more things I want to try so more ideas for later on in my blog 🙂

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