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Old Aug 1, 2006, 6:32 PM   #1
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This week's challenge is a very broad topic with a variety of interpretations. It is more difficult than many posted recently but it should be a lot of fun.

It involves shooting in total darkness with the camera mounted on a tripod with the shutter held open and a portable light source (small flashlight, pocket LED light, an external flash not mounted on the camera) which is moved around. The result is to create patterns of light or to selectively illuminate different areas of the scene.

Some types of light painting include (but not limited to):
1) Holding the shutter open and moving a small light around in front of the camera tracing out a pattern. The light could be used to trace the outline of a person. A couple of lights could be held in each hand to create "light angels" similar to snow angels. If the lights have push button operation, an entire range of effects can be created by blinking the lights on and off.
2) Holding the shutter open, use an external flash to illuminate parts of a scene by manually firing the flash in different locations in the scene.
3) Use one or more small lights to illuminate selected objects in a still life. For example, use LED lights to illuminate a single blossom in a flower arrangement.
4) Use a shaft of late afternoon or evening sunlight coming through a window to illuminate a subject.

Make sure your builtin flash is turned off and do not use an external flash mounted on the camera. Since long exposures will be involved, a tripod is a must and if a remote shutter release cable is available, use it. Set the camera for manual exposure. Set the shutter speed for manual or bulb. Set the aperture to f8 or f16. An assistant will be a great help. One person operates the camera and the other manipulates the lights.

Listed below are some links to websites dealing with light painting. There are some excellent photos that illustrate what can be done. Note that many of these photos have been taken by professionals and you can't expect to get the same results. However, if you study the photos and read the text to see how the shots were taken, it will give you ideas for your own shots.

http://chrisbeckerphoto.com/lightpainting/
http://www.rickdoble.net/paintingwithlight/
http://www.photo-seminars.com/Semina...Paintlight.htm
http://photo.box.sk/tip.php3?id=58
http://www.worth1000.com/cache/conte...ay=photography

Please put "Painting With Light" in your subject line. Since most people here have never tried these techniques (myself included!) I don't think we need to worry about not using archive pictures. Show us some of your bad ideas along with the good ones.

Remember--Two postings per day, Two photos per posting.

Now...go wave some lights around in the dark.

Cal

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Old Aug 1, 2006, 6:51 PM   #2
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Hey Cal,

Would using a first or second curtian flash be allowed? It opens up new possibilities for photos like the two I have posted to a challenge a couple of years ago (In the following link is my old challenge pic). It's your call though! Thanks for the work you 3 are doing!

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=85
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Old Aug 1, 2006, 7:11 PM   #3
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Hi GC. The main idea here is to get the light source away from the camera. I looked at the photos you linked and remembered seeing them before. In those photos, if the only light was coming from the sparklers, that would be great. Actually, there is probably enough light in those shots that flash would not have been required for the little girl.

I still haven't answered your question. I would like to see the shots for this challenge done with no on camera flash. The light source should be completely external to the camera.

By the way, there was an article in a recent photo magazine about light painting. I'll try to locate it and post the name and issue.

Cal

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Old Aug 2, 2006, 8:52 AM   #4
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Great idea cal...i have always wanted to try this!
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