Thursday, November 18, 2010

Light Wands

Sometimes it's fun to experiment with simple light sources. Back in the late 1980's commercial photographer, Aaron Jones popularized a painting with light technique with his Hose Master light wands.
Just for fun I made a trio of my own simple light wands with L.E.D. flashlights. To make the light beams narrower and easier to control I equipped the flashlights with a homemade cardboard telescopic snoot and another with a snoot with a spot grid. The L.E.D. lights are a little bit cooler in color temperature so I put a warming gel ( CTO 3410 ) over them.
I could then try painting with light.

To paint with light, the image should be shot in a very dark room. Place the camera on a tripod. Experiment with aperture and long shutter speed, 10-30 seconds, depending on your light source. I move the flash light in sweeping strokes during the exposure to prevent hot spots. Avoid pointing the flashlight directly to the camera's lens unless you want a light streak effect. Lock your camera's mirror if you have one to prevent camera shake during the long exposure.

Here are some of the results.

Painting with light using a L.E.D. flashlight with spot grid. Exposure f/22 at 15 seconds.

Exposure, f/11 at 15 seconds. Background lit with a Nikon SB-28 with red gel at 1/32 power setting