Light Painting: Taken to a Whole New Level
Written by Robert Burkholder
A few years ago, Gerry Wirun introduced several club members to light painting during a SIG night outing to Elk Island Park. We kicked up our ISO, opened our shutters for 10 seconds or more and “painted” the scene with handheld flashlights. I was very pleasantly surprised at how straightforward and painless it was to capture worthy results. If you have never tried light painting you should consider giving it a go.
As Adrien Veczan pointed out during his guest speaker presentation at the October meeting you need only three things; low ambient light, a manual setting on your camera and a tripod. Oh, and you need a light source. Adrien has a range in his arsenal, from specialized photo lights to inexpensive multi-coloured digital lights found in Home Depot. The cheap Home Depot lights yielded impressive results for Adrien so maybe that is a good place to start.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Light painting can be quite an involved undertaking and Adrien takes the technique to a whole new level, spending as much as five hours to capture a single image. Adrien explained the technique is especially good at focusing attention on selected areas and at bringing out texture. Also, using light in this way gives photographers lots of room to be creative. That was aptly illustrated by the truly remarkable images Adrien shared with us, both from his early career as a photojournalist as well as more recent images. The images and more, including some “how he did it” videos, can be found at Adrien’s website. It is well worth taking a look.
Handheld light sources:
Defiant Multi Colour LED Light: $4.48 @ Home Depot. Model #99103, Store SKU #1001008519
Yougnuo YN360 Light Wand: $108 at Amazon.ca (several versions available)