Photography Highlights • Painting with Light

XPan

Jedi
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Photography Highlights

I thought to open a thread especially devoted to highlight the World of Photography; through Light Paintings, Starry Night Landscapes, Volcanoes, Thunderstorms, Cloud landscapes, Patterns, Shadows & Light etc perhaps later along the road, Black & white portraits the classic style - in order to inspire you what can be done with the medium of photography.

Well, I also like to do it, in order to distract you 💕 given how much craziness is buzzing around these times... It really is crazy at so many levels... I wonder how you guys are detaching from it from time to time ?

I personally have focused deeply into every detail revolving the Corona Plandemic since 11 March 2020, as I by accident got stuck 5 weeks in the first lockdown when I visited my husband in Italy (Sicily) - and immediately felt that something was very wrong - just not sure what exactly it was. So, I needed to learn, in order to understand the underpinnings of it "all" (big words, I know - but it definitely helped to spend thousands of hours of research since then).

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Well, here we are... 10 month later

The price has been, that I barely felt inspired to devote myself to photography. Like my heart wasn't really there, and it seemed far more vital to understand the multitude levels of the Plandemic's dynamics.

For the time being - I dig into my photo archive - and hope to inspire you with photographical highlights. Taking off the edge of tension - even just for a moment - to distract you gently.

The images I do are often made together with friends along the road of life. Mainly of experimental nature - with the spirit of playfulness (not perfection nor any big plans). "You work with what you got at hand", so to speak.

💕

Ralf


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XPan

Jedi
In my next session

I'll describe how to make "orbs" and "fire".

Hint: simple methods, no frills. :lol:

Oh, Stockholm is my home, so I am not in a lockdown. I only was it back in March-April 2020, during 5 weeks involuntary, as i visited Sicily thinking I would only stay there a week... and then everything changed rapidly.
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Oh, Stockholm is my home, so I am not in a lockdown.

Quit the opposite here.
 

XPan

Jedi
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GLOW STICK

It's a meter long Glow stick from New Zealand (Home of Poi), with LED's on each end - which can make different patterns, or strobe or gentle flow of colors.


Longtime Exposure

So, you set a camera on a tripod, and keep the shutter open (Bulb, longtime exposure), while drawing what ever your heart desires, into the air, throw it, circle around you, draw... anything. Each time you see in the camera display what works, and what doesn't. In this photo (above), it was the last day of May 2010, and in Stockholm it did not get dark enough... You need to find a balance between background light - and the length of your exposure (as it gets lighter the longer the exposure proceeds).


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HOVERING GLOWING ORB

This is easier. I mean you need only a torch. Preferably one with a tiny sharp light source. Like the older Mag-Lite where you can detach the cap, exposing a the light bulb. This is good because you gonna move it and should not be obscured by anything around.

Have a long cord attached to the torch but not too long (without it touching the ground)

Then you place something on the ground, a marker (stone, etc). While the camera on a tripod starts to expose (60-90 sec), you swirl the torch in a circle - and continue to do so continuously - but you move ever so slightly around that marker on the ground. Around it's axis, so to speak. After a minute you have completed a full circle - and you can shut off the camera. Then you get this "glowing orb" seemingly hovering in the air.

Dependent on the strength of the light bulb, you do not really need super bright lenses to collect the light. The Light orb can also be made with some slight background light left (city light, dusk, dawn)

It will take a while to get the orb straight aligned - it takes practice. But believe me - it is really, really fun :wow: The results are so rewarding to see in your camera screen - that each attempt will inspire you further to try again. Wanting to make nice orbs in all kinds of night landscapes and places. There is a lot of playfulness attached to this kind of experimental photography !!

It is also fun to be two, to play 💕


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FIRE (EL-WIRE)

I believe it is called El-Wire (readily available on eBay). It is a sort of fluorescent thin string light, 2 or 3 meter - powered by 2 AA batteries. Comes in several different colors. The light isn't very bright - so here I suggest really dark landscapes, as well a brighter lens. In my case I used a wideangle 24mm f 1.4 L II lens - with wide open aperture ƒ1.4 with an exposure of 40 seconds at ISO 400

There at 1700 meter hight in front of the Teide Volcano on the Island of Tenerife, I wanted to give the impression of "fire" or "lava". (It was icy cold, later with storm winds)


ISO Sensitivity

Oh, by the way, I often use low-ish ISO 400, not noisy high ISO stuff, when I make light paintings. It means, you set the ISO yourself, instead of letting the camera choose for you (which would immediately choose the highest, noisiest ISO in darkness) Which looks not as nice, really. You need some latitude in the RAW file in post-processing - because of sometimes too high contrast between light and dark shadows. An image with lower ISO has usually more latitude in the shadows, than a high ISO photo.

I also set lens aperture, exposure time, and focus - all manually.


Then you just... draw away :wow:

This El-Wire, you can toss around, paint into the air, pull around on the floor... anything... Only your imagination and fantasy sets the limit.

Note:
If you move the cable around a lot, you may want to tape the part, between battery box and glowing el wire cable, to prevent it from breaking off.

After some use you will see that the glowing wire will "chip away" on in the inside of the cable (looking "broken" in the light). That is normal wear and tear over time, as it will degrade. But they aren't expensive either...


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Those last two photos (above)

where made in a TOTALLY DARK ROOM - because we installed a photo darkroom there (later). In the mean time we used the space for experimental photography for really long exposures (sometimes up to 4 minutes - see below 2 photos) painted with lights on the walls, etc.

It was super exciting !!

The thing is that you never exactly know what it is you get - which makes it so fascinating to experiment with. With today's digital cameras, you get to see the results - and don't have to wait to develop the film and make prints. Post-processing can further give you leeway to steer up the colors (Strong colors can sometimes be a bit difficult to "curb")


Lightpainting: anything that glows or shines

can be used as a light source when you make light paintings. I once started with the sparks coming out of a cigarette lighter 35 years ago. Any torch, anything that radiates light... Paint your muse, your partner, your love. Make funny animals which look as if they "cross the street", Small pin-formed light sources are good as drawing-pens in photos.

I wish you lots of inspiration, fun, and a playful spirit with excitement 💕


Ralf

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XPan

Jedi
Thank you for sharing and these are some really good shots. There is a German photographer you specialized in such photography mayn years back, and he used fire a lot with long time exposure. His name is André Wagner.

Thank you !

for the tip of André Wagner. I was not aware of him, and as we speak i get to see a first glimpse of his work... Clearly some real fine art he has done. When i get home from work, i will dig deeper into his art.

So thank you Gawan, for the source of inspiration

I love of to see other people’s photos as well their art works, both modern as well the old classics.

In fact during the days of analog photography like 30 years ago - one of my greatest joys was to look through people’s personal photo albums.

They told their stories through simple photography, and preserved a sense of life in their own style and ways

Actually one of the reasons I love other people’s photos is, that the photographer sees and thinks different.

Sometimes i realize that i am too locked up - i can “feel through their eyes and senses”, and become aware of aspects in the creative process. It creates a leeway, an opportunity to go beyond oneself.

💕
 

JGeropoulas

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks for those details and additional photos. They remind me of Dale Chihuly's glass creations when they're illuminated at night. Here are but just a few examples:



Viewed in the day light they are equally stunning:

 
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XPan

Jedi
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Another tool: Light chains

Now that there are (AA) battery driven light chains available - they too are great tools for light painting experiments. They do not flicker, so the light trails are even. I experimented a little in Sicily back in 2016 (which together with the awesome warm night air) was fun to do together with my husband. Of course - in the end, it isn't super duper Art like the above artists do.

It's just for FUN. Home use. Like making your own jars of marmalade :lol:


Clarification of revolving light paintings

When I speak of light painting in photographical terms - I mean creations that made while the camera is exposing. So, no photoshop effects. Once the camera opens the shutter - you paint with light. That's it. Suits fine with the root of the word Photography" which is "to paint/draw with light".

Environmental friendly Graffiti ;-D leaving no residues

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