Monday, June 26, 2006

Painting with light

We are home once again!

And to echo Nathanael's answer when I asked him this morning if it was good to be home: "Yeah -- (slight pause) -- VERY good."

It was a wonderful, action filled trip. On of my highlights this weekend was being able to spend some extra time with a family from North Dakota. Their daughter Amanda is also doing quite a bit of photography, so we enjoyed the time to talk and bounce ideas off of each other!

We also tried some experiments. Have any of you heard of "Painting with light?" I am still learning the basics myself, but in short: a camera just records that which it sees -- what the light shines upon. So in the dark, using a tripod, a flashlight and a slow shutter speed, we painted our subjects with light.

Due to it staying light until almost 11:00pm in Canada, we were up till midnight messing around with different settings. Here are some pictures from our evenings work:
A tree stump with the skyline in the horizon.
Another tree with shrubs growing at the base of it. (In case your wondering why this tree looks purple-ish and the leaves pink, we used a blue flashlight for the more 'midnight' effect.)

A fence around a wheat field

Using the blue flashlight this time, we again tried the fence post. (A totally different effect!)

When painting with light, one can also do some very neat effects using people...and no, there were no triplets around, this is just my brother Josiah having a conversation with himself.

Me, Myself, and I

I have barely scratched the surface with all that can be done painting with light, but now I am very anxious to try some more. Whatd'ya think?


Anonymous said...

Great job, Bethany. Especially "Me, Myself and I". That is really COOL. Looks like Josiah is really into his conversation. Enjoyed them all. Keep on experimenting.
Love you BIGGER!!

Brittney said...

Those were awesome!!!!! Wow! Absolutely cool.;)

Welcome home ;)

Unknown said...

How did you do the one with Josiah??

Great photos -- I've done some with "painting with light" but not in the last few months. It's pretty fun -- I did some interesting photos with chili peppers in the garden as subjects.

The longer light in the summer in Canada makes for some great photos. Last year I uploaded to Flickr some that I took in the Yukon after 12 a.m.

Anonymous said...

Neat pictures, Bethany! That Me, Myself and I is really funny! How did you do it? :D

Bethany said...

How did I do the 'Me, Myself, and I?' As I said before, a camera just records that which it sees -- what the light shines upon. So to do three of the same people in one picture, this is what we did:

Setting my camera on the 'bulb' shutter speed mode (this enabled the shutter to stay open as long as I held the button down, not closing until I let go) Josiah posed on the left. My friend Amanda shone the flashlight on him (while he held very still) then turn it off so that there was no light -- therefore, the camera couldn't see anything, and wouldn't record anything anymore.

Josiah then moved to sitting at the base of the trunk. We repeated the process of turning the flashlight on and shining him with it, then doing the same once again after he had moved to the right.

As I let go of the button, the shutter closed and everybody quickly ran to see if it had turned out...and you should've heard the hoots and hollars when we saw the results! :D

Abby Berg said...

WOW!!! that is soooo Very nice pictures also!!!

Unknown said...

I figured that's probably how you did it, as otherwise it would have taken quite a bit of digital editing. It sounds like it was a lot of fun to produce! I should try to do more with the flashlight painting, although I am not sure that my compact Nikon lets me leave the shutter open.

Abby Berg said...

I have some questions...haha, what type of light did you use beside it being a flashlight? meaning...was it very bright or not? Also, how do you get the picture not to appear translucent? I have done it and also my dad has and we haev always had it where you can see the background behind the figure?lol lots of questions....heehee, sorry!

Anonymous said...

This is so neat!!! Amazing what happens when two photography experts get together! I think you should more often. Which I know neither of you are opposed to, it is just that distance doesn't allow. Well, anyhow, keep us the good work! It is so great to be on the receiving end of all your experiments!!

Each picture is so unique! I'd have to say that the 'Glowing Leaves', and 'Me, Myself, and I' are highest on the list. Takes lots of talent to have a conversation with yourself, and a steady hand both on the person with the camera, and the flashlight not to loose it laughing!:)

Take care, and keep experimenting!

Bethany said...

Thanks for commenting, ya'll! And I have to admit that I didn't post all the pictures we took -- due to the reason that yes, some were a little shaky and blurry due to laughing!

To answer your questions...
The only lighting we used was one VERY bright flashlight -- it was the only one we had that night! :D

And to why your picture is appearing translucent...when you ouline your subject with light, BE SURE to not get much of the surrounding area if you are planning to move the subject and do it again. What happens is that the light gets shone on the person and the background twice (or how ever many times you move and light your subject) -- thus giving the camera multiple layers in one image, creating the translucent look. Does that make sense?

Anonymous said...

Oh,Bethany did we ever have way too much fun!!Now I finally got to get a good look at the picture's.I really couldn't see anything that night since there were too many people wanting to look and I didn't want to waist your batteries.I can't wait till you send me copies!Can't wait till next time,hopefully I'll have my new camera by then!!