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Thread: Painting with light

  1. #1

    Painting with light

    I have always been fascinated with the "painting with light technique". It looks so impressive but I've always been to scared to try it as it looks so complicated. Anyone out there tried it? If so, post some photos here, I am really interested to see how they come out!
    Also, if you could give some advice to a beginner on how to start with this technique, how it works etc. I'd be very grateful! Thank you!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Re: Painting with light

    I found this technique fascinating, too. Unfortunately, it seems to have fallen out of fashion, as, with digital, it could readily be imitated in "post". My idea would be to use a digital camera as a training tool, set ISO to the speed of the film you want to use, open the shutter, and paint away with a flashlight. After each try, you can check the result quickly. Once you are happy, set up the "real" camera and repeat the moves.

  3. #3
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Ottawa, Canada

    Re: Painting with light

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Denmark, Europe

    Re: Painting with light

    My all time favorite technique (90% of my images are painted with light...) out of fashion? no way, and it is not easy to emulate in ps (and not as fun!)

    Some images:

    My tutorial:

    To start digitally is a really good idea, as you see results right away, BUT beware of the iso setting!! (and hence that the F number):

    IF setting to iso at 100 you need a F number (using a 25Watt lightbulb) at about 8 ANALOG but about 18-22 DIGITALLY..... That much difference!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Camano Island, Washington

    Re: Painting with light

    Years ago I painted in an old building at night with a series of bulb flashes of equally spaced and distanced locations for the flash. The camera was on a tripod and the lens was open for 30 or more minutes. I experimented with 2 or 3 shots - it was on black and white film so there was a lot of latitude for exposure.

  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Painting with light

    What seems to have happened is that when Hosemaster marketed a fancy kit, complete with black velvet suit, the studios who invested in it were so eager to recoup their money that "light painting" popped up in just too many spreads at once, and its advertising novelty quickly wore out. But as just another potential tool out there, there are all kinds of less ostentatious ways of employing analogous techniques. I have even taped gel filters over handheld flashlights to accent certain
    details in the studio.

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