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Thread: Light Painting Stonehenge

  1. #1
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
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    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  2. #2

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    Re: Light Painting Stonehenge

    Thank you, Kirk.
    Interesting article.
    I am really intrigued by Light Painting technique.
    Lots of Potential.

  3. #3
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: Light Painting Stonehenge

    My wife took one look at the Nat. Geo. cover of Stonehenge and asked me what was wrong with the cover shot. I asked her what she meant and she said: "It looks false."

    The problem with the paint-by-light crowd is that they typically don't bother to worry about the light coming from different angles. Everywhere you look the shadows are different. Which makes it look "false," because it is false.

    I've never actually seen it done well. And by that I mean a print that makes a first impression that does not include the word "false." I suspect that to do it well is similar to doing Photoshop well -- if you are leaving visible artifacts, you aren't doing it well.

    But perhaps that's just me.

    Bruce Watson

  4. #4
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Light Painting Stonehenge

    I agree with you in general Bruce except for light painting on modern architecture, which is nearly always lit from multiple sources to begin with.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  5. #5

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    Re: Light Painting Stonehenge

    I agree Bruce. While they are beautiful images, the chaotic light is unsettling . You've identified the technique's shortcoming and offered a means to remedy it at the same time: single-point-source illumination with with focusable beams of light of varying intensities. And while this may eliminate the chaotic illumination, it still constitutes "false" imagery. I think that this rings true with the Stonehenge subject more than any that come to mind.

  6. #6
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: Light Painting Stonehenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Gittings View Post
    I agree with you in general Bruce except for light painting on modern architecture, which is nearly always lit from multiple sources to begin with.
    But those are usually stationary sources that show in the photograph aren't they? Up lights and wall washers, etc. So do people actually use painting with light techniques with architecture? If so, how do they do it? Buildings are often really big...

    Bruce Watson

  7. #7

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    Re: Light Painting Stonehenge

    Yes, but isn't light apt to light a building also artificial?
    It is just that our brains have learned to accept it as normal.

    I agree that the lighting in the stonehenge image is a departure, but probably the photographer wanted to convey a feeling of mystery and energy in the inner "core"of the structure....
    It is not exactly a photograph by the book.... but not a bad one either.

  8. #8

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    Re: Light Painting Stonehenge

    Another example of how our brain adapts is the popularity of theJerry Springer show...

  9. #9
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    Re: Light Painting Stonehenge

    How about Michael Frye's night work? http://www.michaelfrye.com/port/night/night1.html
    It doesn't look real but I think it is done quite well.

    Gale

  10. #10
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Light Painting Stonehenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
    But those are usually stationary sources that show in the photograph aren't they? Up lights and wall washers, etc. So do people actually use painting with light techniques with architecture? If so, how do they do it? Buildings are often really big...
    Yes, we do it almost every week. Because while most exterior lighting looks good to the eye, it doesn't look so good on film, especially if the facade you are shooting faces away from where the sun set and gets little or no fill from residual sky light. We usually use a couple of Lowell Omni lights on single story building or Totas on bigger buildings and wash the building with light. On really big buildings we just find a way to work with what is there.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

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