Photography Project 52: Week 43 – Photography and Light Painting

1302_MFA_Light Painting_006-Edit

Light painting has always been one of those things I’ve seen in magazines, where I thought it looked, cool but I wouldn’t try it because of the PIA factor. This week I set out to prove myself wrong…..I was unsuccessful. What I produced, in no way reflects the numerous hours I (and Peter much to his chagrin) invested in this project. I have one image I like, the other others are…..well……

For this project:

  • I spent over an hour laying on a hard wood floor while Peter dangled a flash light above me (I’m still seeing light streaks).
  • I bought a ton of fresh fruit for my still life image…..which I (and Peter) are now faced with eating.
  • I unknowingly introduced a piece of burlap into my home which has shed all over the place, and brings its own unique odor to the house.

The complexity of this project involved both image capture and processing. For image capture:

  • It was necessary to breakdown the subject into components, and just light certain areas.
  • This involved running back and forth to the camera to see what adjustments needed to be made.
  • I had to be careful where I was pointing the light, and how fast I was moving it. At times I inadvertently pointed it toward the camera when I didn’t mean to, or made light streaks in the reflective surfaces of my subjects.
  • Every thing was a unique dance of aperture, shutter speed, getting the light in the frame, and lighting the right part of the subject.

For image processing

  • I brought all related images into one file in Photoshop and then by turning layers off and on, decided which ones worked best together.
  • I used Lighten in the blending mode options to make sure I could see what was on each layer below.
  • I clipped a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to each subject layer and then manipulated each layer’s color.

For processing the still life I turned to Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 – the best program for artistic interpretations in my opinion, and Dynamic Auto Painter. I included both painterly interpretations, plus the original capture to show the possibilities.

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