Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My next adventure ... Painting with Light

As summer is winding down I find myself running out days to be able to shoot in the pool. While this is a saddening realization for me, it also is a great time to ponder my next set of crazy ideas! And so, out of all the fun photography ideas out there, which one did I decide to tackle you might ask? ...
Painting with Light!!!!!

This is not a new technique by any stretch, and it's honestly not new to me either but it has been like 10 years since I visited this craft! What exactly is PwL? Well, it's basically a super long exposure taken in the dark (either a blackened room or during the late midnight hours) and the subject matter is then 'painted' with light by something like a flashlight, glow stick, or even with the pop of flash in the dark. The end result can be quite dramatic as the different lights hit the cameras naked sensor.

Here's a few examples that I played with in my home with the help of my kiddos. (Please keep the laughter on the subject matter down to a minimum as it was only by some massive amount of begging that I got the kiddos to help me at all! .. and some bribery with Oreos always helps!)





Pretty cool right??  What made this technique pop in my head was my last few visits to Kansas City's Comic Con convention. Watching all the cosplayers walking around (that's folks dressed up in their favorite anime or Marvel costume for all you cosplay newbies!) and seeing them pose for all the cameras! ... Mine included! Then, when I got home and began to see photos of those costumers posted on line, some with photoshop edits, some without, I started to envision all kinds of crazy awesome things and I began to ask myself questions.

Questions like, How can we shoot these people to look more like the comics they were portraying? Would it be possible to create some stop action motion to replicate the energy in anime in addition to the neon looking stripes. How can I do this in my typical style of little to no post production work?

So a few test shots later on that idea, and I came up with these images that I captured all by myself  ...



Talk about totally-wicked awesome! And remember, these are all straight out of the camera! No photoshop was used at all! They were done in the dark with long 30 second exposures as I 'painted' myself with a flashlight and small strobe. (I'm thinking I need to find a way to shoot some videos to capture how these images are done!) After playing around with this for a bit and enjoying the results, my imagination began to kick into overdrive! So much so that I have created a folder in my computer full of ideas, inspirations and character drawings. I think this could be fun and the list of possibilities is only limited by my imagination ... and of course light painting tools! That being said, I'm going to spend the next few weeks to start gathering light painting tools &  ideas so that I can start seriously play around! Of course, once I get the tools I will only need two more things ... some amazeballs cosplayers and killer locations to shoot at night! 

This is going to be fun!!!

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