Advanced Techniques: Painting With Light
This was probably the best of the more recent assignments this year. Our project group consisted of Mito, Laura, and Daisuke. I was geeked about my group-mates. They are all good photographers and I was looking forward to the opportunity to finally work with them. So initially I had in idea to go to an old park with some jungle gym equipment to do an image with a young girl to pose as our ghost. Think ‘The Ring’ @ school. Anyway, Mito was the bomb at our lab session at Rockbridge State Park, so I was excited about her doing the images. She understands light in a way that I try to. Anyway, Mito wanted to go back to the park to do some shooting in the woods. Her idea was to show the forrest environment and the wonderful magical things that happen. She wanted us to fabricate a ton of fireflies next to this subject who would be holding one. I liked the idea and suggested we’d compromise and have a little girl in the forrest with the flies. Laura found us a wonderful model who looked 12, but was a lot older :-).
We arrived at Rockbridge at about 7:30PM and started walking to look for locations. The idea was to find something that promoted the scenery and allowed the sky to show through. We found a great spot about 30 feet off the trail which had some great symmetry in the trees. Now, let me remind you that while my parents are both from the country, I have little desire to be in tall grass where I can’t see my feet ya digg? I told my group members that I was taking a huge personal jump in my development with them as it got darker…..and darker. The initial test didn’t come out the way we wanted. There was some confusing as to which exposures came first, how we would expose the image, etc. After a few experiments, we figured out our process.
The frame would take a total of 6 exposures to create (one would not be combined with the rest which really just gave us 5). For the first, Julianna held a small LED light in her hands and looked down at it while I lit her face with a flashlight. Mito exposed this for 1/10 of a second. The next exposure was 15 seconds and in that one Laura, Daisuke and I used our off-camera strobes at half power to light the trees in the background. The last three exposures were 30 seconds each and had all four of us using small LED lights to make the “fireflies.” During the first of these exposures, I traced Julianna once again to help her stand out as Mito used her LED up close to create the very bright lights coming right out of Julianna’s hands.
I thought the overall image was impressive. I really liked this technique and need to find ways to use it in the future. The image looked amazing. The only critique I had is that the LED lights made it look like Julliana was casting a spell and not catching fireflies. BUT WHO CARES? THE IMAGE IS DOPE AND THAT ALL THAT MATTERS!?!?!?!? lol. I hope you enjoy.