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Thread: Light painting - I am wanting to learn.

  1. #1
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    10 Dec 2010
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    Light painting - I am wanting to learn.

    Hi folks.

    I've read most of the posts to do with light painting and have been to middle head and participated in the meet there and did a bit.

    I am wanting to try a bit myself.

    General question:
    When we did it at middle head, we swung glowing balls around while someone waved red/green lights around us and there was a light shining on the subject to illuminate them so we could see the person as well. Not just the swirling lights.

    How do you work out how bright to make the white light to illuminate the person and not over expose the shot? Usually 30 seconds.

    There is this problem that the person has to keep PERFECTLY still or they are blurred.....


    Now, thinking - and I have been told that is dangerous - I have a Canon 480 flash.
    It has a few settings which interest me and this is open for discussion.

    Usually when using a flash it is TTL and you have the shutter at 1/60. The flash brightness is controlled by the camera and when it has enough light it tells the flash to "stop". Or something like that - right? Unless you are doing full manual stuff.

    There is also this option for second shutter timing. So instead of the flash going off at the start of the exposure it goes off at the end, or at both the start and end.

    (drum roll)

    Say you set the flash to send enough light for a good exposure for 1/60 second but had it on end of exposure rather than start.....

    This is for a 30 second exposure by the way. And it is dark.

    a: Get the person to swing the lights and establish them going in a nice pattern/circle. They can be moving as much as they want. Arms, face, etc.

    b: Click.. You press the shutter button. The timer is running.
    You let them keep them going to "establish" the circles on the exposure.
    After about 10 seconds, they can either stop or keep going - their call.

    c: The person dressed in black comes onto the scene and waves the lights to make the wave-like patterns appear. This can be for about 10 seconds.
    Though you do have 30 seconds total from when the buttons are pressed. I am keeping it simple.

    d: Any other things can happen for what time remains.

    e: Near the end, the person "ejects" the lights from the picture..... Ok, you may see the trails as on the picture as they leave. I'm working on that.
    You could turn them off and then release them. What ever......

    The person then "acquires the position" they want to be seen in in the final shot.
    The flash goes off - only from ONE camera - and the person is lit up enough for the 1/60 of a second exposure.

    Would this work?

    I shall try to find time and a victim - sorry, participant - to assist me in the mean time.

    But I thought I would put it out there as a possible way of helping make that kind of shot "easier".
    Canon EOS 550D 18-135 (IS) lens 90-300 lens

  2. #2
    Ausphotography Addict martycon's Avatar
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    03 Dec 2009
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    That reads like a most reasonable scenario. I am sure it would work. However one would need to be sure that the result was going to be worth so much effort with such a large cast. Please let us see your results.

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