Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Light Painting

One of the most fun things that I have learnt to do with my camera since starting my self-study of photography has been light painting. Most people are unfamiliar with this technique but it has been by far one of the most interactive and fun techniques I have learnt. The setting for light painting can be anywhere as long as it is dark as you either need to take the shots at night outside or in a dark room. Then you need a light source, which can be anything ranging from a torch to a candle. Now if you have a camera like I do that didn’t exactly come off the ark but it is also not a NASA creation then you will probably require someone to help you. You will also need a tripod in order to reduce camera shake as you will need to keep the shutter of your camera open for as long as possible. My friend and I went to the fountain here at Rhodes University as we thought it would be a cool setting and dark enough to take the shot. I set up the tripod, set the mode onto ‘bulb’ under the manual mode and we were all set. My loyal and helpful friend who gave of her precious time to venture out into the cold with me was the light painter. In other words she was the one that stood in front of the camera and wrote in the sky with the torch when I said ‘go’. The trick we found was to move quickly and point the light towards the camera and not on the ground as the camera shutter does not stay open long and it needs to pick up the light. Simple huh? Which is why it was so much fun! The results look awesome and it is so easy to do. I recommend that you all give it a try.
Happy shooting!

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