Light painting, around the house

I set a personal project, to capture some painting with light images within the home. Although the weather in Hull has been nice, the rainy nights have put me off having to walk 5 miles out of town to capture some light painting images. I Don’t normally shoot in my house, but finding the right subject was important, making sure its interesting and that there is enough room to capture the image.

I was influenced by Crewdson’s work, his portraits of people in these bizarre and creepy locations, but i focused more so on the lighting of Crewdson, adapting this idea of this supernatural lighting that appears from unknown sources. I wanted to create images that turned Crewdon’s images into some psychedelic trip!

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After purchasing some El Wire i was eager to create some sci-fi looking images, the El wire is recorded as this mist, which can look great when used with the right subject. Here i have tried to create a scene of menace, as if a hot flame had began within the wardrobe, which relates back to children’s nightmares of the monster in the closet.

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To accomplish this image, I had to put the torch inside each draw and move horizontally to allow the light to be pushed out, and then recorded by the camera. The idea was to create an image that looked at how light can be captured inside containers, a theme which is recurring in these four images.

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The idea was to show travel, and photography and their relationship, the subject location is a corner, relating to my desire to travel and photograph the world, while the colours are neon, and bright reflecting upon my appreciation for light, colour and how it behaves at night.

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This image, was influenced heavily by Crewdon’s work, i imagined the fridge as being a portal, or creature that is living, and comes alive at night while everyone is asleep. I believe the colours, blue and green work well to create a horror/sci-fi appeal to the photograph.

Light painting

Previously, I have been developing my light painting, trying to focus more so on different lighting techniques, moving away from just lighting subjects and including different techniques to the process. Below are some of those that i have researched and practiced, the final images shall be put onto here after my next presentation.

 

Above is an image that shows development of colours, achieved by using gels and a torch, i have been able to expose each colour evenly, this meant having to spend time with each gel and work out how much time must be devoted to each colour. This is because some colours produce more light when being cast upon a subject, there for too much time could cause either burn out or under exposure.

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The next image was achieved with El wire, something i am new too, i purchased my El wire of Amazon for £5 and the results out do the cost of the product, the result is a mist of light that illuminates an area while giving depth and atmosphere to an image. I wish i had known about this product when i was first introduced to light painting.

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By lighting the inside of a container you can force the light out, creating this effect of a light source being contained within the subject, seeping out. While i was practising the technique, i used a green gel only and moved the light source around the inside of each draw for a few seconds, this is the finished piece. The lighting also exposed the room slightly to give a haunting and ghoulish atmosphere.

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While recording a candle i accidentally moved the lens, making it zoom in slightly, while reviewing the image it became apparent i had recorded the candle in two states, one large and one smaller. I then practiced the technique more, zooming in from 18-105mm to capture two more defined states of the candle. This technique could be used to show size and depth that contrasts, applied to either a horror or dramatic subject to enhance a theme or mood.

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While reviewing some painting with light images, i saw a few photographs of cars that showed the inside of the engine when the hood was closed. I was fascinated as to how these were achieved and so decided to place an object in a container that was large enough and set up my camera. I found that by exposing the subject while the container was open, and then closing and exposing the containers hood i was able to create the same effect.

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Second Semester

Been very busy with the coursework and dissertation this year, so I’ve neglected the blog but have a few images to post from previous assignments. Focusing mainly on painting with light, i was influenced by a few Light artists such as, Nocturne, JanLeonardo and Troy Paiva.

The idea behind the assignments were to focus upon a specialized area, i chose painting with light because its a field of photography that a lot of photographers try out, but never really take up, and i thought it would be a great idea to develop this skill further because the outcomes can be fantastic. I hope to impress people with my understanding of light, and to develop the way i use and view light. When photographing at night, i see the frame as blackness, and i slowly introduce light as if working with marble and chipping away to reveal a subject.

Links to light artists websites

http://lightpaintingphotography.com/

https://www.flickr.com/people/light_painter/

http://lostamerica.com/

Below are a selection of images that demonstrate my development of painting with light, and act as a snapshot to show what it is I’ve been up to over the past few months.

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Bulding a portfolio

My previous assignment that i have just completed saw me capturing 20 unique images from 4 genres, the images had to be different and fresh so that they could be used to create a portfolio, which i can then modify and change in the future.
I chose to shoot; Portraits, Urban Landscapes, Still Life and Contemporary art.
Familiar with portraits, the next three genres were new to me, and being the direction i wish to pursue in my photographic career i decided to give it a shot and see what i could capture. I have decided to show my favourite iamges from each genre.

 

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One of the portrait images i chose as a final, capturing a model wearing a pillow case modified to create this creepy thriller affect to the portrait. The idea behind this image was to capture ambiguity, to cut the human traits and facial recognition from the model, to play upon the emotion of safety and creepy, the face is hidden but yet the lighting is bright and exposes the model contradicting the horror props and back lighting. This makes the viewer question who the model is to them, and what the motive of hiding the face is and how that may reflect upon the photographer or themselves.

 

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Capturing Urban landscapes wasn’t just about the city of Hull or the industrial zones that surround the river, it was about the suburbs and how these have been built around the river, especially in places that are historical industrial zones, like the Victoria docks and other areas. I captured this image because it showed the connection of the river and these new sub-urban zones, i imagined how it must be like to live in this location, and the introduction of suburbs into this region instead of the normal estates outside of the cities and towns.

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Another Urban Landscape, that focuses this time on colours, shapes and tones to create a mood and atmosphere within the image, instead of subjects and a focus point. The idea was to capture an image that is aesthetically pleasing, capturing key elements within a location within the center of hull, this being the River Humber as seen from Victoria Dock. I wanted to capture an image that is pleasing to the eye and subtracts our attention, allowing our eyes to lose themselves within the image and soak up all the warm colours and tones and connect with the image emotionally within these elements instead of subjects or portraits.

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When capturing still life, i decided that i should revisit my previous Vanitas project and try and recreate an image that is just as interesting, fresh and unique as the images i had captured for that assignment. I decided to look at the key factors of Time, Death and rebirth, the action of death bringing new life creating this cycle of life. The string represents the mortal life, how it can be cut at any moment, letting the body drop into ground in which the earth and vegetation consume the nutrients and sprout into new life.

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For one of my contemporary art images i recreated an image from Uta Barth, a photographer who made me question what we see when looking at a photograph, do we observe whats in focus, or should we think about what is in the photograph what we cannot view, or maybe what is just beyond the frame. In the case of the photograph i have captured, a person may question what is the main subject; the blurred trees which we can just make out in the background, or the soap marks seen clearly upon the window.

The first few weeks of Year 3

After a long summer of being a laborer, and getting a nice tan, it was time to return to university. I didn’t get much time to practice any photography through summer due to working 12 hours a day and sleeping when i wasn’t working, so i was excited to get back out onto the field or into the studio.
The first few assignments i was given weren’t exactly what i would go for, but it was good practice and i figured doing my weak points would stir up some enthusiasm for the areas i did enjoy. It wasn’t long until i got back into the swing of things, and i felt that the few assignments got my creative thoughts flowing, as i prepare to begin my upcoming projects.

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We was asked to capture Selfies, something I’m not entirely found of and so i found this first task a little difficult to begin the year with. I decided to capture how i will spend most of my time this year, playing computer games, and studying for work. I wish taking photo’s was on this list, but I’m more of a theoretical photographer, so i spend more time designing an image, so i spend less time on the field. Lazy, but i believe photography can be lazy as long as you’re well prepared… and provided nothing goes wrong on location.

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The next week we was set a task of capturing a meaningful location, easy enough, that is until the weather gets a little wet. A downer, seeing as the summer was great and the early autumn was looking so promising. Then i remembered an image i had captured in my first year, of the street “Old street”. I had lived there during my first and second year, and i remembered how great the road looked after rain, this reflective shine, as if the street had been glossed over.
I tried to capture the image with the road leading us down on the left third and then the junction into the bottom third, giving the image space, separation and composure.

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A studio shoot. Finally i could get back to my strengths, but i wasn’t that prepared as i had little warning as to when i was too shoot. I made do with what time i had and thought about maybe breaking away from the Low Key photography i enjoy so much and put some vivid colours into my images. Then i visualized an album by Kid Cudi, “Man on the Moon” and how those colours created an interesting and exciting pop art effect, although i wouldn’t be doing any heavy editing to the photograph i tried to incorporate that appeal into my own image.

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Kid Cudi. Man on the Moon

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Another Studio image, that i took today with the aim of capturing an interesting and creative piece. The aim was to capture ambiguity, this feeling of uncertainty. Is the man in the mask a danger, or is he a friend, the mask has a smile which would suggest a sense of comfort, but this bloody red smile makes us question the true motives of the person. This is the beauty and horror of masks, they take away human emotions and facial expressions making it difficult for us to read that person, creating this ambiguity, which can either make us run to safety, or it can spur on the need to discover.

What is next

After a long period of not blogging, due to finishing my final Uni work, visiting Madrid and preparing for my final show, i have finally decided to re-blog. Since my Uni year is over and i will progress onto the third year, i may have to make a new blog for the work i shall do for that year. However i shall keep this blog up until September for anything i want to post up during summer.

I have taken some images from Spain, although on 35mm film as i thought it would be a good idea to practice this medium of photography a bit more, and felt that it helped when trying to remember how an alteration of an F-stop, effected the shutter speed or ISO.

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Also, i shall be talking with one of my class mates about starting some partnership that will see us working together on photography commissions, this would be a great starting point in my development to professional work.

What I’ve done over Easter

Been quite busy over the Easter holiday, did a quick shoot for a friend who wanted some photographs for his new album, and also did a event shoot which saw me setting up a mini studio in the Club where people could come and have their photo taken. The objective off this was to capture in detail people’s make up effects they had done for the event which was Zombies VS Vampires.

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Just two of my favorite shots from the night, the lighting was accomplished with the Canon 580 flashguns, one with an umbrella to the right that gave clear detail of the body, and then another speed light to the left at half the strength just to fill in the right side of the figures. The red back drop was slightly creased, which is why i shot at an aperture of F/2.8 which allowed for that shallow depth of field to blur most of the detail in the backdrop.

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As well as the Club shoot i got a few images from a pub shoot i did, the pub was empty so i had the whole environment to work with, in capturing the image what my client wanted for their album. The album name was Whiskey (Or so i remember) so we decided that whiskey was important to the shoot, also the figure off the album producer, and singer was to be included to tell a story which is related to the actual songs. So i captured some detail shots and some portraits, here are my favorites which I’m still working upon.

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For each shot i metered the ambient light, introduced one of the Canon 580 speed lights, placed it where i wanted the spill to affect the figure, and then metered that light, the last light was then used as a fill light, and was metered either 1/2 or 1/4 of the Key lights strength.
Each image was then given a filter effect, which was used purposely to create this tan, smokey wood effect that matched the natural colour of whiskey, and also i found that a lot of acoustic albums had also these brown and beige colours.