Domes and Smoke

Posted: May 9, 2012 in Light Painting, Nikon D40, Ohio

Here’s another shot from my “In-the-park-after-dark-light-painting series.” I may have to change that name though seeing as how it is quite long, frequently hyphenated, and possibly already copyrighted. For now, you pretty much get the gist. The Englewood, Ohio metropark provided the background for this shot. As with pretty much all light painting, it is vastly easier to accomplish with two people; one to activate the shutter and one to do the painting. Of course, if you have on/off switches on your tools you can also just get a remote shutter release remote and do it yourself, but having a light painting buddy is always nice; if for nothing more than to see them jump around like an idiot as well.  

This shot was taken using a few different tools. The “smoke” was generated by taking a 9ft. strand of electroluminescent wire (EL wire if searching on Amazon) and dancing it around the area you want the “smoke” to be in. It is very important when doing this to keep the wire moving and not hold it in one spot very long. The domes were created using an ingenious tool created by some dude with probably way too much time on his hands, and possibly under the influence of some mind-altering drug. But it works awesome. You can see pictures of the tool online by searching for “light painting dome tool,” but essentially it is just a wheel, that has a shaft with one end connected to the center of the wheel, and the other end resting on the ground. This allows the wheel to sit angled to the ground and when spun, makes a perfect circle. Then you just mount battery-powered LED lights to the rim of the wheel at an even spacing. The light dome is accomplished by spinning the wheel while turning on the lights, and allowing it to make at least 1 full rotation before you either turn the lights off, or end the exposure. I always find it is easier to turn on the lights, spin the wheel, start my exposure, wait for one full rotation, and then end the exposure. However, that only gets you one dome. So, to get multiple domes, like I have in this picture, you need to be either really good at turning the lights on and off while keeping the shutter open the entire time, or take several individual dome pictures and then combine them in Photoshop (which is what I have done here).

I think the resultant picture is pretty awesome. And the background worked great too with the moon shooting light through the trees.

Click the picture for full resolution.

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