Archive for the ‘Light Painting’ Category

Biped Chunnel

Posted: August 5, 2012 in Light Painting, Nikon D90, Ohio

My brother in law and I found another interesting location for some light painting. This is a bike path tunnel near Tipp City, Ohio. It’s a pretty awesome location because it’s pretty vacant after dark, but there isn’t very many random drug-addicted people that hang out here either.

So, onto the technical details for this shot… The final image here is a combination of 2 images blended in Photoshop. The first shot was created by taking a portable flash gun with a green colored gel (colored plastic sheet) covering the strobe, and then flashed all over the walls repeatedly at about 15% power. This shot was combined with another where we moved a green EL wire cable around and around and around to create the “smoke” or “mist” you see on the ground. Finally, since the EL wire shot took so long (Maybe 3-5 minutes or so), there ended up being some headlights from a passing car that illuminated the right side of the tunnel wall and gave off the bright point at the left hand side of the tunnel opening.

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Posted: July 2, 2012 in Light Painting, Nikon D40, Ohio

This shot was taken at the entrance to Englewood Metropark, in Dayton, Ohio. My brother-in-law and I had hoofed it, jogging from one side of the park to the other in our attempt to allude a park ranger after dusk. As we were waiting for our ride back home, I decided to do a shot right at the entrance gate. Turns out, the shot was so dark, that the gate is impossible to see, and you can only faintly see the outline of trees at the top left if you really look hard. Additionally, I was trying to spin the half-domes and take the pictures myself (as my brother-in-law had collapsed on a park bench by this time), so they aren’t perfect by any means, however, even with all those flaws, I still like the way this picture turned out. It reminds me of something out of Tron Legacy. And I totally feel it is necessary to specify that I mean the sequel to the original Tron, because the original Tron was so bad, I almost wanted to set the DVD on fire. However, the 2nd Tron, entitled Legacy, was amazing, and I suggest you rent that action asap!

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Spinning The Wool

Posted: June 13, 2012 in Light Painting, Nikon D40, Ohio

Here’s another one in the light painting series. This shot was made by spinning steel wool in an orb shape. I took this shot at dusk, which is why the background seems to be more dark blue than black. I love the way the sparks are just dancing off the ground in this shot.

If you are a fan of the light painting stuff, there will be more to follow soon. We purchased a ton of stuff over the weekend, and although I’m not going to tell you what we have planned (It’s a surprise!) I’m sure the pictures will speak for themselves.

Also, I am in the process of searching for a website that will host my portfolio in full resolution, with digital copy protection, and offer purchasing options for prints, canvas wraps, T-shirts, Coffee Mugs, you name it… Therefore, you’ll see I removed the link when clicking on my pictures to go to a full resolution copy in WordPress. I’ll replace this link soon with a new one where people can freely browse my entire collection, but the images will have better protection. Also, if anything strikes your fancy you’ll have the option to buy!


Posted: June 5, 2012 in Light Painting, Nikon D40, Ohio

So many things going on here, so I’ll try to break it down and not sound so uber-tech-nerdy… probably not going to happen though…

The “orb” is created using a little DIY tool I made using a mini-halogen light reflector (with the glass and bulb removed) with 2 white LED’s and 1 yellow LED (which I thought was white, and turns out I was wrong). The purplish glow comes from the LED’s shining through the glass reflector. All that action is on about a 3ft. length of speaker wire attached to a battery pack with switch, so I can turn the lights on and off, and swing it around at the same time.

The vertical white lights on either side of the “orb” are simply white LED lights I hooked up on a duct hanger I bought from Home Depot for like $1. They also have a switch and are powered by a 9 volt battery.

As far as the final image is concerned; it is actually a combination of 3 separate pictures (if I remember correctly) One of the orb, one of the vertical lights, and one long exposure of the lake in the background; combined in Photoshop, masking layers and such…

                If anyone has any further questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

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Fire Poi

Posted: June 4, 2012 in Light Painting, Nikon D40, Ohio

                Here’s another one for the light painting section. By the way, the home page only shows like the latest 6 or 8 pictures or something, but if you want, you can always click a link under the header for whatever you are interested in checking out, such as “Florida” or “HDR” or whatever… I’m just sayin’…

                In this picture my older brother-in-law (AKA my light painting partner…. Which by the way sounded much more hetro in my head when I thought it) is spinning around fire poi. If you don’t know what this is you could Wikipedia it, or just take it from me… Fire poi are essentially a fire-resistant wicking material, which is folded or wrapped to make a nice little dense ball or cathedral, which is then hooked onto a chain (or fire resistant wire or something) in order for it to be spun. The ball or cathedral is then saturated with a flammable liquid (we used kerosene), lit on fire, and then spun (preferably to some sort of pseudo-indian-chant music, or Rage Against the Machine).  As the poi are lit on fire, it is very important to observe the proper safety measures and precautions; so if you are interested in doing this, you should make sure to observe those. It’s also probably a good idea to have at least one person spinning and one person ready with a wet towel or blanket, just in case the spinner accidentally catches themselves on fire. You don’t want to return as some flame-broiled dark lord of the Sith (even if you do have a sweet voice box that sounds like James Earl Jones).

                Admittedly, watching a person spin on video or in person is probably cooler than just a still picture; however, there are many interesting challenges to getting the picture you want as well. Because the camera is capturing the light, you need to be aware of when to start and stop the capture, in order to get the resultant picture you want. All that aside, the shot above was not necessarily what I wanted (or what I was “going-for”) I just happened to like the final image. And that kinda goes for a lot of my light painting shots… sometimes random chaos is pretty sweet.

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Glostick Tunnel

Posted: May 25, 2012 in Light Painting, Nikon D40, Ohio

“What if we hook a bunch of these glow necklaces together and try that out?” It was a reasonable question, and who was I to interrupt the flow of creative juices? So when my brother-in-law posed the question, I readily welcomed the challenge.

I had previously purchased like 20 of those glow necklace tubes from Target’s dollar bin. Although originally purposed for the kids pleasure, I had no hesitation in raiding their toy chest (heck, I buy those toys anyway right?). Settle down, settle down, I think we gave them some popsicles to make up for it…

This shot was made by taking six different necklaces and stringing them together to make one big ring. Then we took the big ring into the dark garage, set up the tripod and took a shot by moving the ring towards the camera from like 15-20 feet away, until it went completely over the lens. Since the shutter is open the whole time and only records the light, you get this surreal color tube blur. Pretty neat stuff… and you can get this result for literally less than one dollar in materials (Notice how I conveniently left out the cost of the camera, tripod, remote, lens, etc…)

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Posted: May 17, 2012 in Light Painting, Nikon D40, Ohio

It’s time for another light painting pic, if I do say so myself. This one comes from Englewood, Ohio, at a park next to Doctor Michael Bowers Lake. My brother-in-law (pictured) and I were scoping out places to shoot, and this place had pretty much all the things we wanted; ponds/lakes to catch reflections in, elevated areas to “rain the sparks down from” and bridges to throw some sparks under. Plus it was kind of off the beaten path, which is always nice because I’m not sure exactly what the rules are for showering around molten sparks, but I’m sure it’s probably close to the same rules for fireworks, and Ohio is one of those states that doesn’t quite take to having only one license plate, or fireworks… go figure…

It is of interest to note however, that whenever you do the steel wool light painting, there does exist the very small chance that you could catch something on fire. I like to call this the Murphy’s Law Fire Principal, because if you are trying to start a fire in a fire pit, while camping, with numerous matches, (that are designed to light easy) non-fire resistant materials, (like paper and perhaps balsa wood that should go up like the 4th of July) and arranging them in the proper “teepee” arrangement, it will still probably take you numerous frustrating attempts. However, if you are just trying to demonstrate to your friend how cool your new Zippo lighter is, (when you don’t even smoke) you may inadvertently almost burn down a Putt-Putt. Sorry, that was a little bit of an inside joke (and no, we did not actually burn down a Putt-Putt) but it was not from a lack of stupidity from two 15-year-old kids… Anyway, my point was, I suggest taking some fire safety equipment with you if you do this type of photography, and also stay in the area for a while after you do a spin just to make sure there isn’t anything smoldering that might catch on fire later on after you’ve left. Trust me, you don’t want Smoky the Bear pissed off at you…

This one I shot really low to the ground with my wide angled lens tilted up toward my brother-in-law who was up on top of the steps. He tried to keep the sparks just on the other side of the camera, but I think I still got nailed a few times, so it was a good thing I had my hoodie on. As before, the purple coloring comes from me messing with the temperature settings in post-processing. Enjoy!

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