Light Painting…Using a Flashlight

February 27, 2012 § 4 Comments

"Antique Baseball Equipment"

Most of the time, I light my still life images with a very soft light, diffused through a large silk.  I’ve blogged about this in the past if anyone is interested.  While that’s the usual way I light still life subjects, I love experimenting and trying out new techniques.  I’ve done light painting using a flashlight in the past, this is the first time I tried it on still life objects.  Here’s how I did these shots.  The  baseball image, and the toy truck image were both normal light painting shots.  The antique tool shot was a light painted image, but I then took a number of the images and processed them like I would for an HDR image.  You have to set your camera on a tripod since you’re shooting at a long shutter speed.  For all of these, I shot at 30 seconds, 25 seconds, and 20 seconds.  The 30 second time is really great because it gives you more time to do your painting.  You literally use your flashlight like a paint brush, “brushing” the light onto the subject.  Be careful not to linger on any one area, or you’ll get a bad hotspot…constantly move your flashlight around!  Oh yeah, my F-stop was F11.  The cool thing about this technique, is that each frame will have differences, some slight, some major…no way to tell if you spent an extra second or two on an area compared to your previous exposure.  Because there were differences from frame to frame, I decided to process the antique tool shot as an HDR.  As always, I do process all my images, no matter what light source I use, in Photoshop, also using plug-ins such as LucisArt, PhotoTools, and Topaz.

"Antique Tools Shot as an HDR"

"Toy Truck"

"My Flashlight, Taped to Narrow The Beam of Light"

As always, hope you enjoyed this!



§ 4 Responses to Light Painting…Using a Flashlight

  • Your style, it’s just amazing to me, really. It is truly fine art that inspires a unique approach to my own photography as well.

  • Jon DeVaul says:

    Christofer, thanks! Glad that you enjoy it.

  • CSMedia says:

    It was thought this was done with a gobo on a Zoom light and manipulated with software. Much interest to know how it is actually done, thanks Jon.

  • Jon DeVaul says:

    Carl, as was pointed out in my blog, I always use some software on everything I shoot, but the basic lighting on these shots were done with the flashlight. Years ago, a photographer by the name of Aaron Jones invented something called a Hosemaster. A couple of my friends bought them. Google Bill Murphy in Albany and Greg Sereta in Cleveland to see some nice images shot with a Hosemaster.

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