Light Painting…Behind The Scenes…Sort Of!

October 8, 2012 § 3 Comments

“Old Dirty Bottles”

After my last blog with the saddle shot(that was the most popular of the three), I got a lot of emails asking about light painting.  People wanted to know about the flashlight I used, my camera settings, how much space was needed, and if any special preparation was required.  Let me answer those here as best as I can, and then show a few more examples along with a “behind the scenes” image of the sets.  First off, I use a “Stylus” made by Streamlight product # is S/N 6106317.  It comes with a snoot, looks like a ball point pen, and is about 7″ long.  It’s perfect for my “tabletop” images, but I would definitely need something bigger if I was to shoot bigger subjects.  Next, my camera settings very slightly, but I start off at ISO 200, f11, at 20 seconds.  I experiment with my aperature, sometimes going up to f22…depends on what look I want.  The shutter speed may go up to as much as 30sec. if I need more time to light various details on the subject.  As far as space, you can get by with less space since you don’t have any need to set up light stands etc.  You can see in the behind the scenes image, that I have 4 sets, set up at the same time.  I just moved my camera from set to set.  Lastly, some special preparation is required…you need to shoot in a totally dark room.  Since my studio is not “light tight”, I shoot everything at night.  This is getting a bit “old”, so I’m looking into “blacking out” my windows.  One last thing I might ad here is that I always use Photoshop in all of my images, whether they’re light painted images, shot available light outdoors or shot with strobe.  On the “Teapot” image, I also blended two images.  I had one image where the right side was great, and another image which was just the opposite.  I kept trying to get the one perfect image, but finally said the heck with it.  I loaded both images into CS6 and using masks and brushes, I blended the two images to get what you see here.  The last part was adding the steam with another brush.  I know the best way to share what I do would be with a video, but I don’t have any video capabilities…yet!

“Teapots & Steam”

“Bottles in the foreground, Beets, Peaches, and Teapots in the Distance”



Hope this helps…anymore questions, just send me a message…glad to help!





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